Greenfingers Garden: Wrap Up
Mantle’s new garden is complete; Ruth Chivers
looks at how the finished design satisfies the requirements
– and fulfils the dreams – of its users
It’s just over six months since Tina Mantle won Greenfingers’
first competition. Our team descended on her garden
on 22nd June and the process of her £20,000 prize garden
makeover began. It’s a lot of money, but a careful
eye still had to be kept on the budget. Getting value
for money is always important. Agreeing a design with
your client is another important factor for any designer.
New garden layouts have to work for everyone using them.
Tina mentioned her dream of having a hot tub at the
outset – she’d been busy collecting brochures.
It represented a good proportion of the overall budget,
but if it hadn’t been included, I could see it
wouldn’t be long before our makeover would be
pulled apart to fit one in.
A lot of time went
into site preparation, removing old features and preparing
new ones. It’s time well spent but you can’t
see a lot happening. Awful weather dragged out this
building site phase of construction at the Mantles,
despite the team working through rain and into twilight
hours. Breakthrough came with the arrival of the hot
tub, then decking
and paving simply flew into position.
The overall design,
setting everything on an angle, has proved popular with
Tina. It really opens the garden up. She admits it’s
something she would never have come up with herself,
and it is one of several design ideas that visitors
are pleased to take away. Another is the arbour
behind the garage, which enlivens a previously ‘dead’
space. Rosemary Verey’s point about lack of circulation
has been solved simply by design and adding another
set of steps. Keen to have a deck, the finished look
of the grooved hardwood planks is another success story
Visualizing the end
results in the new side courtyard proved a problem for
Tina. She had doubts about the raised
beds until they were stained, slabs laid on the
ground, and plants in position. They really do reduce
the impact of the retaining wall and fence behind, and
bring plants up to a pleasant pottering height.
And so to the hot
tub. If you think one of these would be little used
in our climate, think again. Tina and Roy have moonlight
garden planning sessions in theirs. Once the media circus
created by her prize winning subsided, Tina feels happily
at home in her revamped garden, free to do her own thing
within the new spaces we’ve made.
Follow the creation
of Tina and Roy’s new garden:
reprinted with premission from Greenfingers.com