Six years on: Dull suburban plot to Open Garden!

I would like to share recent photos of a garden I designed for my ‘star client’, Gill, in 2011. She was downsizing from a beautiful old rural property to a modern estate house but was dismayed by the blandness of the garden – sloping grass, uninspiring planting and a rickety deck – and booked me to come along to see what could be done to improve things as soon as she moved in. She was enthusiastic about my ideas and trusting of my ability to deliver them, as well as being prepared to invest to make the improvements she craved. The garden was designed and built over the summer, and planted that autumn and the following spring. Gill is a very hands on gardener and did much of the planting work herself, even in the unseasonable April snow, and plied the contractors and myself with endless sustenance whenever we were on site. On 24 June 2017 her garden was open to the public as part of the Scotland’s Garden Scheme Abernethy Gardens open day, and I popped in to see how she was getting on…



Before: Front and side garden –  grassy slopes and borders alongside house – low boundary hedge allows pedestrians to look into garden and house as they pass by






Before: Rear garden – grass sloping down towards far corner – good hedge and trees along one boundary – precarious steps down from house into garden






Meet Gill – proud (and very hardworking) garden owner outside her front door, amidst the tumbling flowers and grasses in the sloping border that is now separated from the house by an unseen gravel path





The once grassy slope down to the house has been separated into two planting levels by a sunken gravel path that draws the visitor around the house to…






…and informal seating area and small lawn – a garden-within-a-garden








The informal seating area, with raised planting area behind looks onto…






…this fabulous gate, made for Gill by a local blacksmith, which allows a tantalising glimpse of the rear garden beyond








This end of the patio is in a shaded location – perfect for the luxuriant foliage plants that surround the granite sphere water feature






Patio, back door steps and gate, seen from the other side of the rear garden






In the lowest part of the garden, a cosy summerhouse sits behind a low raised bed, partially enclosed by the ‘wall’ of planting in front of it – another garden-within-a- garden



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