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A shady front garden

The client was looking for a south east London garden designer who could improve their neglected front garden. The small north-facing garden in Lewisham was paved with setts and contained surrounding borders which were void of planting. The client had a tight budget and was keen to keep some of the setts but wanted to increase the amount of planting.

The design solution was to create 3 curved beds leaving narrow pathways so the client could walk around and view the garden from different angles. Some of the removed setts were used to create a path along the boundary wall to allow access for the bins. The planting scheme was shade tolerant perennials in white, green and purple that would thrive in moist soil.

The team began by marking out the position of the beds in chalk then the setts were removed and the hard graft began.

As the site was on heavy compacted clay, the landscaping team dug 2ft deep then added a layer of gravel to aid drainage. The setts were all 'haunched' with concrete to keep them in place and stop any movement when walking on them.

The lorry arrives with the topsoil - 4 tonne bags!

A large oak stepping stone laid on edge and half sunken into the soil was added to each bed, adding visual interest and a vertical element to the scheme.

Finally the plants are set out in the correct position before being planted up.

The final garden showing the main path lined with Lonicera nitida balls and Luzula nivea grass with it's snowy pom-pom flower heads. The three curved beds contained shade-loving perennials including hostas, heucheras, tiarellas and ferns.

White foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea 'Alba') added some height to the scheme, as did the 3 oak sleepers stones laid on edge.

Heuchera 'Plum pudding' with white foxgloves and the wonderful evergreen fern Polystichum setiferum.

Heuchera 'Paris' with it's veined green leaves and bright magenta flowers. In the background are the evergreen ferns Asplenium scolopendrium and Asplenium trichomanes with their acid-green leaves.

Small planting boxes made from timber palettes and planted up with Ivy and Semperviums were placed between the crenelations of the brick wall


If you're looking for a garden designer in South London to help you get the most out of your garden we'd love to hear from you.

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