• 1950’s semi-detached bungalow
  • 100 m2 West facing back garden
  • Easy to maintain and accessible for someone with balance problems
  • Perennial wildlife haven with space for growing own food


This is a garden designed for a lady who lives with her dog on a hillside. The current wide and shallow back garden is a sloping lawn with a border in the back. My client loves nature, wildlife, abundance and growing food and flowers, and she disfavors straight lines. Old cottage style garden make her happy and she would love to be able to do most of the maintenance herself. She has balance problems that can sometimes flare up, so a garden that is level and accessible from the back door without steps is a must. Additionally, bending down to ground level is not possible, so the beds and borders need to be raised. My client loves her family and would love to have a space to sit with them in the garden and invite them over for a bbq. But she also enjoys spending time in her garden on her own enjoying the views with a cup of tea from a more private seating area. All this while being surrounded by soft pinks, blues and purples that also cover the neighbour’s garage and leylandii hedge.


This garden will boast a variety of edible perennials and wildlife-friendly plants. The garden is relatively sunny and exposed so adding trees and trellis as shelter will make it an even more comfortable space to spend time in. The whole garden is raised from ground level so the low borders in the front can be maintained from the recessed space around the house and a footbridge provides access to the garden on an even level from the back door.

In this design, I added a small enclosed patio on the left that has views along the house over a valley and hillside and catches the morning sun. This is the spot where my client can enjoy a cup of tea by herself or with a friend in a cosy spot. The low border is planted with herbs for tea and the trellis with fruiting vines and flowers for all-year interest. Behind the private patio is a wildflower meadow for wildlife with a mown path to access the borders and have space to chat with the neighbours. I proposed a meandering raised border at seat height along the edges. A branch framing the meadow is the perfect spot for a birdbath that can be seen from the house. Another raised bed at table height can be used to grow annual and perennial vegetables. The path leads to a larger second patio for family dinners and gatherings. Behind the patio, the large nitrogen-fixing shrubs and fruiting and flowering vines cover a garage wall and create a sense of depth. A lawn on the right of the patio is a playground for my client’s dog and visiting children, and is a space to air dry laundry. A pear and plum tree on either side of the lawn gives a sense of being in an orchard. In the far back compost bins are hidden from the garden by a dead hedge. This is a habitat for wildlife and a space for tree and shrub branches. There is also space for a potting bench where my client can store her tools and nurture seedlings and cuttings.