The Centre Bed and Steps

Originally this part of the garden was laid out in a cruciate form with York stone pathways meeting in a central circular area. In the middle of this was an ornamental pool with a central fountain. Over the years this had fallen into disrepair and when we came to the house in 1981 the fountain had gone and the pool had been filled in and turned into a raised flower bed. One of the first major changes we made was to put in the swimming pool. As the garden sloped somewhat towards the house, if the pool was to be level with the lawn at it's far end, it would need to be about 2 feet above ground at the end nearer to the house. To make this work we used the soil excavated to raise this section of the garden and a low wall was built around the central area and along the rear central pathway separating the two levels.

Before starting work on the central area

As can be seen from the first of the pictures above, this made the garden asymmetrical and we wanted to balance the wall separating the raised pool area from the central circle with a similar one on the opposing side. The picture to the right above shows the finished central bed and steps which gives a much more balanced effect - ( the dwarf wall along the raised section along the path was balanced by building the long raised bed shown in another section on the site ).

The new section opposite the pool would form six semi-circular planters in tiered formation with a raised platform in the centre. Steps would lead up to and down from this raised platform.

Digging the footings for the planters

The footings for the wall and planters ready to be filled with concrete

Starting the first course of bricksThe hard core we would use to fill the raised platform

The planters, steps and raised area needed to be built up together to tie the bricks into each other.

Building up the planters and the stepsUp to the top of the raised area and ready to lay the York stone paving

The York stone paving lifted from the original path was used to form the raised platform.

The steps and planters complete ready for filling with soil

The planters filled with first planting

The planters just finished with the first planting

We decided to use a trellis and archway leading from the steps to divide the two sections of the garden, This would have the effect of partially obscuring one section, which would have the effect of making one want to go through to explore another part of the garden.

The wooden trellis and archway

The planting much more established

October 2011

The bird-bath which was a retirement gift from the staff at the Jethro Arscott Day Surgery Unit at Bexhill Hospital where I worked on Wednesday afternoon for 11 years from May 2000 until September 2011

The next phase to complete this section is the centre bed which would incorporate a central water feature. The construction of this is chronicled on a continuation page.

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