Transforming this uninspired suburban plot into a calming escape for moments alone was essential. And with the homeowners loving all things wildlife-related, we had to think of plenty of ways to invite nature into the garden to make this plot a perfect cornucopia.
You can get the look by going for waterfall-walls, tree borders and walkways over water.
Water for wildlife
Installing a pond at the bottom of the garden encourages amphibians, birds and other wildlife to the space. Staggered steps were included to make it accessible for wildlife and allow the animals to get safely get in and out whilst using it to drink, eat and bathe.
To soften the edges, rocks and pebbles were added to the outskirts of the pond, alongside a variety of plants. One third to a half of your pond surface should be given to plants, and we definitely managed to achieve that. Water mint, Isolepis cernua (slender club-rush) and marsh marigolds were included, with the latter adding a bright splash of yellow buttercup-like flowers to the area.
Give trees a try
Trees are sometimes overlooked in gardens, as people opt for vibrant flowers. But trees are magnificent and can be practical too. In this suburban garden, the current fencing wasn’t providing the privacy that was wanted. So, adding a border of trees was the solution to add height and a privacy screen.
Malus sylvestris (crab apple) were planted as part of the border, the yellow-green fruit that appears in autumn is another inviting feature for birds and the flowers are great for pollinators.
Trees also provide homely spaces and shelter for birds, so a cluster of birch trees was planted around the pond.
Water has a really calming effect on us and being able to escape to the garden to de-stress was an important factor. Alan’s waterfall wall was a fabulous feature, next to a sandstone bench to offer a quiet place for comfort and contemplation. The paving in this area is Pavestone’s Tudor Cambridge which added to the calming and relaxing design.
To soften the floor near the waterfall feature, where water tumbles down Pavestone’s Porcelain wall cladding, different sizes of rocks and pebbles were placed, with the sword-like leaves of irises adding a contrast from the smooth, round pebbles. Iris ensata (Japanese water iris) love poorly drained soil and thrive in watery areas, so are a perfect fit for near your feature.
Plants aren’t just about sitting pretty, by focusing on adding a variety of plants it will ensure all your senses are satisfied. The slender, red stems of Siberian dogwood added a crimson colour to complement the soft scent of lavender and rosemary. The white whiskery flowers of Sarcococca confusa (sweet box) added texture to the area and also an elegant perfume.
A key aspect of the garden was to offer a space to be alone but to also accommodate a place for friends and family to gather and be together. This was sorted by having an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven next to Hartman’s large outdoor dining table and chairs.
In the episode, a bench was kept in the garden from previously as it held huge sentimental value. By including features or pieces to your garden that are meaningful to you will make your garden feel instantly at home.
The separate components of the garden were all joined using a zig-zag walkway, this provided a bridge over the pond to a retreat in the corner of the garden. Switch grass was used alongside the walkway so parallel the feeling of walking through billowing grasses.
There are many ways to transform your suburban plot to a leafy retreat. You don’t need to make compromises, your garden can have water, wildlife, privacy and plenty of plants.
See you here next week for episode two – 3rd March at 8pm!
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
Leave A Comment