Inez and Pete Bennett moved from a rural location to a new build home and wanted to create a colourful, interesting, outdoor space for entertaining. They wanted to take full advantage of the morning and afternoon sun that streams into their west-facing garden. They also wanted to minimise traffic noise and have some screening from neighbours.
The Bennetts are happy to admit that they are non-gardeners and wouldn’t know where to begin with creating a lovely, sustainable garden for all seasons from the characterless outdoor space that came with their new build home.
Inez said: “There was a square of poor-quality turf and a few grey, concrete slabs outside the doors when we moved in. It was the standard garden that comes with new build homes.”
The house has large bifold doors, providing clear, uninterrupted views of the garden, so Joyce designed a garden that would look good from all the rooms on the back of the house. In the summer, the family can now open the doors and step straight out on to the new patio to socialise with friends and loved ones.
Inez said: “It works as an extension to our living space, which is just what we wanted. Joyce has done a really good job.”
A path winds around the new, high-quality lawn to a choice of two gravel areas where bistro-type tables and seats can be placed.
Inez explained: “The garden is west-facing. So, in the morning, the top of the garden gets the sun. We wanted an opportunity to sit in the morning sunshine with a cup of tea or coffee. Then, as the day goes on, the sun moves round to shine on the rest of the garden.”
The Bennetts moved from a rural location where their outdoor space was not overlooked by next-door neighbours. So, they needed Joyce’s advice about which trees and shrubs would provide the best screening.
Inez said: “The garden has matured well to do what we wanted. Joyce knew which plants, trees and shrubs would work well in different parts of the garden and we were happy to leave the choices to her.”
A water feature was also included to dull the hum of traffic noise from a major road a few miles away.
Height was added to the garden with pergola archways and sleepers planted upright to give a sense of enclosure. Trees and shrubs were planted strategically for year-round colour and interest with herbaceous perennials providing summer colour.
“We wanted a garden that would attract birds and insects and would work for all seasons, and that’s what we’ve got,” said Inez. “Our first meeting with Joyce was at a local garden centre and she gave us her recommendations and we could choose from some options, but basically we relied on her for advice on what would be low-maintenance and stood the best chance of thriving.”