Back in 2000, Will Seaman and John Kiernan’s garden was divided into two parts by a high wall: the front and side was a drive and parking space, the rear a lawn bordered by assorted shrubs. ‘It had the potential to be turned into a wraparound garden, which meant we would be able to have day-long sunshine,’ explains Will.
Raised beds offer year-round colour, starting in spring with the new shoots of lavender. May has alliums in groups, then the lavender blooms until the end of summer, after which fuchsias flower up to the first frost.
The garden is also carefully lit for entertaining; each olive tree is underlit with a spotlight, and Will has added solar party lights and candlelit lanterns for atmosphere. A chiminea keeps the dining area warm into the evening.
Hardscaping and raised bed construction/topsoil: £11,000
Decking, framing and trellis: £10,500
Underplanting and container planting: £7,000
37 olive trees at 1.2m stem: £4,300
Lighting and water feature: £2,500
Shed and sundry paving: £1,750
Garden project notes
My best purchase
‘The composite decking – it’s perfect for our climate, as it doesn’t need the maintenance of timber decking, which gets slippery and green in the long, wet winters. We just give it a good scrub in the spring, there’s no need for re-oiling – it looks great and lasts longer.’
‘The rattan table and chairs. They’re really comfortable and only have to be washed down to be ready for the summer. Before we bought them we had to wash down, sand and repaint the garden furniture every year – a real chore.’
‘Wooden benches from Homebase that cost £95 each, and have been repainted with Farrow and Ball’s Blue Black. The small table cost £35 from Ikea, and has been repainted to match.’