Large Terraced Back Garden Design

Colchester, Essex

About This Project

The Brief 

The clients required a large terraced garden design for a family garden with a large lawn, patio and driveway. They wanted to take advantage of the change in levels by creating large terraced lawns, and use the steps as an integral feature of the design. More privacy was to be introduced to the garden by screening the fence and neighbouring properties with hedges and specimen trees at strategic points. A patio was needed outside the kitchen and dining room. garden. The planting scheme was to reflect the historical period of the property. 

Type of property 

Large detached Edwardian house with a new extension to the rear and side. 


A generous corner plot, on the intersection of two busy residential roads. Only bare earth remained following recent building works to the house. The steep garden was partially retained by a wall but had no safe means of access. 

Problem areas 

The property was on a hill with the ground rising steeply behind the house, but no steps or paths to allow access. The neighbouring properties behind looked down into the site and the client lacked privacy. 


The original house has distinctive Edwardian features, therefore the garden lent itself to an arts and craft style and the opportunity to draw inspiration from the gardens of Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto. The glass doors of the kitchen led straight onto the garden giving a generous view of the landscape. 

Designed Layout 

The garden is layout is arranged around two large terraced lawns, which, as interlocking rectangles allow the maximum amount of lawn, as well as the opportunity to use steps as an interesting feature linking the different areas of the garden. The elegant bullnose steps lead up from the kitchen to a wide and generous path, planted abundantly either side with lavender and box. 

The gradient of the site meant it was necessary to consider access for lawn mower to the higher levels of the garden, with a sloped and winding path providing access from the garage, as well as adding a contrasting “secret” path to be discovered. 

The patio was separated from the drive by trellis to keep the client’s dogs in and to create a sense of privacy. 

To compliment the Edwardian theme a summerhouse has been constructed. Its strategic placement at the end of the path draws the eye and encourages exploration as well as providing a sheltered and private space to sit and enjoy the late afternoon sun. 

Favourite feature 

The long, wide grass path edged with borders of lavender, iris and repeated cubes of box, simple but stylish, echoes the style and proportions of the house. 


Drawing inspiration from the gardens at West Dean set out by Peto, and reflective of Gertrude Jekyll’s style, this garden has generously planted herbaceous borders, with evergreen structural plants forming its backbone and year-round interest. Repetition of box cubes and bay trees helps accentuate the outline of the design and emphasise its strong geometry. Their topiarised forms also strongly linked to the historical aspects of the house. 

The differing levels of the terraced garden provide a fantastic opportunity to show off plants in different ways. Low shrubs have instant impact when placed at eye level in the raised beds, whilst on the lower level, the shelter and backdrop of the wall allow foxgloves and iris to stand out against the red brick. 


The paving material was specified to matched the kitchen tiles creating is a sense of continuity between the inside and outside space. The selected material is Namera Limestone from Stonemarket, with matching bullnose steps adding an elegant design feature throughout the garden. The patio is enclosed by privacy trellis from the Garden Trellis Company.  

What our Client says 

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

Who built the garden 

This garden build was carried out by Holland Landscapes

Contact us to discuss your garden design requirements

Garden Design
Large Garden Design, Terraced Garden Design