Garden Case Study

The work in this garden has taken place over 4 years and involved 4 phases.
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge any of the pictures.

Phase 1: The pergola and the mound..

Beginning the work

This was the area near the house before work commenced. The existing pergola stood alone and appeared out of place within the garden, and the mound of soil behind it was covered in shabby old planting. The clients wanted a design that incorporated a seating area, but weren't sure how to achieve this, so consulted with Steven, who came up with a plan.

The yellow paint on the lawn marks out the initial plan.


First, the mound of soil needed to be shaped, then curving steps were built into the side using railway sleepers.

Moving the earth
Building the steps out of railway sleepers

A natural stone patio is laid on the mound

A patio was then laid at the top of the mound using natural stone, creating a useful space where previously there had been none.


The retaining wall

Next, the bank of soil was retained by extending the original red brick wall, and further planting holes were incorporated.

The new wall joins the existing wall.

Natural stone paving slabs were laid under the pergola and the railway sleeper steps now lead up to the new patio.

Natural stone slabs under the pergola
Steps made from railway sleepers lead up to the new patio
Natural stone patio at the top of the steps

Phase 2 - developing the pond

This time, the plan was to add a stream and waterfall to an existing concrete pond. The end of the pond was cleared, and the course of the stream and waterfall were marked out.

The original concrete pond
The planned course of the stream and waterfall

The rubber liner and large natural paddle stones

The stream and waterfall were constructed using a rubber liner and large natural paddle stones. The same stones were used to re-edge the pond.

Shingle was used one side for a contrasing texture.

Shingle was used on one side for a contrasting texture

Here you can see the course of the finished stream and the pond in summer.

All of the materials used for this project were chosen to tie in with those used in the previous projects.

The course of the finished stream
The pond in summer

Phase 3: Dividing the garden into different areas

The top half of the garden consisted of a large lawn, beyond which was a shed. The idea was to create a decorative screen to hide the view of the shed and the new compost bins, and to create a focal point through the arch at the bottom end of the garden.

Far end of the garden, showing the trellis divider, shed and compost bins

This dividing trellis was made from round rustic timbers, and planted to soften the lines. Using black pavers, a circle was created around the the bird bath with a larger circle encompassing the rest of the lawn, leaving space for planting beds around the sides of the garden.


Compost bins

The compost bin lids fold back as well as slide off, and the timber shuttering on the front face slides up to allow access.

Folding lids on the compost bins

A view of the whole garden at the end of this phase shows how the different projects relate to one another. As the garden matures through the following summer, plants soften the lines and the far end of the garden is both useful and beautiful.

View of the whole garden
Trellis from behind in summer
Far end of the garden again in summer

Phase 4 - solving the mowing problem..

This bank was difficult to mow

The most recent phase was to make over this bank, situated in front of the timber screening. The bank which was difficult to mow, was turned into a terraced rockery made from Cotswold Stone.

It is now a terraced rockery made from Cotswold Stone

Click here to read this satisfied client's testimonial.

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