Saturday, 14 February 2009

Designing a sloping garden

Many people arrive at my Web site after searching for how to design a sloping garden. I’ve designed many sloping gardens – I work mainly in Berkshire, Surrey, and Buckinghamshire and they’re all pretty hilly. I’m designing a particularly steep garden in Kenley, Surrey at the moment – have a look at the case study. It is challenging, and if you don’t know where to start here are a few pointers.

 Sloping garden design Kenley, Surrey

 If you’re looking to create some flat space/spaces then the only way to do this is to terrace the garden. The bad news is that you’ll need to build some retaining walls to support the terraces and this is not cheap.
Sloping garden design Reading, Berkshire
The first step is to measure the space and then survey the levels. You need to find out the height differences between various parts of the garden. You can hire surveying equipment and your local library will have books on how to use it. If you have complex level changes and are considering doing your own garden its well worth paying a garden designer to come round and do the level survey for you. Your local horticultural college may also run a one-day course.

Sloping garden design Guildford, Surrey

It’s very important to get the levels correct. This will tell you how high any retaining walls need to be for any given distance away from the house. For example, with a garden that slopes away from the house, if you are trying to create a patio area directly outside the house the further away from the house you wish the patio to extend, the higher the retaining wall you will need. A higher retaining wall needs more steps to access the lower/higher level. If possible, avoid very high retaining walls, and split the garden into fewer, shallower levels.

Sloping garden design Ascot, Bershire

You will need to decide what material you want to use to build the walls. There are many different options – rendered blockwork, brick, stone, gabion cages, railway sleepers, timber and even compacted earth. Your choice of building materials will depend on your budget, the look you’re going for, and what the wall is to support.

 Sloping garden design Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

Getting rid of any earth excavated is another consideration. You will need to dig footings for the walls and excavate the levels and this will create a pile of excess soil. So, don’t forget to factor into your costs the price of skip hire or a grab loader to dispose of the soil.


Sloping garden design Basingstoke, Hampshire

In my opinion, gardens with different levels are the most interesting. The level changes dictate that the garden is split into different areas each with its own distinct character. You can use the level changes to create gorgeous water features. Paths can weave gently down through the levels. You have many design options. My garden in Berkshire is very steeply sloped, and although it’s not huge, I’ve managed to create several different areas and a lovely journey around it.

If you would like help designing your garden, or if you simply want a new planting scheme please drop me an email, or visit my Web site for telephone contact details.  You can also see examples of my work on my Facebook page and Houzz profile.

1 comment:

Janak India - Surveying Instrument said...
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