Modern Garden

This garden was a collaboration with another designer at Roger Gladwell Landscapes, Hannah Sheffield. The client’s brief was for a modern aesthetic to match their house interior and would be viewed from large glass panelled sliding doors from the kitchen so it needed to give as much interest from that aspect as possible. The main seating area is Millboard decking which is an excellent durable product and some of the styles are perfect for a modern look; for this site we chose one of the lighter grey colours to use as a base colour which transitioned into the grey granite steps and then built up darker greys around the seating area with the use of slate walling and a dark grey watertable feature which was the focal point of the seating area.

The clients wanted strong structural planting at mature sizes to give the garden instant impact which included pleached Liquidambar trees, topiary, box hedging and Miscanthus grasses to give some height and texture. Soft up- lighting finished the look and complements the strong lines of the design.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Perennial Planting in a Classic Garden

This garden had been constructed by Roger Gladwell landscapes when I undertook the planting. The existing planting and trees were already a wonderful feature of the site but the clients wanted to add more colour to soften the new hard landscaping and enhance the look of the amazing pergola. The brief required as much interest as possible in relatively small beds and lots of colour in place for the first summer so we agreed on filling the beds to the brim and thinning out the beds as the plants mature if necessary. The planting then spills out onto the sandstone paving creating a wonderful soft effect.

The pergola was such a classic beauty that we had to go for the classic lavender and box pairing at the bottom with wisteria trained over the top to allow the flowering racemes to hang down once mature to create a stunning walkway in summer.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Walled Courtyard

This courtyard garden is a section of a larger garden of a country house. The courtyard wall was newly built when I was asked to design the courtyard’s interior. The clients wanted a classic and intimate space to sit and get away from it all but the garden would also be a secret garden to experience and walk through. The challenges were that a formal courtyard normally needs a certain amount of symmetry with paths leading to focal points to draw the eye, but the area and its entrances were far from square. I compromised with a symmetrical rill water feature running through the centre line of the area and allowed the rest to run off from this central line to connect with the gateways. The rill is the main feature with stepping stones to cross it and encourage people to interact with the garden. There is a water fountain into the rill at one end to emit a soft trickling sound which bounces off the courtyard walls and muffles the sounds from elsewhere making it feel more private.

The paths are laid with sandstone setts to add detail and so that the neutral tones of the path don’t clash with the pale-yellow brick of the courtyard. The paths are further defined by low box hedging to direct people through the courtyard and topiary, espalier fruit trees and climbers in the narrow beds to break up the expanse of wall.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Ultra Modern, Ultra Low Maintenance Garden

The brief for this design was more modern than I normally get asked to do being based in rural Suffolk but it was a great opportunity to really push the modern/contemporary style further. The clients had a clear idea of the look they were after and some of the colours they wanted but needed help putting it all together.

The garden had to be as low maintenance as possible as the clients were away a lot so artificial grass was used and the remaining areas laid with basalt chippings and gravel board stepping stones which added to the modern aesthetics. To give some greenery large Italian Cypress were planted though the basalt and of course they came in slightly different sizes because these are the sort of tree that refuse to grow at exactly the same rate but I quite like the variation.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Bright and Buzzing Garden

A vibrant space designed for an avid plantsperson , the brief called for as much interest as possible in a small garden and I think we got there!

The main patio leads down to a covered hardwood deck amongst the raised beds and planting with a winding Breedon stone path to a focal point bench to look back at the garden. Plants of all kinds were packed into every possible remaining space to add as much colour and softness as possible.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Soft, Pollinator Friendly Planting

This was a newly constructed garden when the client contacted me to undertake the planting aspect. The challenges of the garden included planting on wide steep clay banks with some rubble that had been buried in the garden following an extension build. It was also required to be wildlife friendly whilst also maintaining lots of colour. I included my favourite hard working perennials such as Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ and Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ which did the brunt of the work giving a long flowering season and attracting the bees and pollinators in droves- my client reported a variety of different bees in the hundreds dripping off the plants and sunning themselves on the paths.

To create some softness and movement I added grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ and Stipa tenuissima which will persist through autumn and into winter to give some structure and provide habitats. There are also some evergreen shrubs which will gradually grow to fill any spare spaces and create hiding and nesting opportunities for wildlife. The main maintenance task for the garden is keeping on top of the over enthusiastic perennials to stop them smothering the smaller shrubs whilst they mature.

Family Garden

A total blank canvas on a new-build terraced house. A couple starting a family needed a space suitable for a young child, dog and entertaining in a small, easily manageable space.

The main challenge was the large existing tree which shaded a lot of the garden and needed to be worked around but plenty of seating spaces, including a small lawn for picnics was possible for various uses. The raised porcelain clad beds add an interesting colour pop and the patio areas are defined by clay pavers and porcelain plank paving to create rooms and nooks within the garden, making it feel larger.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Luxury Outdoor Kitchen

For the outside cooking enthusiasts, this covered kitchen area includes a pizza oven, hob, fridge, sink, and bar with lighting and heating for use into the night. Coupled with the client's swim spa and the beautiful country setting the space has a fantastic ambience and a vast range of functions to suit any garden party or just passing the time with a glass of bubbles.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Clean Lines for a Modern Feel

The previous raised patio was starting to look a bit worse for wear so the clients decided they wanted a whole new look and it is quite the transformation!

The brief was for strong clean lines to create a modern effect, extending the patio to the lower level to create a seamless transition of the seating areas. A water feature was constructed into the steps to introduce a point of interest and the sound of falling water (It was harder to construct than it was to design though!)

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Gravel garden in a coastal village

This coastal garden is the client’s second home so the brief included a need for it to be low maintenance and drought tolerant. The front garden was also the car parking area with the need for extra space for occasional guests. Being a coastal site it suited a gravel garden style which allowed for a fluid design mimicking a seascape with planting coming up through the gravel. To create a bit more variety in the texture and define the planting areas washed Atlantic pebbles and cobbles were added onto of the 20mm shingle.

The plants were chosen to be drought tolerant and give movement and texture to soften the gravel, so the planting plan was heavy on grasses with airy perennials like Verbena bonariensis and Gaura to add spots of colour.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Practical and ornamental

This was a very practical garden design to undertake, the clients had an existing vegetable area and some lawn already but wanted to optimise vegetable production whilst creating an attractive area to relax in too. A new glasshouse was also a must so we created a bespoke design which was designed with and built by Roger Gladwell Landscapes. Oak sleepers were used for the raised beds which give a slightly more attractive finish than softwood sleepers and wear better. The sizes of the beds make the bed easy to access and raising them out of the ground a little allows the soil quality to be more easily controlled. I find bark chip paths are the most practical around vegetable beds than gravel and cheaper than paving. Any weeds that set seed can easily be pulled out and the bark can be topped up every couple of years as it breaks down.

A sandstone patio at the top of the garden gives the client somewhere to sit and look at their hard work. The boundary between the veg beds and the seating area is defined by step over apples supported by wires whilst they mature.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

The Garden for Entertaining

This property is a relatively new build in a semi-urban area, the garden consisted of a small deck and sloped grass with little opportunity for seating and not a lot to inspire anyone. The clients required a space that they could entertain friends and would encourage them to use more of the garden. To span the levels I suggested raised planting beds to give some vertical interest clad with stone panelling to create a textured but modern look. The existing softwood decking was replaced with Millboard decking in a dark colour to offer some contrast to the warm tones of the porcelain paving and red brick of the house. The surrounding fence is built with cedar strips which creates a stunning modern look and will gradually silver out over time.

The outdoor kitchen is an important feature, with a ceramic egg and gas BBQ to cover all you would need to cook and a handy fridge and cupboard. This is sited next to the hot tub with a raised decked area for easy access and cedar pergola overhead to aid the feeling of privacy creating a sociable entertaining area. The garden is finished with structural evergreen planting such as pleached trees, lollipop clipped shrubs and box balls softened with long flowering perennials and hazy grasses.

Constructed by Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Construction Ltd

Suffolk Walled Garden

This project is set in a particularly special location, historically used as a walled kitchen garden for a large estate house it had found new purpose as a small group of eco friendly bungalows. The garden was laid to lawn in a squared off plot and despite the stunning setting lacked softness and interest around the house.

The aim was to create as much cacophony of colour and texture as possible whilst planting for the conditions of the site and create rooms within the garden. As the wall is so tall it was important to make sure the planting was in scale so we created a wide perennial bed with height and rhythm created within the planting and structured with columns of the evergreen Portuguese Laurel. To add vertical interest and some screening of certain views decorative corten steel panels were used in conjunction with modern larch archways and a corten steel waterfeature as a focal point

Recent Projects

Finished designs that have yet to be built.