Family Cottage Garden with Twists

Progress with more curved borders and planting.

Weeping crap apple on left plus Pittosporum and Osmanthus heterophyllus in borders.


Liquidambar, Euonymus, Hydrangea and Catalpa border will provide plenty of colour.


Shrub border detail, dividing the garden sections.


Catalpa, Tamarisk and Stachyurus looking down towards house.


The client brief for this narrow upward sloping suburban garden was quite varied. Cottage garden planting in borders with plenty of colour, screening and den area for kids’ playhouse, tranquil adults seating area with shade and screening for the garden room to be built at the top end of the garden.

The clients had already removed scrub and turfed so I suggest extending the curved borders to create an oval lawn nearest the house, for the children to run around on. Then curved and spiral borders to provide a mini garden section for the playhouse, and to screen and lead into the adults area.

I focused on planting larger trees and shrubs in the the first instance, to give structure and year round interest, colour, shade and texture. Highlights include Hamamelis Jelena, Catalpa bignonoides, Parrotia persica, Tamarix ramosissima, Stachyurus praecox, Fagus Sylvatica Asplenifolia and Malus Royal Beauty for foliage, blossom, catkins and fruit interest all year round.

More traditional cottage garden shrubs include Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle, Euonymus Europeans and alatus, Viburnum tinus and Spiraeas

Shed at far end will be replaced by bespoke garden room

. Digging borders and planting was done over two days, in mainly damp weather, and trees were dragged through the terraced house without too much collateral damage.

Next steps will be lawn renovation, redefining the borders and adding flowering perennials. The clients will add the outdoor studio. Really looking forward to seeing this garden establish and develop.

Have tools, will travel!