Shade Garden

  • Make the most of an area shaded by some established trees
  • Link it to the existing garden
  • Incorporate the circular seating she’d seen in another design of mine and combine it with raised beds
  • Use the many plants she already had in pots and containers into the new borders
  • Introduce a water feature
  • Improve the area directly outside of the back door and the routes into and through the garden

I tucked the circular seating and raised beds into a tricky corner (the landscaper did a great job of negotiating the irregular angles). The space for the seat is positioned so that it looks out onto the main garden, through the small gap in the shrubbery. When the sun is shining in the main garden, this is an entrancing view, from shadow into bright light.

I created a narrow path the traces a circle round the new garden and the huge Yew tree – a tree surgeon removed lower branches to allow access underneath. The path is of self-binding gravel, so that leaves can be brushed off the surface, but it is still permeable. I placed a small shed into the corner to create storage, and the water feature in between the two ends of the path. This is a small trickle fountain with pebbles, so that falling leaves do not foul the water.

I replaced and enlarged the central stone circle in warm sandstone. This surfacing extends into the seating area as well.

In the main garden, I used Millboard to create a level threshold from the house and into the garden, creating a new, more inviting route. The lawn that was in addition to the existing central lawn was surplus to requirements, and its position under the tree meant that it was shaded and did not grow well. I placed a meandering path here, and the rest of the space is now borders – more planting space for the client!