Front Garden, Sherfield Park

This is a small south-facing front garden to a traditional double-fronted new build property in Hampshire. 

The main problem was dealing with very compacted clay soil, builder’s rubble and poor drainage.   It had been laid to lawn and planted with some tough but uninspiring shrubs.   Very little of what the clients had subsequently planted had survived growing in such conditions and trying to keep the lawn looking good and the weeds at bay was proving a thankless task.

The key garden design requirements were for the garden to look appealing and pretty throughout the year without demanding maintenance - the clients are a professional couple with young children and do have not a lot of spare time to garden.

My solution was to create a gravel garden, requiring minimal hard landscaping and using plants that would happily look after themselves for most of the year.  The original path was lifted and replaced in a more logical direction for approaching pedestrians and a parking strip was laid along the front of the borders for visitor parking.

All of the existing soil had to be removed – three tons in total - and replaced with decent topsoil and plenty of grit for good drainage.  Topiary box balls were planted along the path and Hebe rakiensis along the front, to give evergreen structure and definition, complemented by ornamental grasses and sun-loving perennials. 

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