Garden Design for Challenging Sites

I particularly welcome enquiries from clients with challenging sites. Often, this is because a site has complex or large level changes across the garden, or difficult access or circulation routes, or is on an unusually shaped plot. Clients can be bewildered as to where to begin or have no idea how to reconcile the levels in their garden and make it work as a pleasing space for them.

Gardens Exist in Three Dimensions

Fortunately, modern 3D design software makes this much easier and allows me to save you a lot of head-scratching. It also allows clients to explore different design solutions and get reasonably accurate costings before getting too deep into the design process. In this way, preliminary sketch designs along with a projected costs spreadsheet can also serve as a feasibility study.

A Challenging Site is An Interesting Site

It’s worth remembering that challenging sites, particularly those involving steep slopes or large level changes, can sometimes require expensive solutions to get the garden to work for you – retaining walls being one of the most expensive elements that a garden may include. However, these sites are also very rewarding, and I personally relish the challenge of developing their hidden potential.

A perfectly flat site often has no inherent sense of drama or movement, meaning that it has to contrived as artfully as possible, whereas a sloped or terraced site already has drama and interest in spades, and often has better views too. A garden design challenge is actually a great opportunity and far more than just a problem to be solved – sometimes the most beautiful and simple solutions arise from what initially seems like a garden owner’s nightmare. This is where engaging a professional garden designer with really good spatial design skills can really pay off and turn an unintelligible site into a stunningly beautiful garden that makes the most of all of its features.