Solving a Narrow Garden
Location: Vredenberg estate, Somerset West
Completed: July 2017
BRIEF: Lara and Nick wanted an extension of their entertainment area which would make the garden feel integrated, inviting and more usable. They also needed a secondary seating/ entertaining space so that the family, including soon to be teenage children, could spread out more comfortably.
Extreme water restrictions -see box left below for how we dealt with that.
As is often the case with housing estate gardens, the home is slap bang in the middle of a small property, making all the garden space very narrow. The garden and pool area was cut off from the stoep by a pronounced height difference and steep steps, creating a disconnected feeling and a disinclination to move into it. Winter shade, dogs, a clay soil and water restrictions made maintaining a lawn or even beds there impractical and it was looking sad and uninviting.
SOLUTIONS: We created a deck midway between stoep and ground level that maximizes the small space and facilitates ease of flow between all areas and a clean, inviting landing surface to spill out onto from the stoep. Garden lights lead the way to a secondary entertainment area, partially obscured by vegetation. A deck walkway extends towards the pool, visually and practically linking it to the whole.
FRONT GARDEN: We improved limited parking space by cementing pavers to formalise a half parking strip. Existing hardy plants were split and mass planted to help reduce costs.
This garden was planted in the year before the drought of summer 2018 and it managed to survive and is now thriving (Summer 2020)...
1. We planted at the right time - during the cool season (June/ July) so that the plants would have time to settle in.
2. A good water wise plant pallet in the theme of soft, airy meadow- like grasses and perennials in cool colours
3. The use of Stockosorb moisture retaining granules
4. Thick woodchip mulch (10cm)
5. Excellent vermi-compost which improved the soil structure
6. Trees provide some shelter from all day glaring hot sun and wind (Only the largest trees were there before we began)