‘We trans­formed a slop­ing gar­den’

The Rusts made their gar­den more usable by di­vid­ing it into split-level spa­ces, each with its own look, feel and pur­pose

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Af­ter spend­ing six years ren­o­vat­ing their cot­tage, Ju­dith and Michael Rust turned their at­ten­tion to the back gar­den – a rec­tan­gu­lar plot that sloped up­wards be­hind the house.

As part of the ren­o­va­tion work, the cou­ple had added a rear kitchen ex­ten­sion with bi­fold doors and a spa­cious pa­tio area be­yond them. Apart from that, Ju­dith was un­sure what to do with the rest of the space. ‘It was mainly lawn and there was a very large ap­ple tree tak­ing up lots of room and cast­ing shade over ev­ery­thing,’ says Ju­dith. ‘It needed a com­plete re­think. It had to be low-main­te­nance with some struc­ture and pri­vacy, and I knew I wanted white flow­ers only, be­cause I love the sim­plic­ity.’ She turned to Mike Reeves of Green­man Ser­vices, who sug­gested a split-level de­sign with steps from the pa­tio up to a flat, small area of lawn.

Al­though the gar­den is only a cou­ple of years old, plant-packed bor­ders make it look lush and es­tab­lished. Peren­ni­als and bulbs keep the in­ter­est and colour com­ing from spring to au­tumn. Ferns, evergreens and an­nu­als like sweet­peas and snap­drag­ons fill the gaps. She’s stick­ing to the all-white theme, but doesn’t stress when lilac, blue or pink blooms ap­pear. ‘I’m fine with the odd bit of colour, but there was a wrongly la­belled yel­low rose I couldn’t ig­nore, so I moved that to the front gar­den!’


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