As my regular readers will know I have decided to change the design of the area in front of the terrace. The loss of the box at the corners of the beds means that, for me, the integrity of the design has been lost. This is the first of what I’m sure will be numerous posts discussing my idea, wishes and what the possibilities are for this area.
Here is the way this part of the garden has looked since 2008
Above in 2013, looking out from the terrace. Middle left of centre.
Even before the loss of the box I had decided that I would remove half the planting of Perovskia and replace them with something that would give more structure in winter, probably this would have been spheres of Teucrium.
I have decided to remove all the lavender and all the Perovskia although I will be taking cuttings so I can use more of these on the slope and possibly in other areas of the garden so that the entire garden can become drought tolerant.
How big is the space?
The width of the terrace is 17.5 metres divided into 5 sections by pillars.
The depth of the area is 18.5 metres to the edge of the path that separates the formal beds from the Back border. The path is 1 metre wide and the back border is 3 metres deep.
To the left the bay hedge is 5 metres from the edge of the terrace. The left hand border is separated from the formal lavender hedge by a gravel path, the border is approximately 5 metres deep and I intend lining the border with the edge of the terrace to create a long view.
A priority is to create some void space. The formal beds were planted before the design of the terrace had been completed so the lavender hedges are in the middle of the spaces between the two outer pillars meaning that there is not a long view from either. The only long view is from the middle, and the main door from the house into the garden.
As you can see in the view looking out from the terrace there is a feeling of enclosure that I want to change.
Here are some of the ideas I have been thinking about;
- Making a void semi circle that begins and ends 3 metres from the terrace, from the 2nd to the 4th pillar, thereby creating the possibility of long views from the ends, where we have tables and a restful space in the middle where we have loungers and often sit under the shade of the wisteria to read and relax. The semi-circle forms the basis of all of the designs so far.
While I was away I used the iPad to make some very,very rough sketches of my ideas.
The left side is the terrace with the pillars marked. Then a 3 metre path of gravel (this is what exists now and gives access around the garden with a wheel barrow). Around the semi-circle is planting with a central path, possibly with arches dividing the space from a second area. The semi-circle itself could be just gravel or include very low growing plants such as sempervirens, thyme etc.
The area beyond the arches could be a new cuttings garden; you all know how much I have been enjoying the beds I have in the vegetable areas, leaving the back border as it is. There could be various layouts for the beds and even a paved area for a table.
The negative aspect of this idea is that it would be very high maintenance and would require irrigation.
- The area behind the semi-circle could have more trees added to create much-needed shade in the garden
- The area beyond the semi-circle could be divided in two, with pergola running across the garden giving different views of the garden and look back to the house. The woodland path effect could be created beyond that with deciduous and evergreen tree in conjunction with the existing mulberry and two walnuts. The existing path would be incorporated into this and would most likely change from the existing straight path to something more meandering.
I will explore each idea in more detail in future posts, but do please let me know your impressions and thoughts about these ideas.