Photo: garden by Wildroof Landscapes Penrith Cumbria

Part of the landscape

Part of the landscape

Many Cumbrian gardens include steep slopes and, of course, the county is known for its rain too. We’ve learnt to work with the elements and the landscape to create stunning gardens that quickly look as if they’ve been there for years.

This client had inherited a large plot, mainly east facing, with a significant incline and established trees and beech hedges to be incorporated into any new design.

One approach to slopes is to create a terraced area. The raised lawn was ideal for a pergola and seating and a new flight of reclaimed slate steps was introduced with alpines among the stone to make the steps look established. We used cleft oak for a practical handrail on one set of steps. This was made by Lakeland Coppice Products, who also provided the pergola, fencing and gates for other parts of the garden. The oak aged quickly once exposed to the weather and has taken on a beautiful silvery grey sheen that blends with the slate.

Making a new garden look established is what every client wants. This garden was no exception and the use of salvaged materials as well as designing areas around existing features contributes to this effect, as well as being more sustainable. We sourced reclaimed slate from WRS at Low Newton to give an immediate aged look and were able to move excavated boulders from the landscaping works in the garden into rockery beds and the mountain stream.

The stream was part of the clients’ dream for their garden. Making it a reality required practical planning as the pump and reservoirs needed to be sized correctly to provide the correct volume of water and deal with the ‘head’ (5 metres). Wildroof Landscapes’ Phil also had to construct a large balancing reservoir to make sure the pond at the bottom didn’t run dry when the pump was on. The reclaimed slate, existing slope and careful planting has made a stream work really well in this setting.

We’ve enjoyed making the clients’ ideas and our design a reality, using the structure and slope of the site to create a garden that is already part of the Cumbrian landscape.