Over the past few month’s I have been working in M’s garden where the brief was to create order and elegance so that maintenance was at a minimum and spare time was free time. The garden is a courtyard – previously paved and designed to have seating areas and path ways. The shrubs which had been originally planted ( Photinia, Ceanothus and Euonymous) had flourished, whilst an array of disconnected pots and plants were scattered around. With this in mind I could see that small changes can make a big impact in a few easy steps.

After removing the large shrubs the garden was clearer with more symmetry in the main dining area; whilst purchasing matching coloured pots and planting olive and rosemary (which suited the sunny aspect of the garden) created a sense of calm. Re-placing the bistro set to be used in the upper terrace helped to achieve balance and set a place for morning coffee, rather than having it pushed against the larger shrubs on the side.

Placing an iron bench over piping and drains meant the focus was moved from the utilitarian and functional part of the house wall and the placing of two Salix either side softened the edges here.

Removing the gravel border along the fence and planting a narrow lavender border (Lavandula Augustifolia Munstead) will provide scent and a softening to the grey stone slabs. The final task is to paint the fencing in a dark grey to pull all the colours and textures together.

Replacing the tired greying gravel around the upper patio highlighted the water feature, whilst planting the Buxus Sempervivens in matching terracotta pots created a Roman feel to the garden.

These simple steps have transformed the feeling of the area to one of tranquility…

Things to watch out for: whilst digging out tree and shrub roots be careful of the wires hidden underneath which connect the lights and water feature to electrics!