A garden for a young professional couples first home, with only a very tight budget, presented a challenge. With careful design and layout, the space became a more intimate, attractive and practical green space next to the busy inner city railway line.
The first job was to deal with the privacy issue from the train bridge and platform, so in front of the tall industrial palisade fencing three pleached Photinia fraseri shrubs were planted to provide an instant ‘hedge on stilts’. These evergreen shrubs produce a dense screen to tackle issues of privacy and noise and new red spring leaves add a seasonal dynamic. Three small feature trees were strategically placed to deal with angles that were overlooked from the bridge, the species chosen to bring seasonal interest, attract garden birds and insects and not outgrow their space.
A generous deck at the sunny back area of the garden provides a seating and dining area and this spills out onto a lawn, big enough to stretch out on but small enough to keep well maintained. An existing pile of grey block paving bricks were used for a simple clean stack bonded path leading to the deck and functional, butt jointed concrete paving slabs create the initial entrance up into the space. A pond the client had already made from an old bath is surround planted with shade tolerant perennials.
Trained espalier apples, fan trained plums and cordoned soft fruit are planted along the newly trellised party walls to give maximum produce in limited space and the nectar from these plants provide essential food for the declining bee population in the area. Structural shrubs, perennials and climbers planted in the shadier borders, leave space in the sunnier spots for summer produce such as tomatoes and beans.
Carol Whitehead © 2020. A registered member of the SGD (Society of Garden Designers).