Small gardens are allways an exciting challenge for garden designers Exeter boasts many houses with small plots like this hidden behind them. It is south facing and is just about 24 square meters in area (our client calls it her "rolling centimetres").
It was paved in an uneven mixture of conctete and unsightly brickwork on three slightly different levels.
Our client, who is a keen plantswoman and works from home, wanted us to create a pleasant level space which would become the classic 'outside room' in the summer months, in which she could garden, work and entertain.
To maximise space for seating, we levelled the area and paved it with a combination of sandstone and decorative brickwork.
To maximise planting space, we designed and commissioned four 'Versailles' tubs for each corner of the sitting area, covered all the walls with scented climbers, and created as many new borders as possible.
To create the illusion of greater space, we mirrored the screens concealing the water-butt and storage area in the 'alley' to the side of the house.
As storage space is at a premium in such a small garden, we designed and commissioned two benches with storage built-in.
The planting plan was designed to provide interest throughout the year, while the Versailles planters allowed the client to easily ring the changes.
Finally, as the garden can be unbearably hot in summer, we covered the sitting area with a sun awning which could be retracted to allow the planting to flourish when it was not required.
Not surprisingly, our client did not want her daily visitor to be put off by the new garden design so she asked us to add a peacock perch to her new rose trellis.
BEFORE - ONE OF EXETER UNIVERSITY'S FINEST IS AT HOME IN THIS TINY GARDEN