The clients, who I had worked with before, had recently bought a beachfront house on the Suffolk coast, and wanted help with the area between the house and the gate to the sea. The planting needed to be low-maintenance, and the client also mentioned that she liked the feeling of Derek Jarman’s famous coastal garden, and had been secretly collecting rusted “bits” found on the beach! She also said that the area was a sun trap and would be used by basking teenagers.
Click any of the thumbnails below to see 'before', 'during' and 'after' pictures of this garden.
How it was achieved
With all that in mind, and with a blank slate to hand, since nothing was to be saved except the surrounding fence, the first decision was the paving. I had recently seen samples of a manufactured faux-timber board, called Millboard. One sample had a lovely weather beaten finish - looked like old docking boards with the added advantage of being totally rot-proof! It seemed the ideal material for the rather exposed site.
The next decision was to provide wide benches, which could be used for sitting and/or lounging. These were mounted on steel tubing which would in time rust, and match both the flotsam and the rusted, tubular lighting fixtures. The planting was kept simple, concentrating on airy, vertical subjects, which would not mind the salt-laden winds, and which would work with the palette of rusty orange/white/blue.
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