A Design for a Steep Bank, Kingsworthy, Hampshire

The Brief

The owner of this modern garden wanted to redesign the raised sloping bank to the side of her property. The garden had been landscaped three years earlier but the prominent bank had never thrived and its unattractiveness was affecting her enjoyment of the garden. Rain resulted in soil and muddy water running onto the terrace below and she found access for maintenance extremely difficult. She wanted the sloping bank to tie in with the existing garden and to incorporate traditional cottage-style planting. She was keen to keep costs to a minimum as the previous work had cost more than planned.

My Design

Two long raised beds made from hardwood sleepers split the ‘problem bank’ and create a series of manageable terraces. The beds are finished with vertical sleepers of various heights to create a groyne-like effect and each is inclined up slightly so that the planting looks attractive when viewed from above or below. The plants within are chosen for leaf shape, seasonal interest and colour; flowers of purple, pink and white, with soft touches from grasses and finer perennials, spill over and rise above the sleepers, softening the hard landscaping and knitting together the soil.

Gravel paths edged with low formal box hedges run between the raised beds allowing access and reconnecting the space to the garden. Climbers give interest, height and scent to the trellis screen behind the seating area at the back of the garden and the bed in front is planted with tall and scented plants to give seclusion. A Herb Parterre planted with culinary, medicinal and ornamental herbs in a formal symmetrical design defines the bed next to the lawn and brings year round interest.

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