Creating a beautiful, accessible garden
Creating a beautiful, and accessible landscaped garden required transforming a space which was multi level, to one which could be easily accessed via a number of mobility aids. One of my most rewarding projects.
When I originally visited the garden, it was a multitude of small patio areas and steps. Mike could not get down to the lawn area and if he did, he couldn’t get around on the gravel paths.
So, my main design objective was to ensure it was easy to get around using all types of mobility aids – as well as ensuring it a beautiful, relaxing place for both to enjoy.
I decided on a circle as the main feature as it flows beautifully with no corners, beginning or end.
The garden is now on 2 distinct levels. The main patio area and the lawn area. These are joined by both steps and a ramp as well as the link to the house being steps and a ramp. With half the plant beds being raised, this allowed Mike easy access to the plants.
We incorporated 2 seating areas to the lawn level. One a circular patio with a pergola and a paved area for an existing swing seat.
During the construction, it was a joy to watch Mike being able to access the garden more and more.
I enjoyed the challenge of making a garden right for the customer’s needs. It was an added bonus to hear of the grandchildren whizzing around the circular path on their bikes.
This garden was one of the most rewarding garden projects I have undertaken, and it was a pleasure to work with Mike and Hilary.
I received this testimonial (see below) from Hilary about a year after completing their garden. The letter is deeply touching. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this garden, primarily because of the difference it would make to Mike’s life.
Letter from Hilary and Mike:
Alan transformed our back garden in summer 2018 and worked his magic again on our front garden in spring 2019.
After becoming disabled my husband had found it extremely hard to move from our previous home leaving a garden he had loved for over 20 years to move to a smaller one that was in need of more than just a bit of TLC and knowing he couldn’t do it.
The garden was a hotchpotch of different levels, dangerous steps, gravel path which any mobility aid just sank in, neglected planting and what was supposed to be a lawn though that turned into a swamp at the first sign of rain.
The priority was to ensure that a new environment was created for us and allow my husband to regain his enthusiasm for being in the garden again, also for family and grandchildren to come and enjoy too. It had to be safer, accessible, interesting, beautiful, manageable and within a budget, quite a big ask really !!
Finding Alan was what made that happen in a way that was better than we could have imagined. With the above brief, we gave a list of plants and suggestions of what we would like but basically left the design to Alan. He delivered the most beautiful accessible garden! Areas of raised beds, slopes for mobility equipment, plenty of seating areas and beautiful planting.
The garden just flows. He also transformed a large pot we had had for years and loved but had never really found its right place, into a fabulous water feature which is so relaxing to watch. The whole garden was built with precision and care, and a quality that will stand the test of time. The garden is manageable for my husband to keep in order and the planting gives plenty of interest. We both enjoy many hours out there.
The circular lawns are my job to mow but having a proper lawn makes that task strangely satisfying. Even throughout the winter, the garden was a pleasure to look out onto, and the added lighting gives totally different feel when it’s dark and extends the enjoyment of the garden especially when the days are short. The spacious patio area is a great area for al fresco dining, or just sitting for coffee. The evening sun is caught by the pergola making that a very calm spot to sit at the end of the day (Connor, Alan’s son, built our pergola and circular patio and he also showed the same level of care as Alan, so a big thank you to Connor too). My favourite place to sit is wherever I am at that time in the garden.
A circular path is also a huge success with our young grandchildren too who whizz round it with great pleasure!
We cannot thank Alan enough for transforming our garden into one we love and giving my husband his enthusiasm and independence to get back out and love the garden again. A garden is an important place to us and we look at it every day and think WOW!