Construction of a Coastal, Drought Tolerant Garden, Portishead

Our customer who owns this property a few minutes walk from the sea in Portishead, used to be our customer when she was based in Bristol before the pandemic. Since moving into her new home, her garden plans were put on hold until presently since life has become easier for us all.

Share This Post

Celia had already installed a new conservatory with paved area in the garden, but was keen to have an over haul of the space. There were a lot of large shrubs that were a bit over powering and made the space appear small and dark.

We had lengthy discussions on our combined ideas for the front and back garden as we walked around it. The soil, as can be imagined, is sandy and dry. Both the front and back gardens get a good deal of sun. We set to work taking out all the large shrubs, leaving a few key ones that would work with our design.

The weather was super hot whilst we were working on this garden, scalping the lawn and removing other plants like bamboo, so it wasn’t the easiest, however access was great, being able to take all the green waste straight out through the garage.

The ground needs to be prepared prior to planting, but this back garden is basically ready to go. The hard edges of the paving are going to be softened with our planting design. Stepping stones are also going to cut through the border for a more direct approach to the patio. There will be no lawn in either the front or back garden. Just lots of perennials, evergreens, climbers, grasses and creeping plants to fill the spaces.

The front garden (above) has the same soil but isn’t very deep and has lots of rubble in it from when the house was built. We first discussed having a meadow in this area, but after more discussions decided on a garden with a low perimeter hedge of lavender, with stepping stones cutting across diagonally to the front door, with perennials and lots of self seeders and bulbs on either side of the stones.

The front hedge was heavy and made the garden feel a bit too enclosed. There was also a certain amount of maintenance needed going forward for this hedge. We decided to take it out, but to keep the crab apple tree. We are choosing plants that are sun loving, drought tolerant, and like poor soil for this garden – perfect for a gravel garden.

As per the back garden, we used the hedge cutter to take the height and sides off the hedging, then sawed the stems, and finally ripped them out of the ground using a mattock and breaker bar. There were 30 stumps in all, so it was a seriously good work out for the boys!

After removing all the stumps we now have a blank canvas to work with. The back garden is going to have a cool colour palette of blues, purples, yellows, pops of orange and white. The front garden is going to have a hot, sub-tropical colour palette of reds, oranges, yellows, lime green and purple. Preparing of the soil and planting will commence in the next couple of weeks so check back in then!

Tags: coastal garden| cottage garden| garden borders| shady garden| woodland edge| woodland edge inspired