Steeply Sloping Garden In Stebbing

About This Project

We have been very impressed with Holland Landscapes and Katie of Tapestry Design Studios. They are knowledgeable professionals who are easy to work with and we would highly recommend them and use them again for any future garden work. Paul and Liz Hooper, Stebbing

Steep slopes should never stop anyone from having a beautiful and usable garden. This lovely property sits atop quite a big hill and has enviable views across the countryside around Stebbing in Essex. However, the homeowners were struggling to make full use of everything the space has to offer.

The small patio beside their back door behaved like a wind tunnel, exposing them to strong breezes and spoiling their enjoyment of the garden. Added to that, the existing steps leading to the bottom of the garden were crumbling and dangerous. Finally – mowing the lawn was a massive challenge with quite a strong element of danger involved in working with sharp blades on a slippery slope.


Katie visited the clients in their garden to discover how they would like to use their space. First on their wish list was a generously sized patio where they could comfortably fit 8-10 friends around a dining table. They needed something that would shelter them from the breeze without impacting on their view. And also needed a low maintenance but wildlife friendly way to make the most of that lovely slope.

The slope, although challenging at times, apparently is their grandchildren’s favourite feature. Because it’s ideal for sledging in winter and for making water slides in the summer. 

The state of the steps was a major concern for our clients. They needed a safe way to travel down the slope but really didn’t like the idea of utilitarian hand rails.

Finally, the styling. Our clients felt strongly that their garden and property should complement the surrounding countryside. They asked Katie to veer towards naturalistic styling with plenty of interest for wildlife.


Before any kind of design could be put onto paper, Katie needed a full topographical survey for this site. Having already agreed with the clients to keep the natural contours of the slope, Katie needed to know exactly what challenges might meet the landscapers. It was crucial that her design could be built to last and did not compromise soil stability.

As for finding ground cover for the slopes, the clients had already been inspired by a previous Tapestry Design Studios project and were keen to investigate the possibilities for installing Wildflower Matting in their garden in Stebbing.


Wow! Just look at this garden now. Gone are the crumbling steps. Instead we have a sturdy flight of black granite sets with nice wide treads and sensible height risers. These steps are super comfortable for sitting on too. And the lighting means that they are safe at any time of the day or night.

A pretty little greenhouse sits at the bottom of the slope where it will be sheltered from the wind but still catch enough sun to grow delicious fruit and veggies.

Beside the house is a generously sized patio in the same black granite pavers as the steps. This brings cohesion to the design and also looks fabulous against the house itself. To keep chilly breezes away from outdoor diners, a stylish clear glass balustrade has been installed. What a wonderful place to sit and watch the sun go down over the Stebbing countryside!

Tucked away at the side of the house is a handy utility space with a bin store and a neat tool shed.

The slope has been cloaked with MeadowMat for Birds and Bees. A wonderfully biodiverse turf which, once established, will flower almost continuously between April and October. MeadowMat only needs cutting once a year and won’t mind if it’s occasionally asked to host a water slide.

Tapestry Design Studios designed this garden in Stebbing and it was built by Holland Landscapes.

What our Clients Said:

We found Holland Landscapes when researching wildflower meadow-mat turf for our steeply sloping garden. We contacted them as we wanted a landscaper that had experience of working in a sloping garden and with meadow-mat turf. 

The project started with the design process, and we arranged a site visit with Katie of Tapestry Design Studios who works alongside Holland Landscapes. 

Katie visited us to see the garden and listened to our thoughts and ideas, taking lots of pictures.  We were impressed with her professionalism and personable nature and knew we could work with her. 

We liked Katie’s design and after a few minor revisions we engaged Holland Landscapes to carry out the work.

The project took a little over three months.  Our Holland Landscape team Ben and John, with assistance from boss Paul Baker were always courteous and friendly. We found them to be extremely hardworking producing meticulous and high-quality work. 

Now we have the garden we have wanted for many years. 

We have been very impressed with Holland Landscapes and Katie of Tapestry Design Studios. They are knowledgeable professionals who are easy to work with and we would highly recommend them and use them again for any future garden work.

 Paul and Liz Hooper, Stebbing

Do you have a sloping garden? Talk to Katie and the team at Tapestry Design Studios and discover how your space could become less of a challenge and more of a head turner.

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