It had been Maxine Brady’s long held dream to own a beautiful sunny garden that she and her dog, Teddy, could enjoy all summer long. When she viewed her terraced house in Brighton, its key attraction was the south-facing plot.
‘The garden had been left to overgrow,’ Maxine says. ‘There was a climbing weed that was so big and heavy it had pulled the fences down and grown over the back door, blocking it closed. The ground was covered in grey shale that had weeds growing through it. It was so awful, I didn’t go out here for the first year.’
The owner Maxine Brady, an interiors stylist and lifestyle blogger (welovehomeblog.com) lives here with her Maltese puppy, Teddy. The property A two-bedroom Victorian 1890s railway worker’s cottage in Brighton, East Sussex. Project cost £7,520.
While planning for the makeover, Maxine looked for inspiration wherever she went. ‘I took a trip to Morocco and visited the Yves St Laurent gardens in Marrakech. The outdoor spaces were decorated with tiles, pergolas and plants in large pots. I came home brimming with ideas for my garden.’
Maxine hired landscape gardener Thea Pitchard to transform her outdoor space. Thea’s team set to work clearing the garden of shale and rubble, filling two skips with dirt.
‘They found parts from a Victorian iron bed buried in the garden, as well as an iron and skips of concrete,’ says Maxine. ‘The area by my back door was widened to the boundary line, so I gained 50cm – precious space in a small garden like mine.’
To improve drainage, one half of the garden was raised to create a split-level effect using railway sleepers – a move that helped zone the space into a dining area and a seated pergola area at the back.
Hardy furniture, smart fencing and an array of colourful plants have transformed the garden into an urban space perfect for socialising. Maxine can’t wait to host her friends for an alfresco party. ‘I sent my family and friends photos when the hard work was done,’ she says. ‘They’re dying to come round and enjoy the garden with me.’