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Sloping Back Garden, Headington

A semi-detached 1930s house in Headington, Oxford, with steeply sloping back garden. The 'before' pictures illustrate the concrete upper patio and the 4 ft drop to the grassy garden. The steps are steep and the garden can be seen at a glance - effective deterrents to further exploration. The backs of neighbouring houses are the dominating features.

After re-designing, the upper patio is contained by low trellis giving a secure feeling at the top, and a new circular patio is laid in a sunny part of the lower garden, approached by a curving path and hugged by raised beds with perennials, roses and climbers. The oval shape of the lawn draws the gaze down into the garden where the trellis screen gives a backing to the seat, with a bark chip path leading behind to the compost area. (Later: an espaliered apple tree is supported by the trellis, now weathered to silver.) The new design is warm and inviting, encouraging the viewer to descend and enjoy.