Terraced seaside garden Aberaeron

Terraced seaside garden

Our clients wanted a striking, modern garden to match their new extension. The garden needed to be low maintenance with year-round interest and plenty of informal seating areas. The clients also wanted the garden to feature the sound of running water.

Building a difficult garden 1The first step was building the basic shape. Three terraces made the steep top section of the garden attractive and useable. The basic structure was made of sturdy sleepers and posts, reinforced with steel rods, as the weight of the earth behind the terrace wall was immense.

Building a difficult garden 2

Inspired by the coastal sea defences in Aberarth, we used oak planks to clad the sleeper terraces. These were treated with oil to protect the freshly sawn timber before allowing it to weather naturally to a silver-grey colour.


Building a difficult garden 3

The design features two waterfalls and a curving rill across the three levels, ending in a wildlife pond. The feature required sand, underlay and then pond liner for the rill and wildlife pond. The liner was concealed with rounded river cobbles and pebbles, then finished with rounded shingle.

Building a difficult garden 4

The pond needed a deep sump as the water level drops significantly when the pump is operating. Shelves allow spaces for planting.

Building a difficult garden 4b


Stormy autumnal weather doesn’t stop the team working on the garden

Building a difficult garden 5

The heavy clay soil was compacted and poor-draining. We rotavated in organic matter and topsoil to remedy this, and laying the turf was the last job in the garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe finished garden, first summer.

Building a difficult garden 7

The mature garden, year 2 onwards.


Courtyard garden Pembrokeshire

A courtyard garden

The owners of these grade 2 listed buildings wanted a garden that showed off the buildings but added colour and light, particularly in the winter. They requested a low-maintenance, wildlife-friendly garden suitable for children and dogs.


The courtyard had a bold symmetry which we incorporated into the design with simple, regular features. We used reclaimed slate and timber to give the garden a mellow, aged appearance. Modern materials would have looked garish and raw against the old, weathered buildings.

Historic garden Pembrokeshire

We opted for relaxed cottage garden planting within a framework of more formal box plants. Lavender, knautia and creeping thyme were magnets for bees and butterflies, with viburnum and euonymus providing additional winter interest. We allowed ivy to grow on one of the trellises to provide nesting shelter for wagtails in the spring, and cotoneaster for flowers, berries and autumn colour.

Historic garden Pembrokeshire process 2

By the first summer, the plants had established well and through the year the courtyard was heady with the scent of jasmine, honeysuckle and wisteria.

Historic garden process 3

After 5 years the plants are fully mature, maintenance is minimal and the courtyard hums with bees and butterflies basking in the heat reflected from the old stone walls. The rowan tree in the centre is laden with berries in the autumn and the beds turn purple every August as the lavender fills the air with scent.

Grade 2 listed stables

The garden is beautiful throughout the year, whatever the weather!

New build garden Cenarth patio

New-build house

A site comprising compacted clay soil, builders’ rubble and shallow pipes – this garden was easy to design but rather more difficult to build….

New Build garden Cenarth 1

The house was in a lovely setting which we focussed on by creating a straight path through the garden from the patio doors. Initially, the eye is drawn to the circular feature, but then the direct path lifts the eye to the view at the end of the garden.

New build Cenarth 2

We used local natural stone to create low-maintenance planting opportunities. Edging rather than fencing at the end of the path provides a boundary for the garden and gives an ‘infinity’ effect – the garden seems much larger than it is as it merges with the view of woods and fields.

New build garden Cenarth 3

The planting wass chosen to provide colour and structure without detracting from the lovely view.

New build garden Cenarth 4

The finished garden featured a home office, bubble fountain, grass-and-gravel garden, salad beds, fern bed and even grapes growing up the wall!

Old farmhouse garden Ceredigion

Country garden with a view

Our clients wanted a natural stone patio here to take advantage of the glorious view. When landscaping a rural setting like this it is best is to choose natural, weathered materials and to retain any original features rather than try to rebuild. Reclaimed slate slabs were the obvious choice, and we decided to clear and repair the existing old stone wall.

Building country patio 1

Heavy slate slabs need solid foundations, particularly when the ground is wet, as it is here. We dug down to the shale and used a thick layer of compacted sub-base.

Building country patio 2

It takes patience and a good eye to lay slabs of random size and thickness. Strong muscles help, too!

Building country patio 3

The beauty of the natural slate is complemented by cottage-garden planting in Welsh larch beds. The restored hedgebank is planted with a mix of native wildflowers and plants to attract wildlife such as verbena, dianthus and lavender. The new patio looks as if it has always been here.Country farmhouse patio in Ceredigion

Access from the house is across the new lawn and wildflower meadow.  The patio provides the perfect place for the family to relax and enjoy the warmth of the old slate slabs on their skin.

Old farmhouse garden Ceredigion