These new build gardens proved quite a challenge: The brief was to provide reasonable cost, low maintenance, usable spaces for the tenants. The spaces were fairly small, dominated by fencing all round and with poor soil and drainage. I wanted to provide areas for the tenants to entertain or sit out in the evening sun, planting to soften all the hard landscaping and a variety of levels and angles to detract from the squareness of the spaces.
As with many new build sites, the top soil was of dubious quality, so soil improver was added. Pick axes were employed to break up the compacted hardcore where it existed beneath that. Each garden had a thick layer of mulch applied after planting, to retain moisture and reduce the need for watering as well as to suppress weed germination. Once the plants have matured and filled out the space, they will be much more of a focus than the hard landscaping. Plants were selected for year-round interest, many of them for structural form and many are evergreen/semi-evergreen. Over time the climbers will conceal much of the fencing.
I chose blue slate to echo the grey/blue of the window frames and cladding on the building. Some of the planting picks out this colour too. The slate breaks up the paving so it does not dominate.