Wildlife garden, Cheltenham

The Brief

The clients had previously made an effort to clear their garden of overgrown vegetation and a row of conifers along the boundary of the garden. This left them with a blank canvas that they didn’t really know what to do with. What they did know is that they wanted separate areas throughout the garden offering different opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. They wanted something a bit different that could provide that sense of escape. Tied into this was a desire to encourage wildlife into the garden.

Design Solution

Being a typical town garden it was long and thin. Because of this it made sense to create a journey down the garden ending in some kind of a feature at the end. As they wanted that sense of escape coupled with encouraging wildlife it made a lot of sense to have a very naturalistic area further down the garden. This developed to create a transition from fairly urban design styles near the house, with raised beds and more architectural planting, to a more organic feel further down the garden with natural stone, gravel and flowing planting in the form of grasses.

A dry stone wall fire pit and curved seating area created the focal point that was needed to pull the garden together and create that destination at the end of the garden. Providing excellent opportunities for some peace and quite after work or a place to entertain with a group of friends around a fire, toasting marsh mallows. The area next to the house is intended as an area for more formal entertaining, sitting around a table enjoying a meal, before retreating down the garden. This area uses gravel to provide a connection throughout the space, though stabiliser is used to provide a firm surface suitable for tables and chairs.

Planting, as well as materials, is used to alter the viewers mood as they journey down the garden. Next to the house more exotic and structured planting is used such as Knifophia, Euphorbia and Ferns. These give way to more naturalistic planting as you move through the garden, including five different species of grasses. Wild flower seed will be sown for next spring injecting a splattering of colour in amongst the grasses. Shrubs and Perennials have been used that attract bees and butterflies. Bug hotels and bat boxes will also be put up to help create a wildlife haven in the heart of Cheltenham.