Mr and Mrs B have a large rural garden that has gorgeous views over the surrounding countryside. However, the garden was not being used to its full potential, simply because it wasn’t wheelchair friendly. Therefore, Mrs B needed a wheelchair accessible garden design to maximise the family’s enjoyment of the plot.
I have to confess to struggling with “garden envy” with this project. The house itself is a detatched character house in a pretty Essex village. The garden is large, well-appointed and beautifully secluded. Cross over the ditch and you are in a wonderful orchard with an adjacent field.
Our brief was to create a wheelchair accessible garden design for the 30m x 26m plot closest to the house. A large pond dominated the centre of the garden but was badly in need of renovation.
With the clients build budget in mind, Kate designed a garden with wide paths linking a kitchen garden, a summerhouse with a pretty patio and the orchard. Kate’s planting plan involved cottage garden stye borders to unify the design and generate wildlife interest.
Kate has modified the kitchen garden so that, as well as being productive, it’s an attractive area for quiet reflection. In addition, four vegetable plots allow for crop rotation. A adjacent utility area has a greenhouse, cold frames and compost bays.
Paths and utility areas use a gravel stabilisation system to allow good drainage as well as wheelchair access.
Generously planted beds and borders are low maintenance yet stunningly beautiful. In addition, Kate selected plant species to provide Mrs B with a ready source of cut flowers for the house. For maximum impact she has used large swathes of herbaceous perennials and grasses alongside evergreen shrubs.
Landscapers Holland Landscapes have refurbished the pond and stocked it with the naturalistic plants that Kate suggested.
As well as wildlife-friendly planting, this accessible garden design re-used the existing paving. Unfortunately, not every garden lends itself to this approach, quite often the landscapers are unable to recycle materials. However, in this case the pavers were in good condition and easy for team to clean and move without damaging them.
We were very pleased with the design process. Kate took time to listen to what we wanted out of our garden, and how we imagined using it in the future. From the initial design stages to the construction and planting it has all been expertly handled. The final garden was better than we had initially envisaged, and it is certainly more than living up to our expectations”. Mrs JB
October 06, 2016