My friends and neighbours, Anne and Alex, and I have lived across the street from each other, for around 15 years. During this time, we have both juggled work, whilst simultaneously bringing up our families.
We always enjoyed a cheerful chat as neighbours do, as Anne and Alex would often hold court on their front steps on sunny days enjoying a glass of wine, whilst exchanging between us some exciting news, or telling a funny story of something that had happened that day. I was very flattered when she and her husband commissioned Earth Angels to provide some design ideas for the back garden. Beautiful sandstone walls surrounded the garden on three sides. It had a gentle sloping lawn, with a path down the middle, and in the sunniest part of the garden, a storage shed, soaked up most of the rays.

The kitchen was positioned on ground level and the access to the garden was from from a set of metal steps down to the sloping garden. The lower floor of the property also had a door to the garden, therefore I decided to create three usable areas.

The challenge of this garden was dealing with the slope in a practical and stylish way. We excavated around 50 tons of material from the lower level, and retained the mid level grass area with a wrap round wall of new pressure treated sleepers. In the lower level we built deep planters, planted lots of climbing plants and other shade loving ones and erected large pergola sections covered with fairy lights. This area was designed for Abbey and Jamie, their teenage children, their own chill out area to entertain their friends.

The top level which had the sunniest aspect was re shaped to include some deep beds and a large patio. Rather than run a straight path down from the back gate to the house, we used the levels to create a more interesting layout for the paths. The natural texture of Indian sandstone paving was used throughout as it was sympathetic to the warm hues of the sandstone walls surrounding the garden. The planting scheme was busy and colourful, to reflect Annes love of plants and her enjoyment of spending time pottering in her garden.

Six months ago the cancer that Anne had bravely fought three years ago returned, and sadly she died just before Christmas. It was her request that I would look in and take care of her garden after she was gone. I feel truly privileged and honoured that I have been given this task.


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