Ed Ambler Gardens

Saskia Mills

A new terraced garden was created from an abandoned sloping town garden.

Brief: low maintenance garden with a touch of formality and symmetry, Mediterranean/Ibiza style and an 'outdoor living room' for entertaining; for the enjoyment of the family and the guests from Saskia's stylish and beautiful boutique Bed and Breakfast.

Old fencing was removed, then over-grown hedging, tree stumps, collapsed boundary walls and a derelict patio were cleared before landscaping work began. New oak sleepers were used as retaining walls, which give a clean, contemporary look in place of the local brick of Winchester; these formed terraces for planting to break up the sloping site and a large paved and partially covered terraced area at the top was created for the outdoor living room concept.

The boundary wall that encloses the large top terrace, and provides support for the roof over the dining area, is rendered and painted a warm, mediterranean terracotta; the inbuilt bench seating is rendered and painted also, with scattered with cushions, to provide a relaxed area for entertaining.

The lowest terrace, nearest the kitchen is largely planted with mediterranean herbs; above that the broad terrace is laid with Cotswold stone chippings and planted with Box balls and cones to provide symmetry and structure, with an element of formality. Above that are two tall box spirals flanking the steps onto the paved terrace, with lavender and alchemilla planted alternately; the acid green of the alchemilla off-setting the grey/green and purples of lavender and rising through all this are verbenas and alliums giving height and drama and more splashes of purple and green.

The east side of the terrace is open to catch the last of the evening sun, with low garden chairs, sofa and coffee table to complete the 'outdoor living room' concept. Two standard olive trees complete the mediterranean theme and frame the open seating area of the paved terrace.


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