Curvaceous Contemporary Wall & Steps

(phase1. 2013 heavy landscaping, phase2. planting, to follow in 2015)

Except from John Clutton and Sarah Montagu’s testimonial.

‘RGC listened, supported us to focus on what we liked and wanted and importantly what we didn’t. They talked us through some options and we really felt like they understood what we wanted whilst making helpful suggestions, without trying to impose their own ideas….When the designer came back with the plans we were blown away…. It was beautifully clear and it was really easy to picture how it would look….we were stunned to have the work completed in less than 4 weeks and completely on budget! Now we have the garden that we dreamed of, we gaze out of the window grinning rather than wincing. Thank you RGC you were fantastic and brilliant beyond our expectations!’

Rendered walls allowed us to create smooth curves whilst retaining tonnes of soil securely. Mediterranean style hot colour was applied to the render and will be softened with further sponged coats of darker red, giving a softer, aged appearance.

When we first saw Sarah and John’s garden it was an impenetrable jungle which they had struggled to keep under control for many years. It was on a slope so there was no way to lay a membrane and gravel mulch over the soil without it gradually ‘running down the hill’, and this meant that they were having to weed the whole 100′ (33m) long garden before we met them and found the solution you can see above.

Retaining walls were our first priority to reduce the gradient in the garden so that we could lay weed suppressant membrane and a deep gravel mulch to free our clients from the weeding burden. We were determined to make an ornamental feature out of the walls, so we chose to use rendered block work because of the fluid shapes we could achieve with the smooth finish of a rendered surface. This allowed us to dramatise the flight of steps and set the shape of the curving stepping stone path on the upper level off against them. The path forms the backbone of the garden and leads through what will become a lush mostly evergreen woodland planting. In these photos the plants have only just been planted and look very sparse but as they mature they will fill out the space along with more species to be added in 2015. Watch this space for updates.

We designed the lower slate patio to be as curvaceous as possible too, so that the garden was full of dynamic flowing shapes. This patio formed a kind of hub between 3 different routes; from the patio doors, the side entrance to the garden, and the steps to the upper level, so we laid the paths leading to the various destinations in the same slate slabs and ran the same pattern right through them and the 8 seater patio.

Sleeper retaining walls were considered as you can see below in our colour 3d sketch. This type of drawing helps our clients to visualise the different ideas that we present, as the finished garden garden could look.