A Haven In The City, Norwich

The Brief

The brief was to create a design for the small, back garden of Annabel’s charming terraced house on a pedestrianised street in the heart of Norwich’s Golden Triangle. This east-facing garden already had some lovely features, including an old brick wall running along the right-side boundary, and a beautiful mixed hedge that grows across from the neighbours’ garden. But the space lacked atmosphere and felt uninviting. The low wall across the back of the garden meant it was in full view of anyone using the shared alleyway.

The Design

My design created a seating and entertaining area surrounded by raised borders of oak sleepers, planted with easy-to-maintain, flowering shrubs and perennials. Plants were chosen that would work hard, offering year-round interest, colour and scent, with some evergreens. The shrubs will provide some formal structure to the borders, with perennials and bulbs softening the look with a more informal planting style.

Hard Landscaping

Riven slate paving with engineering brick edging has replaced the existing scrappy lawn and united the space, providing a dramatic, dark grey background that allows all of the new, lush greenery to ‘pop’. It has been laid diagonally to make the space appear wider, with the pattern continuing unbroken, up steps and level changes. Horizontal-slatted, bespoke trellising along two sides of the garden casts wonderful shadows on sunny days, has improved privacy, and provides wall supports for climbing plants, to make the most of the vertical growing space in this small garden. The walls were painted to match the existing colour of the house, creating the feeling of a garden room.

Festoon lights hung the full length of the garden and a fire pit, will make the garden a lovely place to relax in on summer evenings.

The landscaping and construction work was completed to a very high standard, with careful attention to detail, by the wonderful Neal Daniels (T. 07884 027505). It was, as usual, a total pleasure to work with Neal, who cares so much about his work.

The Planting

The photos below were taken just after or during planting so the plants shown are still relatively small. In time, they will fill the beds, the climbers will clothe the walls and trellis, and flowers will infuse the space with colour and scent. Key plants in the scheme are: two standard Olive trees, a pair of white shrub roses ‘Rosa Jacqueline du Pre’, Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’, Hydrangea, Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine), Passiflora (climbing passionfruit), agapanthus, foxgloves, salvias, heucheras, hardy geraniums, hakonechloa grasses and astrantias. In spring, purple, pom-pom-shaped alliums, tulips ‘Spring Green’ and ‘Queen of Night’, and white anemones will start the year with rich pops of colour. I’m looking forward to a revisit later this summer to see how everything is coming along, and hopefully will have some more pictures to share here.

“Well what can I say! Rajul is amazing at what she does! She turned my rather plain and sad garden into a garden of pure beauty and tranquillity. I was extremely worried about doing it as the garden had been my mum’s but I didn’t need to worry one bit and she reassured me throughout. Rajul came to my house and discussed what I would like my garden to be like and what I would like to use it for. She listened to what I wanted and designed it beautifully – she went above and beyond my expectations and made it amazing! She guided me through the design process and all of the plans. Her attention to detail is amazing! I cannot thank her enough for making it beautiful! I cannot recommend her enough! Thank you! X”

– Annabel

Just a few weeks later…

Before…