Our clients had bought a striking new-build on a small development in Central Bedfordshire and purchased an extra strip of land to enlarge the garden . When we arrived the plot was a blank canvas apart from a narrow patio at the back of the house and an attractive summerhouse in one corner.

We transformed the space by emphasizing the small change in level with very broad, shallow steps leading from the now generous slate terrace onto the lawn. Very dominant closeboard fencing was masked with planting and grey painted trellis panels. The same panels screened off the path to the garage, which operates as a clinic, so that patients could enter without feeling they were walking through the garden. A small vegetable and fruit garden overlooked by the summerhouse was also hidden behind the trellis work with an arch giving access to the main garden.

At the back of the garden where very mature trees in the neighbouring property cast extensive shade we created a raised timber fernery to provide a cool, green background to more colourful borders. Planting elsewhere was traditional with a mixture of Roses, small shrubs and perennials all enhanced by an under-planting of spring bulbs to give early interest. The colour scheme is cool to blend with the grey slate and includes soft pinks creams, blues, silvers and purples.