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A drought-tolerant redesign for Driftwood Garden

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Geoff Stonebanks pond view from bench

Driftwood backyard in Seaford has been visited by 23,000 guests, so far
Picture: driftwoodbysea

Geoff Stonebanks, designer of the award-winning Driftwood Garden in East Sussex, has been busy remodeling one other nook of his inspiring out of doors house. He talks us via his model new water characteristic space, designed round drought-resistant vegetation that may scale back the period of time and pure assets required to maintain it trying nice. The earlier than and after photographs are unimaginable!

The unique design

Different flowers and plants around pond

Geoff’s backyard earlier than the brand new makeover
Picture: driftwoodbysea

I’ve at all times liked my backyard, particularly filling it filled with pots via the summer time months, portray the panorama with fairly flowers. Again within the autumn of 2021 (making an allowance for I’m quick approaching 70) I made a decision I needed to change the backyard so as to make it a lot simpler to take care of, however equally, to proceed to be of curiosity to the a whole lot of holiday makers who come and see it every year. With that as my temporary, I set about making a sunken Mediterranean backyard with outdated railway sleepers, which has been an actual hit with the 700 guests who got here final summer time.

This yr, I made a decision I’d deal with the nook of the plot I’ve not likely made an impression on since shifting right here in 2004, apart from masking the realm with many containers across the small pond. You possibly can see that there was only a mass of greenery and color this summer time, however, as you possibly can think about, 2022 specifically with the drought and hosepipe ban, it was extraordinarily tough protecting it trying its finest for guests.

Clearing the house

Old pond being cleared and new pond installed

The house was cleared and the outdated pond crammed in
Picture: driftwoodbysea

I sketched out the design I needed to create and the identical landscaper who translated my final venture from drawing to actuality, was, fortunately, up for extra of the identical. So, as soon as the backyard had closed its gate for the 2022 season, I started to strip the realm, prepared for him and his group to work their magic.

Day 1 of their labours started clearing a number of the particles I’d not been in a position to take away, however in essence, all of the vegetation and objects I’d needed to retain had been fastidiously situated elsewhere, till the work was complete. The outdated bench needed to go, because it was rusting away and the 5 trickle ponds had been eliminated.

Selecting exhausting landscaping options

Steel pond insert with wall

Exhausting landscaping options grew to become the star of the present
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I made a decision to go for the wow-factor with objects, as there weren’t going to be as many vegetation within the completed venture. My first buy was a tremendous curved corten metal wall, delivered from The Netherlands, intently adopted by an exquisite, round, corten metal raised pond to interchange the one I had crammed in.

I used to be amazed how rapidly the blokes created the construction for the realm however, sadly, work needed to be unfold out longer than we needed, due to the heavy rains on a number of days throughout the construct.

Utilizing paving slabs for cohesion

Adding paving slabs in new garden design

The identical paving slabs that had been used elsewhere within the backyard create a robust visible link
Picture: driftwoodbysea

By day 4, the corten metal wall had been put in and the adjoining brick partitions constructed and it actually began to take form. For continuity, I had determined upon one other small Indian sandstone circle to match the opposite two within the backyard. We had been all fairly stunned how massive the realm appeared as soon as stripped of all of the outdated planting and lots of containers.

The brand new water characteristic

Complete garden redesign

The outdated fountain is fitted within the new water characteristic
Picture: driftwoodbysea

By day 7, the ultimate day of the construct, the realm had been utterly reworked, together with a small set of latest steps to link the realm with the centre of the backyard. The backyard has at all times had a technique up and a technique down so motion of holiday makers will now be a lot simpler. The fountain that used to reside within the pond now appears to be like resplendent within the new characteristic.

Lights, motion, planting!

Garden with fountain and lighting

The backyard is illuminated at night time
Picture: driftwoodbysea

I bought some Nurseryman’s Alstroemeria Choice Mix 6 Jumbo Plugs again in October from Thompson & Morgan that might be planted up within the space behind the dwarf partitions within the spring. Likewise, a Mangave Lavender Woman, bought from T&M final June, will adorn the realm via the summer time months.

Earlier than the large freeze got here, I accomplished a number of the planting within the space, however the bulk might be accomplished subsequent spring. A pretty new mild has been put in now too, casting an exquisite atmosphere throughout the patio at night time.

Planning a seating space

Homemade garden seating

It’s essential to create calm vantage factors to get pleasure from totally different views
Picture: driftwoodbysea

One other new addition is a small metal gabion, that’s housing all the excess stones and slate that had been dotted across the backyard. I’m undecided, as but, whether or not to buy a cushion and use it as a seat, or just show succulents on it subsequent yr! Time will inform. The beautiful Yucca Thompsoniana subsequent to it’s one other new buy for the realm. I’ve but to buy a brand new bench to sit down alongside the shed, however that may wait till the New Yr.

All in all, I’m extraordinarily happy with the completed product and as soon as all my succulents are transferred from their winter properties, subsequent Could, the realm will look fairly magical. Extra importantly, it is going to be a lot simpler to keep up, particularly if we have now a repeat of this summer time’s drought.

Learn extra about Geoff’s backyard at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk