Paving the way for a safe, relaxing future
THIS lovely home and garden is in the beautiful village of Chew Magna, just 10 miles outside of Bristol. It is a substantial outdoor space that is split over several terraces that roll down to the River Chew.
As it is a sizeable area, the garden is being tackled in phases; phase one comprised the first two terraces and was completed this summer. Here, I am focusing on the upper terrace immediately outside the house.
Since three children under the age of six would be using the space, the client requested that play areas which could be seen from the house were incorporated into the design, so there were various safety and practical issues to be considered.
The area was originally laid with paving slabs, while gravel filled large gaps between each slab.
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There was also a small patch of lawn in a bad state of neglect.
The mix of gravel and paving hampered the children's' ability to push their scooters and toy cars around without getting stuck, so it all had to go.
The picket fence had been erected for safety reasons. It runs along the top of a retaining wall that drops down to the main lawn, which in turn drops further down to a less formal lawn leading to the river beyond.
I planted box hedging along the line of picket fence, with the idea that, when the children are older and the hedge has grown, the fence can be removed completely.
Box in topiary form is repeated in the four rectangular planting beds. These have been positioned as accent plants which "anchor" the beds at the intersection of pathways; one leading from the lawn to the seating area and the other leading from the path running parallel to the house to the steps down to the main lawn beyond.
The paving design has been carefully planned to help break up the various areas and also to provide a more flowing route around the upper terrace.
The circular inlay of beautiful Dutch clay paviors within the main body of the seating area perfectly frames the circular wooden dining table. These paviors are repeated in other areas of the terrace, while the main pathway down to the steps comprises solely of brick paviors. A limestone path from the lawn to the seating area is also edged with the same paviors, thereby tying all the hard landscaping elements together.
Finally, in areas of this garden which catch the sun I incorporated plants that one would associate with traditional English country gardens, including lavender hidcote, gaura lindheimeri, salvias, alchemilla mollis, stachys byzantina and clipped box.
Complete survey and design can be viewed on my Facebook page facebook.com/katherine ropergardendesign or simply click through via my website www.katherineroper.co.uk.