title. Front Garden on View

date. 2020

location. Tyne and Wear

The Brief : This delightful garden was essentially inherited when the present owners bought the house. Since then they have maintained it and added to it but they wanted something that better reflected them. This front garden is their only garden (as there is a yard to the rear). It has a wonderful outlook but at the same time if you are sat in the garden you are on show to all the passers by. There is also the constant noise of traffic and sometimes louder noises associated with activities nearby. The garden gets the sun from about mid-morning through to the evening, so really is a great space to be utilised.

Whilst one of the most obvious ways to obtain privacy from the road is to put in a barrier of some sorts e.g. hedging or fencing, the owners were keen that privacy be attained without something so definite. They are quite interested in gardening and are not averse to weeding and tending plants, and they also want to be able to grow vegetables in amongst the plants in the future. The owners particularly like cottage-style plants as well as being keen that it attracted wildlife. 

The Plan

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From a number of options the clients decided upon this plan for their front garden. The squares on the plan are trellis columns that are spaced in such a way that a passer-by cannot see directly into the garden. These columns can be planted with climbing roses, clematis, vine as well as seasonal plants such as runner beans and courgettes. 

It was also decided that the design would include a water feature which would help disguise the sound of traffic as well as provide a water supply for insects and birds. The clients did not however want a water feature at ground level otherwise their adventurous dog would spend most of its time in it. A corten steel pond was therefore decided upon, which was complimented by raised seating areas bounded in corten steel.


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From the pictures above you will see that this was already a pretty garden with some good plants in it. The plan was to save as many of these plants as was possible and re-use them in the design. The front path is a major feature of the garden and was worn and cracked and so the proposal was to have it re-laid as bound gravel which is a great surface because it is a set surface but is water permeable. 

My dad managed to photobomb most of the images taken!

The process

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The columns presently look quite strident but they will soon be softened by a mixture of climbers. You can also see that changing the surface of the main path makes a dramatic difference to the feeling of the garden. 

The privacy that the clients were after has been created to such an extent that you can be sat in the raised seating area right next to the pavement and nobody knows you are there and with the sound of the water falling, you could be a million miles away. 

The garden is already maturing and there are some bits and pieces to complete, such as the lawn is going to be inter-seeded with clover seed which will eventually dominate the grass. It will provide food for insects, its great for the soil, drought tolerant and hardly needs mowing. 

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