Welcome to another project article in our Garden Design Portfolio Series. This garden has been designed by Nicky Patterson and will be built by the team of garden designers and landscapers at GardenImprovements.com.

The design was commissioned by Liz C from a new-build townhouse property Jordanhill in the west end of Glasgow, Scotland.

Her brief required:

Terracing to the slope to create functional garden space
Some privacy from the university campus and car park at the rear of the garden
A low maintenance garden which entailed a little work but which would not enslave Liz’s weekends
Planting to be fairly bright and plenty of green
An overall modern and contemporary garden design

The garden, as many new builds do, consisted of only a few slabs and some lawn – the slope is considerable and to enable Liz access to the top of it, a degree of terracing is indeed required.

The garden is completely rectangular and since the slope is at a constant parallel with the house it’d be very difficult to instate a geometric plan without making the garden seem like an over-sized stairway. To combat this and reduce the effect of the terracing I have decided to create some movement in the basic lines that will form the structural elements within the space.

The gentle serpentine waves create motion and reduce the blatant imposition if the forced terracing in this design. Utilising the existing rectangular patio at ground level I have cut some shape into this and embedded a green slate shale gravel garden before we are faced with the first of two retaining walls. The stairs will be cantilevered into these walls giving the appearance of floating steps which will further reduce the emphasis of structure within what is a confined space.

The view from the top down obviously foreshortens the depth of field but allows Liz to look down toward the house through layers of planting which creates a much softer aspect for what is a dominating building in height and width (being a terrace).

The patio is designed to allow for a table and four chairs and is set amongst some of the taller shrubs and trees within the garden, allowing some privacy form the wandering eyes of the public in the area behind the back fence. It will be constructed from a modern concrete textured slab which offers a perfectly flat surface and some contrast to the ragged textures given by the slate shale.

The stairs have been positioned to allow Liz a journey through the garden rather than simply having a steep climb from A to B. The shapes offered by the walls and other hard-standing structures allow us to plant in balancing weights creating an overall sense of serenity and achievemnet in what is ultimately a garden designed for relaxation and reflection from hard work!!

We are looking forward to starting this project in the near future!!