Despite its generous size, this garden was overgrown and underused when we first came to visit it. One could not even see the garden wall at the back. The family – a set of busy professional parents, 2 teenagers, their friends, 1 active dog and 2 cats - certainly needed more space to enjoy it. We built a summerhouse at the end of the garden which suddenly became the long-wished for 'retreat' of each generation. Although echo-friendly in its appearance, clad in red-western cedar and with a sedum roof, it provides up-to-date technology with internal underfloor heating, a state-of-the-art kitchenette, a large flat screen TV and colour-changing LEDs.
We laid a simple pattern of 2 terraces linked with an alley, with beautiful and large Yorkstone paving slabs. This axis divided the lawn in half and made the garden look longer and more inviting. The alley is bordered by large boxwood 'cloud' hedge (Buxus sempervirens), an evergreen, continuous feature. The original terrace near the house is now the dining area. The newly created second terrace, in front of the summerhouse, is perfect for lounging in the afternoon and evening sun. Two mature trees (Parrotia Persica and Crataegus Lavallei Carrierei) provide verticality and interest from Spring to late Autumn. Wall shrubs and climbers (Ceanothus Concha -spring flowering-, and Ceanothus Autumnal Blue -Autumn flowering-, and scented evergreen Jasmine - Trachelospermus jasmonoides) adorn the boundaries. Around the summer house, Euphorbia amygdaloides purpurea and Anemone Japonica 'Honorine Jobert' thrive in the dappled shade. This is now a garden for all to enjoy.