ZEN GARDEN LIVERPOOL
This garden was built over 14 years ago and has matured really well.
I remember distinctly the clients giving me a very open brief and more or less saying design it how you would like it. The only requirement was to include a wildlife pond.
The garden was quite large and south facing and and was perfectly flat, and, being near the coast the subgrade was remarkably sandy and I knew that any planting we did would have to be done using lots of organic material.
My original concept with the garden was to make it elemental i.e. simple and with natural materials: water, stone, timber, plants. But as the years went by and the planting matured I have decided to start calling at the Japanese garden or even The Zen garden. This was quite cheeky but it does remind me of many of the elements of these types of gardens.
The central feature of the garden is quite a large wildlife pond complete with timber sleeper bridge and lots of planting.
The profile of the pond had to be gentle and populated with gravel and pebbles to allow any wildlife in and out and for birds to be in the shallow water.
The pond features a waterfall and a filter to keep the water clear and is surrounded by plants which are sympathetic to a waterside setting e.g. Rodgersia, rheum and lots of grasses including stipa and miscanthus.
Another feature of the garden is the bridge made on a curve using timber sleepers and cunningly supported by two metal beams. The bridge provides a link between the house and the summerhouse in the far corner of the garden.
Other plants in the garden include huge drifts of perennials like persicaria, rudbeckia, schizostylis, and several euphorbias. There are also many shrubs such as camellia,skimmia ,cotinus, and Japanese acers, giving shape, texture and all year round colour.
Not surprisingly the garden has become a haven for wildlife including the relatively rare red squirrel and one year a whole family of mallard ducks!
(The last two images show the garden in it's formative stages)