A Courtyard Garden in Central Winchester

The Brief

My client wanted a low-maintenance garden to relax in and admire from within their conservatory. It needed to be easy to move around and the many trip hazards; small level changes, narrow uneven steps, raised edges and uneven surfaces, needed to be removed. The garden was originally two narrow Victorian terrace gardens and the boundaries were still marked by oversized hedging shrubs, making the space feel dark and cramped. My client wanted the garden to feel like a connected ‘whole’ space and to create privacy from a tall neighbouring commercial building.

My Design

I designed a courtyard garden set over three well-defined levels. The series of large circular stone terraces, set on a central axis, draw the eye into the centre of the garden to create an inward looking ‘formal courtyard’ feel.

The claustrophobic hedges have been replaced with attractive fences covered in scented, flowering climbers, which create seclusion while freeing up tremendous space. Broad, deep York Stone steps make an inviting and safe entrance to the garden. Small trees, their canopies illuminated at night, mark the journey up the garden and break up the view of neighbouring buildings. A timber pergola stretches across the width of the garden visually widening the space, adding height and interest and providing a foil to scented clematis, akebia and jasmine.

A semi-circular raised pond acts as a focal point at the rear of the garden where a yew hedge will in time hide the shed and utility area beyond. The planting throughout is designed to give a good show all year with a backbone of evergreen shrubs and seasonal interest from perennials, grasses, and bulbs. The garden has been beautifully and discretely lit to make it useable in the evenings while providing a wonderful view from inside as the light drops.

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