The brief for this garden was simple, to grow as much food as possible whilst attracting wildlife and providing space for evening entertaining. Our clients are completely renovating their house and the garden is currently being used as a temporary builders yard and once it’s cleared will be a blank canvas for them to work with. As the construction will be mostly carried out by them the aim was to design with simple robust construction methods in mind. This led us to propose green oak sleepers for the bulk of the retaining structures. The workshop at the end of the garden is already being used for some woodworking so timber was the preferred material.
The garden faces west so the whole of the northern boundary benefits from copious amounts of afternoon sun, the perfect conditions for growing fruit. Adjacent to the house a level threshold from the kitchen leads out onto a timber deck in the centre of which is a bespoke fire pit. Planters with integrated seating provide space for herbs and also an espaliered fig and peach. A reclaimed cast iron water tank sits on a raised plinth that protrudes through the deck, this will provide the height needed to supply water to the vegetable beds using gravity. A variety of fruit trees along the northern boundary are underplanted with herbs and perennials that are high in essential oils and flowers providing forage for bees, fragrance and also helping to combat fungal diseases in the fruit trees. A raised wildlife pond also provides habitat opportunity. The central bed is intended for intensive allotment style vegetable growing whilst the mini polytunnel is intended to allow for growing more tender crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers as well as lengthening the growing season by protecting from early and late frosts. More espaliered fruit trees including Apricots and Pears adorn the whole of the fence to the north supported by a frame and wires. Maple leaf ivy is proposed along the shady boundary, again providing late forage for bees this will be underplanted with a variety of Ferns and other shade loving perennials.
The end of the garden features an underplanted meadow. Here Apples, Pears and Plums are to be grown underplanted with gooseberries and currants as well as with shade tolerant meadow grasses and wildflowers. A garden for foragers of all kinds, be they hungry humans, birds or bees!