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Plant & Deck Case Study

The Brief - Low maintenance garden

Mr and Mrs Brown a young couple no children, busy jobs. Low maintenance garden with a large area for entertaining and unusual and architectural plants. Shaded seating area. Small natural pond/boggy area for wildlife. Sound of running water. Electric power point.

Beautitul garden using bark decking & patio.
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How I addressed the issues

I chose to use deck as it can create a large level area on a sloping site.

The two large interconnecting deck areas linked to the Indian sandstone patio give 3 great spaces to entertain one section could be the dining space the other a barbeque area the third extra seating. An outdoor waterproof electric socket box was put on the back edge of the deck so that outdoor lighting could be added at a later date or electric items used outside.

The central focal point was an exotic Banana plant, other plants used around the deck were bamboos that would give height and privacy, also Phormiums for their strap like leaves and exotic feel, Elder sambuccus nigra/ cordalines/spirea goldflame. The planting at the side of the house is contained within a timber frame and is a mix of Echinacea/ Hebe's/ lavender/Perovskia .

A specimen Gunnera plant was planted it the corner overlooking the pond which in time would make a stunning disply.

All the planted borders had the plants planted thru a permeable garden membrane into a compost filled hole and then a 100mm layer of bark covered the whole area to act as a mulch and weed suppressant.

A wooden pergola was built and 2 climbing clematis were trained up it to provide a shady seating area.

A butyl pond liner was used to create a small pond and and also used to make a boggy waterlogged area for wildlife, with a pebble shore to enable easy access in and out for the wildlife. The pond also had a small waterfall in to give the relaxing sound of running water. The plants around the pond were chosen to suit a boggy area.

The gravel gives a mediterranean feel and is laid on top of a permeable garden membrane which acts as a weed suppressant so again low maintenance.


  • Sloping garden.
  • Heavy clay soil
  • Garden is in full sun in the afternoon.
  • No privacy

The Plan

To design a modern garden that enables them to spend more time enjoying it, than maintaining it. By using a geometric pattern and modern materials and architectural plants I wanted to give the garden a mediterranean/exotic feel.