When I first saw this cottage garden in Sussex, it was divided into a few awkward areas with no real focus. There was very little space to park more than one small car, there was no hard standing for a table and chairs, and there were just a few tired flowerbeds, concrete paths and chain link fences in existence. My brief was to unify and simplify the layout, and create a usable garden with beds and borders to give year round interest, but which were also easy to maintain.
My clients were keen to have a good sized terrace for outside entertaining with a pergola overhead to give shade - this area now acts as the focal point for the garden. Clematis, climbing roses, a honeysuckle and vine were chosen to cover the pergola, giving shade, colour and scent throughout the summer.
A box parterre was designed for the front garden to give structural interest throughout the year. The different sections are planted with purple sage, lavender, golden marjoram and cotton lavender - beautiful to look at and aromatic.
A sun-drenched narrow section of the garden leading from the driveway became a Mediterranean style 'corridor'. A central brick-lined gravel path divides the borders and leads to a circular area with a large terracotta pot in the middle. This acts as a focal point to the scheme, but the trellis arch beyond encourages further exploring and leads you to the rest of the garden beyond. The planting is light and airy, incorporating transparent grasses, stately alliums, continuous flowering roses and hardy geraniums.