The clients wanted a mix of areas for growing edibles whilst including some ornamental planting. This area was to be used for family dining and relaxing in the evenings.
This Courtyard garden in Great Missenden, Bedforshire, is attached to the kitchen side of the house. The soil, typical for this area, was clay chalk with flint and alkaline. The garden itself was a rectangle of mostly bricks, no planting and a grubby fence, although it was sound. The end of the garden had an unattractive oil storage tank that cannot be moved.
I designed the garden with a central circular seating area, to feel enclosed by the surrounding planting which was in rectilinear beds. I gave the fence a coat of black paint to link in with the black wood cladding on the house and grew a happy green Griselinia hedge in front of it. The oil tank was hidden by some trellis work which supports a fan trained apple tree. I used the same wood to make some bench seats over the top of gabions filled with local flint, again to link in with the house.
A mix of ornamental plants and edibles included Lavender, Pittosporum, Actaea, Verbena, varieties of Salvia, Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Wisteria, fan trained Cherry, Perovskia and Erigeron. Spring interest from Narcissus, Tulips and Alliums helps to bridge the seasons too.