Perhaps unusual in house hunting, my priority was a large garden, preferably in need of some TLC, that I could turn into a small haven of tranquillity.
I had seen several houses with large gardens, but none took my fancy, until that is, this house in Warrington appeared.
A small corner quasi-semi house in a quiet street (hmm, Emma might dispute that), nothing to write home about really. However the land that came with it was amazing. 75ft long and nearly 50ft wide at the widest point, dropping to nearly 30ft at its narrowest. As my parents exclaimed, the patio area alone was bigger than their garden!
It was a garden in desperate need of some TLC. A dilapidated shed by the rear drive, numerous holes in the garden from the owners pet Rottweiler and an existing concrete patio which had definitely seen better days.
I had already enlisted Emma to make over whatever garden I found, and she leapt with glee when she saw what she had to work with.
So what did I want from a garden? Well as I say, somewhere
where I could relax, reasonably low maintenance, and colour all year round.
I certainly didn't want a large area of grass to mow. Meandering paths
was my vision, where you could walk through the garden and see something
different at each turn. I love water features, and wanted something different
and unusual. I also wanted something oriental in style, as I'm a big fan
of Japanese gardens (I could have spent hours in the Japanese Tea Garden
in Golden Gate Park, during my holiday to San Francisco a few years ago),
and maybe that was where some of my inspiration was coming from. To give
you some idea of what this amazing garden looks like follow this link:
I adore Acers, I think they are amazing trees, along with the various Japanese Maples and Cherries. So a design that incorporated those was a must.
I also wanted the garden lit in some fashion, maybe highlighting certain plants or the water feature perhaps.
Although living on my own, I could potentially have young nephews visiting, so as much as possible the garden had to be reasonably safe, though you can never make anything 100% safe. This meant no areas of water or sharp edged plants.
Finally, I wanted to bring wildlife to the garden, to create, if you like, its own eco-system.
A garden to escape the stresses of life was the aim, with the sound of splashing water and maybe the odd wind chime or two...but where to begin...time to call The Garden Goddess.