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a sunken garden for a modern home​

Garden design | Ben Rhydding, Ilkley

The Brief

The clients, whose children had grown up and left home, were looking for a creative response to soften the hard landscaping installed after their new build house.  

Our clients wanted to oversee the build and planting themselves with their chosen landscape contractor.

The site

A south facing garden, wide and short, set within a steep rise on Ilkley moor.  A key view from highly used living spaces looked out onto parked cars.

The garden was dominated with paving, stone walls and high retaining walls (over 2m high) of their new build property in Ben Rhydding, Ilkley.

the finished garden


“Looking out is so much more pleasurable.  We are really pleased with the hedging you recommended.  The areas in the patio I’ve planted up myself after choosing the plants with the help of a friend.  Thank you for all your ideas and support.”


Steps relocated to enhance use of space.

Carefully selected evergreen hedging for impact & establishment.

Bespoke screen & gate to separate garden from parking area

Planting pockets in existing patio to match windows and enhance outlook

The Design

The clients had designed the house with an architect and during the build of their new home the garden was terraced.  There were some extreme level changes which they wanted to soften.  The homeowners were looking to create a beautiful garden to soften the dominant hard landscaping and retaining walls when viewed from their house, which has many glass walls to create that ‘inside-out’ feel within the home.  However, the main living area inside the home overlooked the cars on the driveway, and as there wasn’t an obvious way to screen this, they asked Melissa Morton Garden Design to help.

Areas for new planting opportunities were created whilst having to work with the existing topography which was quite extreme with 2m high retaining walls.  The concept visualisations were prepared to help the clients understand how the design would look in reality.

Further plans were drawn up and our clients managed the build with their preferred landscape contractor.

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