Portfolio

Replanting an established garden in Wanstead

The clients had bought and planted lots of different plants but didn't find it pleasing to the eye. They asked me to replant it, editing existing plants, moving some, removing others, adding new planting suited to the to soil properties, orientation to the sun and amount of shade. The aim was to create a more harmonious planting scheme. 

Sun-loving herbaceous plants added to a bed of acid-loving shrubs in full sun

New shade tolerant planting including a new small Acer around existing water feature in partial shade

Ferns, grasses, Brunnera macrophylla contrast with tall Verbena

Emphasis on contrasting foliage in this shady bed

Planting design for a north facing front garden

This client had recently had her front garden landscaped with weed-suppressing membrane and pebbles. A diagonal path leading to bins dissected the garden creating two distinct areas. The client lived in the first floor flat so the view from above became an important element of the brief. The area nearest the house is in almost permanent shade while the area nearest the street is in partial shade with additional shade from a deciduous tree in a neighbouring garden.
 
The planting plan makes the most of the light coloured pebbles to contrast the form and texture of the selected plants. New plants were placed to suggest two informal footpath routes from front door to side gate and bin area. Retained existing plants included a Hydrangea, Fuchsia, Sage and Rhododendron. New plants were selected for their suitability for moisture retentive soil in shade. These included a compact form of winter flowering Sarcococca to line the paved path to the front door, a flowering and fragrant evergreen Osmanthus hedge at the front boundary, ferns, Actaea, Tiarella, Carex and Japanese anemones. Structure and height were provided by three new narrow Silver Birch cultivars.
Front gardens have to work year round so the planting plan aims to provide structure and changing interest every month of the year. 

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A new back garden in Walthamstow

In this garden, the clients had just completed a modern rear house extension with large glass windows and wanted to transform their small garden. The existing garden contained a shed in poor condition and very overgrown shrubs and climbers. The brief included a seating area to capture the evening sun and a space to grow some fruit, vegetables and herbs. An existing mature Olive tree and Camellia  were retained. 

To make the most of the space and maximise planting, the design avoids defined beds on each side with a lawn and places plants across the garden planted through a weed-suppressing membrane and light-coloured stone chippings to reflect light. A small pergola was included and new fencing specified to provide further vertical planting opportunities. A compact new shed was added along with two larch raised beds on the sunnier side for the clients to grow some tomatoes.

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A new back garden in Leyton

This garden was dominated by a large unattractive blockwork garden building and a large amount of paving. The clients brief required a child-friendly space with an imaginative design to disguise the long narrow shape. 

The new design included a smaller natural stone patio, lawn with stepping stones for year round access, a new stone paved area at the rear with a new garden summerhouse, a pergola with raised deck and stepped borders. 

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Replanting an east-facing garden in Crystal Palace

The clients had a small back garden which got morning sun only due to overgrown climbers and tall shrubs on the south side. Two areas of paving were divided by a mall irregular area of chipped bark over a weed-supressing membrane. They asked for the climbers and shrubs to be reduced in size,  a more interesting planting scheme created with a long season of interest and a small lawn to replace the area covered in bark.

I built raised border edges from sleepers to retain the soil and provide better definition, laid turf, pruned the shrubs and climbers, replanted the sunny border with a mix of herbaceous perennials and evergreen shrubs, added two Arbutus unido trees in containers, planted alpines and succulents between paving slabs and jet washed existing paving.

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Customer testimonial

Just wanted to say a huge thanks for the work you did on our garden for us.  It turned it from a

dull outside space into a proper garden.  Before it was just something you went to when you

opened the back door and there were a few sad flower beds and some tired old plants.

The plants selected will give ground cover and colour for months and are low maintenance.  

 

Good value for money throughout the process with a flexible approach to what we needed.

We felt included in the process from start to finish.  It wasn't like a business transaction it was

collaborative and fun with you bringing an amazing knowledge of horticulture to our door.

Friends have seen the garden and have all said it was an amazing transformation to a little

space of tranquility from a back yard. Thanks so much we love the end result 

 

Simon and Fiona 

A completed design for a set of larch planters for a paved front garden in Wanstead

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Customer testimonial

We have been very pleased to work with Clive on a double project, to design, source and plant up larch planters for our front garden, and to design and plant up several areas within our back garden. We found that Clive listened carefully to our requirements, and developed designs which took full account of our views but added ideas and expertise of his own, providing much more interesting schemes than we had considered on our own. He then managed the sourcing and delivery of planters, soil and plants, matched to his timing to do the work, so that the schemes were completed with minimum inconvenience to us and our neighbours, and within budget, but also with great care to a high standard.

Pen and John, Wanstead

A completed redesign of a Walthamstow back garden
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Replanting a courtyard garden shaded by tall trees in south London

Although south-facing, this long and narrow garden was heavily shaded by tall, mature sycamore and oak trees. With a large amount of paving and very few plants thriving, the aim was to add more suitable planting able to cope with dry shade in the existing beds and also add planting in containers to soften the mood and increase visual interest in the foreground and middle distance. 

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The Steampunk garden

The brief was to transform a south facing concrete backyard into an welcoming, characterful and quirky garden using imagination to incorporate lots of planting into vertical surfaces and found objects collected by the clients

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Customer testimonial

I had the pleasure of working with Clive last autumn when he took on the task of bringing some warmth and life to my rather inhospitable east London backyard. From our initial meeting it felt like a collaboration with Clive sharing his knowledge and expertise, but also incorporating my ideas and (possibly exasperating) attachments to certain plants and objects. He encouraged me to take some bold steps (bye bye ailing pear tree) and the end result has just the quirky charm I was after - achieved exactly on budget. Clive is a calm, patient individual with a quiet passion for his craft and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the fruit of his labours in the spring and to working with him again to bring the garden to its next steps. 

Michele, Leyton

A raised bed on the corner of a busy street in Walthamstow

I adopted this unloved brick raised bed from the Council and planted it with tough drought tolerant plants that can absorb toxic particulates in the air and support pollinators. A high proportion of plants are evergreen and the aim is to provide seasonal interest throughout the year. There is no source of water other than rain so these are tough conditions. There is regular littering and occasional theft or vandalism of plants. The planting continues to evolve as some plants thrive and others struggle. With support from Bee17 and Walthamstow Village in Bloom. Take a look at the bottom of Maynard Road / junction with Shernhall St.

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newly created borders planted up