The following garden was completed in 2010 and when I first met with them and their excitable Schnauzer they had already decided they wanted to get rid of the lawn.  It always suffered in this north west facing garden and in winter was reduced to a muddy mess resulting in dirty paws!  A pond was top of the wish list along with lots of plants that could be cut and used in flower arranging!

Interesting paving keeps focus down in the garden and not out at the neighbours. The setts used for the path leads the eye down to the circular pond. Easy to maintain and great for entertaining.


This small rear garden was under-used and my clients wanted a kitchen garden, new greenhouse and a small seating area in a courtyard style.

Paving has brick basketweave detail to give a traditional feel and reclaimed millstones were used to create an original water feature set in a bed of herbs including different varieties of thyme and sage.

The new small greenhouse is painted to match the raised salad bed and the simple wooden archway supports runner beans or sweet peas. Fan trained fruit makes the most of the south facing fence to the far side. A courtyard garden with plenty of space for entertaining. Ornamental planting surrounds the seating on one side leaving lots of room for growing veg and other produce in the other beds.


Over the years I have been asked for advice on all sorts of gardens but this year it was quite a challenge when I was asked to design a garden with a tortoise enclosure!

After much research and phone calls to the Tortoise Trust I learnt that tortoises have very specific needs and for an enclosure to be incorporated into a family garden would take some doing! Also, I had to take into consideration that any structure built with the tortoises in mind now might need to have a change of use in the future.

The garden has been terraced into 3 distinct areas. This central terrace has a sunny seating area that overlooks the tortoise enclosure which has been filled with suitable aggregate, large stones and other materials which make for an interesting and safe environment for them! The grasses and succulents will give them shade and the cool bed area cut in the wall offers protection from the hot midday sun.

Should it ever be necessary, this circular area could easily become a spot for either a water feature or a BBQ with just a few minor adjustments. By using varying depths of colour on the retaining walls, the top terrace is brought nearer and the lower terrace close to the house is brightened with a lighter shade. Flashes of deep purple Alliums pick up the wall colour and for a striking combination there are deep orange Heleniums and peachy Iris.

Smaller town gardens often have to provide a lot within a small space. There are neighbours to be screened, eyesores to be avoided and sometimes noise issues are a problem. Sometimes by installing huge fences or planting immense conifers around a boundary you are merely shutting yourselves into a ‘box’.

Giving your garden interesting design detail and focal planting that keeps the interest within rather than constantly looking out, is all that is necessary to re-focus attention. Vertical interest with a variety of climbers on fencing is a good way of softening hard lines of boundaries.

Surrounding your seating area with soft mounds of planting gives definition to restful areas and with fragrant planting can be a wonderful spot to sit awhile and take in the colours and scents of roses and lavenders.