A shove in the right direction 
Sometimes a consultation is all need to make some firm decisions about which direction you want your garden to go. And it's always a real pleasure when as a designer you have been instrumental in helping the garden owners to get there. Earlier this month I was invited to return to a garden in mid Devon to view how the owners had developed their site and made it their own. Experienced and keen gardeners themselves the new owners loved the cottagey garden surrounding their thatched Devon long house garden but were certain it needed some bold tweaks. 
The first thing to go was the conifer hedge; certainly it was a wind break but apart from being deeply unattractive it took up about two metres of ground space and more if you consider nothing could grow several feet either side. Now it's replaced with a very handsome stone wall high enough for a screen and support for friut trees but low enough to view the moors beyond.  
Levels were also and issue at the rear - gone is the greying decking and in went dry stone retaining walls and smart stone steps creating access from a paved patio and greenhouse to a lawn and fruit trees.  
The front garden is the real triumph - now on two levels and shelving down to a pond now three times the size it was. ' Make the pond as big as you dare' I said - so they did - I would have dared a bit more.  
A clear grasp of how they what the garden to perform - based around what they want to do in the garden has driven their approach - and sometimes a gardener's boldness needs to be bolstered by a third party. I'm glad I was there to give them a gentle shove... 
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