Modern Sloping Garden with Feature Koi Pond
In the world of garden design, transformations are our bread and butter. One of our specialities is taming sloping gardens. We’re particularly good at conquering gradients and making them fit for more than just rolling down. We’ve terraced gardens as far apart as in Ashbourne, Swadlincote and Northampton, and our latest one is in Warwick.
What was the garden like before we started?
The garden looked like a building site. The home-owners were part-way through having an extension built when they called us in, so all the ‘before’ pictures are littered with construction materials and equipment.
Once you looked past the RSJs and bags of concrete, the garden was a sorry, lop-sided terrace of overgrown grass with some trees and shrubs clinging to the outer edges.
There was also a 2.5m wide, 2m deep Koi carp pond to contend with, along with the requisite filtering and pumping equipment.
What was the brief?
We were asked to improve the garden’s visual impact with a more contemporary style to compliment the new kitchen extension.
We then needed to tackle the gradient in the garden and design spaces that were level and properly terraced.
The Koi pond needed a major overhaul, and it was suggested it might change position to free up more of the area that has the best sun. We were asked to consider designing a raised pool so that the fish could be seen and fed easily.
In terms of planting, a low maintenance scheme was requested with colour all year round, including lots of white and paler colours.
We also needed to accommodate a dog run/enclosure, storage, seating areas, possibly a fire-pit or patio heater, and a space for small scale veg growing.
How did we achieve all of that?
Our design scheme utilised vertical oak sleepers to create defined areas of terracing. We moved the Koi pond from its shaded, ground-level position to a spot outside the new kitchen window.
To address the low maintenance element of the brief, we specified artificial grass for the lawn areas. Our planting plans included some Trachycarpus fortunei palms, Hellebores, Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns, Fatsia, Choisya, Agapanthus and Astrantia.
The Koi pond was designed to be a solid concrete block construction, with Stonemarket Haus walling to finish. The construction of the pond, tank and viewing window was undertaken in consultation with the landscaping team, White Cottage Landscapes, and a specialist Koi pond expert.
What were the end results?
The finished garden looks a million miles away from the neglected patch of turf we viewed in the spring of 2015. The Koi pond looks spectacular. The rear section with the water blade also contains the pumping and filtering equipment, and this section had to be enlarged when the client replaced his existing equipment with new, much larger, versions.
The oak sleeper walls create a long-lasting, robust but natural looking system of raised beds and terraces. These will soften in time once the planting becomes established.
Moving the existing Koi pond left space for a sunny outdoor seating area which looks great with the clients’ choice of outdoor furniture.
Transformation to modern sloping garden complete
We transformed this garden from its state of disrepair to a modern, relaxing family space.
Finally, here’s what the Koi pond looks like in action, shot during my lunch break while planting up this week.
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