Abergavenny Project

Abergavenny Back Garden. 2020

As soon as I saw this garden I could see the potential to do more. Despite being a large space with a mix of full sun and partial shade, the client told me that she rarely used it. Instead, the dogs were using it as a space to run around, making a mess of the lawn as they did so. We needed a way to stop the dogs having quite so much fun and start the owner having lots more.

A key point in the process was when the client realised she did not actually need all this lawn. This opened up a solution which used a combination of hard surfaces to distinguish areas with different uses, and open up new views of the garden from positions the owner had rarely even visited before. A bespoke wooden pergola, planted with climbers, provided privacy and shelter for a new seating area, while raised flowerbeds (constructed with wood, to avoid over-complicating the materials) made the garden easier for the owner to maintain while also serving as an obstacle to the ‘gardening skills’ of the dogs!

The two main beds posed an interesting challenge as, despite being close to each other, they received different amounts of sun. Erigerons and Bergenias provided a link between the beds, while Pennisetums and Gauras in the sunny areas brought movement in the breeze, complemented by Astelias in the shadier parts.

For me, a mark of a good design is that it inspires the client to continue developing their garden. For example, this client tells me she’s now adding bulbs to bring a little extra joy in the spring. I’m looking forward to visiting soon to see how everything has developed!




Communal Garden, High Street Kensington