• 1930’s terraced house on the edge of a woodland area
  • 100 m2 North-West facing back garden
  • 20 m2 South-East facing concrete front yard
  • Eco-build wildlife have
  • Perennial edible gardening exploration


This the design I did for our own garden. We wanted space to start growing a mix of predominantly perennial vegetable polycultures interplanted with annual vegetables, plants to make tea with and flowering medicinal plants. We would also like to to have sunny cosy seating spaces where we can relax or have dinner with family and friends. We also wanted more privacy, yet maintain the option to socialise with our neighbours. As the garden is on the edge of a forest, and we love wildlife, we wanted the garden to extend an invitation to wildlife to share our space with them. Wherever we can we use second-hand material, so this was a requirement for the garden too. We were inspired by organic shapes and traditional materials that fit with the house and the area. 

The front garden is significantly warmer as it is on the street, so here we would like to try grow figs, passion fruits and kiwis. We also require a bike shed for easy access to our bikes to reduce our car use, space to store the bins and a waterbutt. Lastly we would like to create a system that uses rainwater for their houshold, such as flushing the toilet.


As the garden is terraced, offset about a meter from groundfloor level, this design continues playing with level and height by adding raised beds, a multi-level cold frame made from old windows, creating a feature rockery retaining wall and using vertical growing spaces. To create more privacy evergreen shrubs are added, and a line of espallier fruit tree guilds interplanted with fruit shrubs make for a social, edible divider. The pond area, excellent for wildlife, is a mini food forest for foraging things such as berries and wild garlic. A big hosta patch benefits from the presence of frogs that can feast on the snails. A patio in the back with a grape guild growing along a pergola is grazed by a wildlife meadow and a swing seat with a pumpkin arch. At the house a covered patio retains the heat from the afternoon sun for summer evenings outside and cover during a rainy day. Using predominantly stone and organic shapes gives this garden a cottage forest garden look that unites the house and the forest.

The front garden uses trellises and raised planters to grow figs, kiwis and passion fruit laced with herbs and perennial sweet peas to create a colourfull and fragrant, almost mediterranean display. The water barrels between the figs protect them from frost during winter while providing the household with water. The path from the door to the street is framed by the bike and bin shed with green roof, a pear tree, sea buck thorn for nitrogen and some sun loving perennial vegetables and soft fruit shrubs.