Cheshire Lakeside Garden using Yellow Balau Hardwood

A delightful barn conversion on a lakeside in Cheshire had already received an extensive internal make-over and it was now the turn of the garden. The existing garden was dominated by hard landscaping and very few plants. What was required was something more in keeping with the surroundings that enabled the owners to sit, relax and enjoy the view.

The brief was to create a garden that:

  • has minimal hard landscaping with maximum planting areas
  • sits comfortably in its setting and doesn't detract from the view of the small lake and its wildlife
  • creates an area for relaxed seating
  • uses natural materials throughout

It would have been much easier to create a more geometric design but the garden required a more sensitive approach that embraced its natural setting. Soft, organic lines were favoured that allow one to walk slowly through the planting on a journey to the water's edge." - Joanne Willcocks, Designer

Thus a design was created with the curved path, made up of varying widths, meandering through natural planting to the lakeside.

Jo considered a number of materials for the path but felt that timber was the most appropriate and sensitive to the site's location. However, having used decking only a few times before, she felt that a little more research was required. Jo was aware of Silva Timber through gardening press and a recommendation from a fellow designer. Having contacted us and requested samples, Western Red CedarYellow BalauIpé and Mandioqueira were shortlisted. Jo wanted to see the products herself in person, so a visit to the Cheshire branch in Widnes was arranged.

Jo worked in close collaboration with landscapers Rick and Mark to realise the design and work through the technical challenge the curves presented.

"It's hard to really get an appreciation for the qualities of each timber until you can see them up close 'en masse' so a visit to Silva Timber was essential. Jack was really helpful and explained the merits of each timber but it was the soft, warm colours of Yellow Balau that really stood out for me."

As the owners are plant lovers, a stylised form of natural planting was favoured to retain views of the lake whilst encouraging wildlife. Only 6 weeks after completion, the garden was already full of bees and butterflies! The owners are delighted with the results and how it has opened up the garden space. They particularly love the feel of the wood underfoot. The choice of timber has proved very successful as it mellows into its setting and the rich colours of the wood look wonderful.