The multi-functional small urban garden
Unknotting a riverside garden
The Long, Thin, Lost Garden
An Urban Courtyard
Developing a Six-acre Garden
A New Border
The garden of this inner-city Bristol house was underperforming; small (about 40 square metres), but with a pleasant south and east aspect, the owners felt they could get more from their garden: a more pleasing, private space for them to entertain or just relax, a place for their young children to play and explore and grow some of their own vegetables, in short a place they would want to be naturally and use more, rather than the outside space they could reach via a flight of steps from the ground floor of the house.
A design with three gently changing levels set on a 45 degree axis evolved to cope with the natural incline of the garden and to create an impression of width: the existing patio was extended and relaid with reclaimed natural stone to link and improve access to the garden and simplify some of the clashing materials that had existed in the garden previously; oak sleepers were used to create four triangular planting beds of differing dimensions which framed a square of now level lawn; and a small brick terrace was laid at the bottom of the garden to catch the afternoon sun.
The triangular beds now had horizontal depth allow for a range of planting and height to immediately create a sense of enclosure and privacy when large-leaved planting had grown up. The sleepers also function as places to sit, or perch at parties, and are much walked along by children as an extension of the raised deck at the bottom of the garden, the focus of their area for play.
Challenging in both its design and building, even in the poor summer of 2007, the garden has earned its keep and justified its owners inclination that they could do better with it.