Period Property, Portishead


Recently extended and renovated period property. The builder had already cleared the garden and put in hard landscaping, a dry stone wall water feature, raised beds and a wall fountain.


I was commissioned to produce a planting design for both the front and rear gardens.

My Solution:

The rear garden was a challenge as my client wanted a naturalistic meadow to compliment the water feature plus a scheme inspired by the Mediterranean in the same small space.  I unified the 2 distinct planting styles through use of colour and by repeating key plants throughout.  The area around the pond was laid to turf and under planted with a thousand  bulbs for spring colour. The grass was left to grow long giving a meadow effect with a contrasting mown strip around the pond edge. The dry stone wall was planted with species that love limey dry sites and these will seed and colonise over time. A row of multi stemmed Amelanchier planted in the meadow lines a path, leading the eye to an old pear tree and bench.

Elsewhere a gravel mulch was used to evoke a Mediterranean mood and an Olive tree was under planted with Lavender. Clipped shrubs for structure were softened with a naturalistic mix of grasses and perennials in a harmonious palette of purples & blues contrasting with splashes of yellow and orange later in the season. Spring bulbs and delicate Hydrangea extend the season and clipped blocks of Hornbeam hedging unify the boundary. Fragrant climbing roses  will eventually cover the clients existing wooden structure.  A raised bed on the terrace was planted with bulbs, grasses and perennials to give a long season of colour, movement and textural interest.

The front garden was small and a little shaded by the house.  I used a simple palette of topiary balls, grasses and perennials to make a statement as visitors walked down the path to the front door.  A pair of multi stemmed crab apples frame the entrance and  specimen trees are planted into gravel giving interest from foliage, flowers or fruit all year round. The topiary balls and grasses give winter structure and hundreds of bulbs extend the season of interest in the spring.