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My garden


Ann Walker is one of Graduate Gardeners’ garden designers and project managers.

Ann’s own family garden has a contemporary feel. Sitting with Harris the dog, she explains how she achieved the look.

Every garden design starts with a brief, and my own plot was no exception.

Before setting a spade into the soil, I gave careful thought to all the things I wanted from the space behind my home.

It had to be a place in which I could relax, whether on my own or with friends, and where there would be enough room for my son to play.

We’re surrounded by other homes, so privacy was an important consideration, and I wanted the planting to look good all year round, especially during the winter months when I’m looking out of my kitchen window; but as a busy working mum it was essential that everything was low maintenance.

Yellow-stemmed bamboo is brilliant for creating a natural screen

To create a feeling of privacy, and to screen other properties surrounding my garden, I opted for a mixture of specimen trees and the yellow-stemmed bamboo Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis, which brings a lovely sense of movement and sound to the garden as well as looking attractive.

Bamboo has a bit of a reputation for being invasive, but an annual thinning and a hefty root barrier is a small price to pay for the benefits it brings.

Use good design to make the most of a small space without it feeling cluttered

My garden is around 10 metres by six metres, which is a reasonable size but not huge, so I set about making the space seem bigger with a design set on a 45° angle, which creates more of a feeling of depth.

My home was a new build when I moved in, which leant itself to a more contemporary approach, so I was able to create lots of straight lines using decking, clipped low box hedging and grass to lead the eye.  At work I’m renowned for including lots of curves in my designs, something over which my colleagues often pull my leg, but they rarely suit a space this small.

My garden is on a slight slope, which meant the best place for entertaining was the flat area immediately outside my patio doors. I chose decking for a practical surface that I could use all year round. Dan Lavis from Graduate Gardeners did a brilliant job in building it and eight years on, it’s still looking good.

Low box hedges draw the eye and look good all year round

Good design makes the most of a small space

Garden lighting

Orange is my hue of choice, whether it’s the contemporary egg chair, the wire candle holders on the table, the rug on the decking or the Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ in a pot.

This colour also chimes with the rusted metal obelisk and the corten steel fire pit elsewhere. I have occasional splashes of yellow too.

Other elements I was keen to incorporate in the garden included water, which I’ve achieved with a small, square water table, and lots of places in which to sit. I’ve even found the perfect feeding stand for birds.

During the evening, carefully-placed lights create a lovely atmosphere and show off attractive features, such as shrubs.

Water features add sound and movement to gardens but don’t have to be huge
Stick to a limited colour palette that is easy on the eye – Ann enjoys a splash of orange

I’ve always loved spending time in my garden, but during the Coronavirus pandemic I was especially grateful to have a relaxing outdoor space and many of the features I planned getting on for nine years ago are still in place and are easy to maintain.

A more recent addition is an artificial lawn, which is hardwearing, easy to keep clean and doesn’t need mowing every week.

Good design lies at the heart of an outside space that’s relaxing, performs a variety of roles and fits an individual’s lifestyle and I love working with customers to make their gardens work for them.

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Calfway Lane, Bisley,
Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7AT
Tel: 01452 770273
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© 2020 Graduate Gardeners Ltd

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Graduate Gardeners - Landscape gardeners Gloucestershire

Calfway Lane, Bisley,
Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7AT
Tel: 01452 770273
Email

© 2020 Graduate Gardeners Ltd

web site design, seo & hosting .: computancy