Gardening is always a compromise between letting nature do its thing and people wanting to imposing their will. Back in July 2014 we were called to see a garden in Leicester where nature had got a bit out of hand. The garden had obviously been well looked after in its day. There were many fine shrubs and flowering plants, but you just couldn’t see them. It was a very overgrown garden, and the owners didn’t know quite what to do with it.

As well as being overgrown, it lacked any kind of focal point. The owners wanted to tame the garden and reclaim some space currently over-run with shrubs. As keen cooks, an easily accessible, light and airy space for growing produce was high on their wish list.

A view of the garden from the house

Our design scheme included rescuing as many quality plants as we could, and setting them in a simple, clean layout. We had two trees removed to bring more light into the garden, and replaced an old, untidy crazy paving path with a natural sandstone path and patio. We moved the seating area from a shady spot into a sunny position, and designed four raised vegetable beds to sit outside the existing greenhouse. And for a focal point, we designed a split-slate water feature with stainless steel water blade.

Split-slate water feature with stainless steel water blade

The tired old lawn was relaid and edged with charcoal block paviors to create a defined boundary between planting and grass. Our planting scheme consisted of easy to maintain evergreen shrubs and Cornus alba which needs copicing once a year. For colour we added Phormiums, Heucheras, Rhododendrons, Helleborus and Hemerocallis.

A view looking back towards the house showing the raised vegetable beds

The photos show the garden immediately after planting in March 2016. The plants should fill out nicely and we’ll be back with our cameras later in the year.