Small Town Garden

Colchester, Essex

About This Project

The Brief 

The client was looking for a garden where they could sit and feel calm and relaxed, while also enjoying the view from their upstairs windows. This small town garden design incorporated consideration for privacy and the choice of plants and materials had to complement the sense of calm as well as fulfilling a screening role. 

Type of property 

New, three storey town house in a residential road. 


5 x 7m, a small enclosed space with high walls and fences. Originally a flat area of bare earth and clay with a simple pathway. 

Problem areas 

The garden was very small, north-east facing and overlooked by neighbouring properties. 


The small size allowed it to be built within a budget and should be relatively easy to maintain. 

Designed layout 

The client had requested a low maintenance design without a lawn, so the basis of the layout became a planting scheme with space for paths and a small bench. A sense of ‘journey’ is created with the pathway. The concentric circles create a sense of calm and help maximise the space by giving depth to the corner borders. The repeated pattern is especially pleasing when looked down on from the windows upstairs. The seating area is positioned in the far corner of the garden where it receives most of the sun. Privacy was added with a tall Malus tree, which also acts as a focal point when looking out of the kitchen window. 

Favourite feature 

The modest scale of the garden allows the visitor to sit on the bench and appreciate all aspects of the garden in detail – the textures, shapes, flowers, colours and scent. It feels enclosed and tranquil. 


The planting is a mix of evergreens for all-year structure in the garden and flowering shrubs and climbers for their splash of excitement. Perennials soften and give an under layer to the planting, as well as being attractive to wildlife, which was important. Scent was also a required component of the planting scheme, so the bench was surrounded with lavender, rosemary, thyme and honeysuckle. 


Materials were chosen for their simplicity, in keeping with the design brief. Cobbled edges were selected for practical purposes, keeping the joints narrower than bricks and being more attractive than metal. The gravel allowed the curved paths to be constructed in a cost-effective way. 

What our Client says 

My small garden a year ago was a fenced-in brown muddy puddle on a new-build site, with a small bicycle shed erected to the side. I was referred to Kate as the first step in transforming this outdoor mess in to the garden of my dreams. A couple of weeks later I received a compact and harmonious garden design and planting plan which was duly executed in early spring I can only recommend the service I received from Tapestry. The garden and planting plans were of such high quality that they were framed and hung by the kitchen door leading to the garden. Mrs FB 

Who built the garden 

This garden build was carried out by Holland Landscapes

Contact us to discuss your garden design requirements


Garden Design
Small Garden Design, Town Garden Design