Mill Hill, Norwich

This impressive Norwich city house sits twenty steps up from the road at the front, and a further fifteen to the back garden. Extensive renovation by the new owners had seen the garden reduced to bare and compacted earth by the builders. The clients are keen plant collectors, particularly hardy ferns, so the quality of the soil was of key importance. Many tons of new soil were brought in, with the pH specifically adjusted to suit ferns. The scale of the work proposed required machinery, so huge ramps were built to get diggers, a dumper and the materials up into the garden, as well as waste material out. New Yorkstone paving slabs were chosen and framed with brick edges, while oak sleepers retained levels and created raised planting beds. A wall mounted water feature at the front, and a large formal pond to the rear added some sound to cover traffic noise, while mature pleached hornbeam hedges and tall bamboos added the screening required from the flats to the rear of the property.

A third phase of work included a shared flint and reclaimed brick wall with the neighbouring property. As it was retaining a significant volume of soil at the bottom of the site, a structurally reinforced concrete block wall was built, then faced with a reclaimed suffolk white brick, with flint panels to add interest.

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