Low-maintenance garden Carmarthenshire

Deck and gravel garden

Our clients wanted a low-maintenance garden with plenty of seating areas and steps up to the adjoining orchard and croquet lawn.

We designed a garden with a split-level oak deck leading to the lawn and orchard, and another curved deck for seating. Trellis provided shade and shelter from wind, and the sloping banks were straightened and edged to make raised beds.

Building a minimal maintenance garden 1

We planted annuals as soon as the first bed was completed to provide colour for the first summer.

Building a low maintenance garden 2

The oak steps up to the orchard were much appreciated by our clients’ chickens!

Building a low maintenance garden 4

Split level oak decking also provides access to the croquet lawn. The integral beds were planted with box, an evergreen which contrasts beautifully with the golden oak.

Building a low maintenance garden 3

Within a year the garden had matured sufficiently to attract insects and birds

Low-maintenance garden Carmarthenshire

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!

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