Prizewinner Tina Mantle’s brand new backyard is complete; Ruth Chivers looks at the way the final design satisfies the needs — and fulfils the dreams — of its customers
It is just more than six months because Tina Mantle won Greenfingers’ first competition. New garden layouts have to work for everyone using them. Tina mentioned her dream of having a hot tub at the outset — she’d been busy collecting brochures. It represented a good proportion of the overall budget, but if it hadn’t been included, I could see it wouldn’t be long before our makeover would be pulled apart to fit one in.
A lot of time went into site preparation, removing old features and preparing new ones. It’s time well spent but you can’t see a lot happening. Awful weather dragged out this building site phase of construction at the Mantles, despite the team working through rain and into twilight hours. Breakthrough came with the arrival of the hot tub, then decking and paving simply flew into position.
The overall design, setting everything on an angle, has proved popular with Tina. It really opens the garden up. She admits it’s something she would never have come up with herself, and it is one of several design ideas that visitors are pleased to take away. Another is the arbour behind the garage, which enlivens a previously ‘dead’ space. Rosemary Verey’s point about lack of flow was solved by layout and incorporating another set of measures. Keen to have a deck, the look of the wood planks is just another success story with Tina.
Visualizing the end results proved an issue for Tina. She had doubts regarding the raised beds till they had been stained, slabs laid on the floor, and plants set up. They bring crops up, and do decrease the effect of the wall and fence supporting.
And so into the tub. Consider again if you believe one of them would be used in our climate. Tina and Roy have garden preparation sessions in theirs. After the media circus made by her prize subsided, Tina feels at home free to do her own thing inside the spaces we have made.