Picturesque Village Garden - Patio, Steps, Paving, Walling and Lawn


After newly renovating the inside of their home, the client now wanted to create a garden that felt more linked to the house. Split across two levels, the original layout of the garden made the interior of the house feel dark, as a long, sloped border of large shrubs blocked light and views up the garden. The top area of the garden consisted of a large, uneven lawn that was accessed by a narrow, unsafe set of steps and a small, paved area for seating. The orientation of the house meant that the best place to enjoy any sun was on the upper level, as directly at the back of the house was in shade all day. The client wanted the new garden to open out from the back doors and draw you up the garden to sit and relax.


One of the challenges faced was how to connect the house and garden when most of the garden was at a higher level to the house.  Secondly was to find a way to soften the stone boundary wall opposite the house, which was more than 3m high and dominated the view of the garden

To overcome this, the design for the garden included a new set of steps in line with the French doors that lead from the house.  This creates a long, inviting vista up into the garden.   The steps are a generous width and depth allowing lots of light down into the house and making them feel safe and comfortable to walk up and down.

New curved borders of planting add height and interest in front of the wall, which now becomes a beautiful backdrop for the plants.  Climbers have also been planted against the wall, which over time will soften the stonework and add an everchanging interest throughout the seasons.  Two new trees add height and help to balance the size of the wall against the rest of the garden.

Plans & Drawings


The new layout for the garden creates a space that, while still split across two levels, feels far more coherent. Instead of having one large wall to retain the ground between the levels, the walling has been stepped, allowing for a lower-level border of shade-loving plants that can be viewed from inside the house. Having these different levels of planting adds depth to the garden and creates views with lots of layers of interest. The brickwork for all the walling was created with bricks that were already in the garden, reducing waste and creating a much softer finish compared to brand new materials.

At the top of the steps, the pathway offers three different options of where to go, straight ahead onto the lawn, left around the house or right to the new seating area. The large seating space is surrounded on three sides by planting. This makes it feel cosy and tucked away from the house. The fourth side of the terrace opens onto the lawn and borders beyond. 

Materials Used


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