The Steps Garden in Esher

The Brief  The brief included a patio to catch the sun, a winter garden viewed from the kitchen, and relaxed romantic planting. The awkward steps needed re-modelling, and the problem of difficult level changes addressed. For this reason it became known as The Steps Garden. 

The Design The design introduces borders on various levels, with several sets of steps to access the garden with ease. The sun terrace is ideal for enjoying the afternoon sun, and surrounded by raised beds it has an enclosed and private feel. A generous area of limestone paving near the house is ideal for entertaining a crowd, and will eventually include hand-made oak seats at either side. The same paving is used for the easy rising steps, which invite you up into the garden. The winter garden is planted with dogwoods, Acers, hellebores, grasses and ferns, with masses of spring bulbs. Other borders include a multi-stemmed Amelanchier, with small early spring blossom and firey autumn foliage, and the redbud Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’. This has dainty pinky-mauve flowers in spring, followed by heart-shaped purple leaves which turn gold and red in autumn.  This is a phased project, and in time the far end of the site will be re-designed to include a studio within a surrounding garden and re-planted borders.