This was a difficult site with the garden sloping steeply in two directions. In particular, the slope across the relatively narrow garden was very steep, falling 2 meters within the width of the house. The clients wanted a flat eating area near the house and also somewhere further down the garden to admire the amazing views. There were only two things worth saving in the garden, a beautifully sculptural Prunus serrula and an old gnarled apple tree quite close to the house.
My solution was a sinuous brick retaining wall, creating a raised planting bed along one side of the garden and an elegant circular bed around the old apple tree. Wide, planted steps lead down from the patio to a gravel path, winding around the Prunus, to a lawn and finally, a gravel garden, with a bench sited for admiring the views.
A terracotta urn water feature is visible from everywhere within the garden. Planting is in shades of purple, pink and white including Thalictrum, Echinacea, Heucheras, Dryopteris erythrosora ferns, Hydrangea limelight, Physocarpus and a range of Salvias including Caradonna, Mainacht and Purple Rain. The gravel garden includes Trachycarpus, Yucca, Cirsium Atropurpureum, Verbena bonariensis and Stipa tenuissima.