Concept design for a self-builder

0 Written by Lisa on 13th Jul 2017 in From the drawing board

I’ve recently been working with a client, Rhys, near Port Talbot who, having renovated his house, wants to make more of the garden. He plans to build the garden himself, as and when he has the funds to do it, but he had been struggling to formulate a plan.

So we spent the morning together and worked through a concept design on site.  The benefit of doing this is that when he comes to build the garden, and has to fine tune the design, he’ll understand the design decisions we made.

A concept design provides an outline plan but it’s not fully resolved so there will be some working out to do later (dimensions of steps etc).  But for self-builder’s it’s normally enough to get them started because often they have the ideas but just need some help to pull it together into a plan that they can take forward and develop themselves.

The garden currently is pretty much a blank canvass, typical of the period of the house with pathway down the middle. The garage at the back of the garden is new so it needs some softening.

The design is quite formal in layout but Rhys wants to create a contemporary space with clean lines.  The materials he uses will really help to shape the overall finish of the garden and I know he wants to clad the concrete block wall with some sort of contemporary slatted timber.


Although the garden’s North facing, because it sits higher than the bungalow, it gets the sun pretty much all day.  These photos were taken at around 7pm so, as you can see, it still has plenty of sunshine.

Although there’s only one change in level, the difference in height is approximately 90cm so we needed 6 steps which takes up around 2.6m in depth. By moving them to the left side of the garden we’ve been able to utilise the area to the right for the main seating area.

The route to the garage was really important too, as this is where he parks his car and the French Doors are his main access into the house.

I can’t wait to see how he gets on with the build phase of the project – it’s going to take some time, but I think the finished garden will be amazing.  He’s even going to make his own lounge furniture using old pallets!



Wild flowers in the Swiss Alps

0 Written by Lisa on 29th Jun 2017 in Inspiration, Plants

We went to the Swiss Alps last weekend for a few days.  we’ve never been to Switzerland before and my Stepson is living there are the moment so we thought, why not? Read more

Impressions of Bath – learning a new way to take photos

0 Written by Lisa on 14th Jun 2017 in Inspiration

I went on a photography workshop last week with Light and Land in Bath to learn a new way of taking photographs.  We took multiple-exposure shots and also some using a technique called Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) both of which I want to practise more. Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design for a courtyard garden in Cardiff

0 Written by Lisa on 6th Jun 2017 in From the drawing board

I’ve recently been working with a client in Cardiff to help her to transform her little courtyard.  She’s recently moved from a much larger house and garden so wanted some help to fit everything in without it feeling too cluttered. Read more

Some more highlights from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

0 Written by Lisa on 30th May 2017 in Inspiration

The Chelsea “breakdown” will now be well underway, always a tough moment for the designers and contractors after creating amazing spaces in such a short time and when they still haven’t managed to shake off the exhaustion. Read more

RHS Chelsea 2017 – some inspiration from Main Avenue

0 Written by Lisa on 27th May 2017 in Inspiration

As I write, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 is coming to a close.  I was there on Wednesday last week as I held fort on the Society of Garden Designer’s trade stand for a few hours. Read more

A trip to the bluebell wood

0 Written by Lisa on 10th May 2017 in Inspiration

It’s still really fresh in South Wales, but despite the cold the bluebells seem to be well ahead of schedule this year. Read more

From the drawing board: Monmouth garden after planting

2 Written by Lisa on 3rd May 2017 in From the drawing board

I went back to check on my Monmouth project yesterday and it was great to see how much the planting has come on just a few weeks after planting. Read more

It’s time to refresh your garden furniture

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Apr 2017 in Design Tips, Garden accessories

After a few weeks of dry, sunny days, I can safely say that the world has woken up and started to think about their gardens again.  It’s funny how we “park” all the jobs outside over the winter months, even if we didn’t really intend to. Read more

RHS Cardiff Flower Show – Best In Show

0 Written by Lisa on 11th Apr 2017 in Inspiration

I can’t really believe that it’s two years since I built my show garden at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show.  This year’s show took place over the weekend and, as if by magic, the Amelanchier that took pride of place on my garden, came into full bloom. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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