Large Terraced Back Garden Design

Colchester, Essex

About This Project

About this large terraced garden – some background information

A beautiful detached Edwardian property in a generous corner plot needed help with the garden design following building works to the house. The garden slopes quite steeply and was difficult to access and to manage. It didn’t help that neighbouring properties sit higher on the hill and of course, look down into the garden. The lack of privacy was a real concern for the homeowners. The Tapestry team we asked to come up with a terraced garden design to solve all of the problems and create a beautiful space for our clients.

What the client wanted help with

Our client wanted to be able to enjoy the garden all year round whilst not being overwhelmed by its maintenance. She especially requested a patio and a safe place so that her dogs cannot escape onto the drive.

The design needed to complement this classically styled Edwardian home and also offer an indoor-outdoor experience. Privacy and easier access were understandably high on the wish list.

Challenges for this large terraced garden design

The biggest challenge for this design was creating a private space in a garden where the neighbours’ windows looked directly into the plot. Then there was the question of what to do with that magnificent slope. The garden was little more than a heap of bare soil with a crumbling retaining wall. In other words – a blank canvas.

The joy of designing period gardens

Working with a blank canvas is great, particularly when the property is so distinctive. At Tapestry Design Studios we have a soft spot for the gardens of Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto.  Lead designer Katie was able to draw upon their influence whilst adding some contemporary touches to bring the garden into the 21st Century.

Double doors lead from the kitchen directly into the garden and offer fantastic views of the space that we could really utilise.

About the terraced garden design

Recontouring the garden has created a series of terraces interlinked by impressive bull-nosed steps.

Close to the house is a large patio with easy access from the kitchen. Katie specified pavers which exactly match the kitchen flooring creating a sense of continuity between the inside and outside space. Namera Limestone was supplied by Stonemarket along with elegant matching bullnose steps.  A privacy trellis from the Garden Trellis Company separates the garden from the driveway and keeps the dogs nice and safe.

To overcome the slope and improve access, Katie designed two, classical lawned terraces. For practicality, there is a “secret” winding path from the garage to the top of the garden so that our client needn’t struggle to negotiate the steps with her lawnmower. This also offers an alternative journey around the garden along with an element of discovery. We do love to include a hint of hide and reveal in a garden if at all possible.

Bricks for the retaining walls match the property itself to give the impression that the garden has always looked that way.

Edwardian summerhouses are gorgeous and we simply had to include one in this design. The summerhouse is strategically placed at the end of the winding path and offers a very private place to sit and enjoy the afternoon sun.


Katie thoroughly enjoyed creating the planting plan for this garden.

A terraced garden offers wonderful opportunities to see plants from a whole new perspective. When plants are closer to eye level, you can really see their true beauty.

Hedges and specimen trees screen the neighbouring properties. We filled the generous planting beds with aromatic lavenders, low shrubs, iris and foxgloves – the colours stand out beautifully against the red brick walls. Repetition of box cubes and bay trees accentuates the geometry of the design and of course link very closely to the historical aspects of the house.

Bringing the design to life

This garden was built by Holland Landscapes of Colchester who have a strong reputation for high standards of workmanship.  Retaining walls need careful engineering if they are to have a long (and safe) lifespan.

Our Client’s reaction

“Our garden is perfect for our house. It looks beautiful and really stands out” Miss VH

Do you have a sloping garden?

You might enjoy this article on our website  – “Learn to love your sloping garden”

Contact Tapestry Design Studios for a garden design quotation





Garden Design
Large Garden Design, Terraced Garden Design