Terraced House in Wimbledon

Designing for a terraced house garden

This is a small garden of a terraced house in Wimbledon, south London. This Client found me when I did my first show garden at Hampton Court and following a chat at the show discovered I was both close to where she lived and affordable!

When I visited the first time she told me she and her next door neighbour had recently had a large tree each removed from their gardens, leaving the whole area with much more daylight and my Client with a view of a fence all along one side of her garden, along with a narrow flower bed with not much in it. The other side of the garden was marginally better with a couple of nice shrubs, but again crammed into a bed that was too narrow for them. In between the beds was a weed and moss filled lawn. My Client freely owned up to having very little knowledge of plants and what goes where so consequently anything she planted had a tendency to keel over and die.

It was great to meet Steve at Hampton Court Flower show in 2016 and I was delighted when he agreed to design my back garden. I am thrilled with the results and would thoroughly recommend him.

Meeting the client’s brief

The brief was very simple – ‘I’m fed up with looking at the mess my garden is – can you please do something?’ The patio near the house was to be retained as was the shed at the far end that had only recently been erected. The bit in the middle was my blank canvas.

I drew a number of concept designs to give her ideas about shapes and how the space could be used. Following this she decided she’d like a garden with curves and some lawn and this enabled me to come up with a couple more options with some more detail allowing her to make a final choice on what she wanted.

The resultant design was a winding lawn with borders either side, climbers along both fences and a small patio at the far end of the garden to make the most of the evening sun and where she could enjoy a G&T. Granite setts were used to provide an edging for the curved patio and between the lawn and borders to provide a theme throughout the length of the garden.

Before any work started on the garden, I asked my Client to kill off the existing weed and moss laden lawn with a glyphosate weed killer, which leaves no residual chemicals in the soil and allows planting again soon after.

Garden Construction and Design

With it being a terraced property and no rear access all the materials had to come through the house. This involved a number of strategically placed planks to get the wheelbarrow up and down the various steps from front to back and some nimble limbo work going down the stairs from lounge to kitchen to avoid bashing your head on the ceiling. Dust sheets and plastic were put down to protect the carpets and wooden floors along with bubblewrap attached to the lower walls to protect them from scuffing. We also had to contend with an overzealous parking warden who felt it entirely appropriate to put parking tickets on crates of slabs and bags of topsoil – so everything had to be shifted pretty quickly upon its arrival. Once we got into the swing of it, moving the material through the house and piling it up in the garden worked quite easily – we just had to make sure we didn’t order too much at once so we didn’t run out of space!

The build went really well and fairly soon the hard landscaping of paths and patios was completed and the first shoots of a garden were breaking out from the previous scrubby mess. Bags of topsoil and compost soon followed on the now familiar trip through hallway, lounge and kitchen, closely followed by a lorry load of small trees, large shrubs and a selection of perennials. The final element was a lovely green carpet of lawn to complete the job.

All the rubbish was removed from site, before taking up all the protective coverings and leaving the house as it was at the start of the work. I left behind a pair of very happy Clients looking forward to their Saturday morning coffee and croissants on the patio at the far end of the garden and an evening barbecue on the one adjacent to the house, whilst enjoying the last of the evening sunshine.

If you have a terraced house with no other access and are a bit concerned about whether you can have a lovely garden – the answer is yes you can! And you don’t have to help build it – we’ll do the design and build it all for you, so please get in touch.