Magdalen Drive, Ashton-in-Makerfield

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Magdalen Drive, Ashton-in-Makerfield

This back garden is very small; it was made worse by the fact that it had 10 leylandii conifers growing in it. These were planted by the owners to offer more privacy, but they had now cramped the space and taken all the light that came into the garden. There was nowhere to sit and enjoy the sun (when we get some this is). The client said: "We don't do gardening."

This garden's potential was realised when the conifers were removed. However, it felt no longer private from overlooking windows. "We cannot hide them," I told them. "But we can distract your mind from them, giving you the feeling that you are more private than you actually are."

We achieved this by importing ligustrum cubes on 2 metre clear stems. These were planted to the right hand side of the garden, hiding the most obvious windows. The major advantage is that they don't crowd the garden because of their clear stems. A rendered wall was then constructed to help give to help give a strong focal point as well as hide the ugly concrete fencing. Lighting and artwork on the wall make this structure feel like an extension of the interior - the rest of which was hidden with timber cladding, which is a favourite of ours, as it offers a cheap solution to ugly boundaries without subjecting the neighbours to having to change theirs.

A travertine floor was laid with a black deliniation border to blend with the black limestone laid on the lower levels next to the house. This type of paving reflects a lot of light into the garden and does give the impression of being abroad, where this type of paving is used a lot.

A minimum amount of planting was added with bamboo and box in a contemporary styled container. Furniture was supplied and the customer's own sundries re-deployed around to finish the project.