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Wildlife Friendly Meadow Garden

Garden Design,
East Sussex

My clients had built a new ultra modern timber clad single storey  U-shaped house with a glass link corridor at the centre, the large plot around the house was a blank canvas. The brief was for a wildlife friendly, meadow rich, low maintenance garden, with a wheelchair accessible courtyard inside the 'arm's of the house, planted with colourful drought tolerant plants and edible herbs.


We decided to have a perennial wildflower meadow wrapping around the whole house, with a series of stacked log piles to create wildlife habitat and also hide a large compost bay and septic tank covers, plus create focal points within the meadow. Meadows only need to be cut once a year and are incredibly beneficial to wildlife offering food and habitat, they are highly biodiverse and also a great way of capturing carbon and improving soil health. 

In the courtyard area we made a gravel garden, filled with colourful drought tolerant plants and herbs, many with Mediterranean origins. The gravel helps to improve the drainage of the soil as well as reducing surface water evaporation and acting as a weed suppressant as the plants establish. The central path is resin bound gravel, a smooth but slip resistant, free-draining surface perfect for wheelchair use. 


On the far side of the central glass corridor linking the two sides of the building is a multi-stem Acer griseum tree with its beautiful coppery peeling bark, it will be a great focal point viewed through the glass link building from the courtyard gravel garden. It is underplanted with woodland perennials and spring bulbs. 

We have also planted new mixed native hedges around the perimeter of the garden, a shelter belt of mixed shrubs in front of the hedge around the edge of the meadow to blur the edges of the garden, and quite a few trees including alder, hawthorn, crab apple, whitebeam, various flowering cherries, Amelanchier and Parrotia persica to give structure and interest.

The heavy clay ground was very wet over winter so we have put in some French drains which drain to a depression in a low corner of the garden which will become a seasonally wet pool. This has been seeded with a native waters edge wild seed mix.

We 're looking forward to seeing how this low maintenance, wildlife friendly garden develops and hope it becomes a haven for all.


Wrap around garden


Playden, Rye, East Sussex


Spring 2023


Beckley, Iden,  Wittersham, Northiam, Rye Foreign

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