Normally, the SGD Student Hall of Fame is for gardens designed by you – on this occasion I’m slightly breaking it as I designed this one, live, in the Wide Garden Workshop we did in Oct 2015…
The reason I’m including it is that the owner, Howard built the garden, with no previous experience as a ‘retirement project’!

Be Honest, How Good Does Your Garden Look in the Middle of January?

If you’re like most people, probably not great… this garden is under a year old and still has more planting to do – it shows just what the right design can do…

Building the Garden

Howard did all the work himself apart from laying the main patio by the conservatory and then the new lawns being laid a couple of weeks ago.
The garden project involved him laying 2000+ setts on concrete foundations, which as Howard commented in his email “takes a long, long time!”
He went on to say, “Friends are amazed by the fantastic transformation in the garden from the original…so much more attractive views from the house and conservatory.
Hard landscaping is nearly finished, but more work to do on the planting next year. With the open space behind, the garden is exposed to SW gales bouncing off the house, and NE gales from Botany Bay in front funnel between the houses.  Need to put in some windbreaks and grow more wind resistant planting…”

The Power of Good Design…

Watch the video below to see how the garden all came together from design to build.


I hope Howard & Anne’s garden has inspired you to properly design and plan your garden. If you’d like some help with that, do check out our online garden design courses where I walk you through the entire process, step-by-step.

If you have a ‘wide garden’ like Howard and Anne, then take a look at the Fast-Track Garden Design Course.

2019 Update!

As you can see, Howard & Anne’s garden has come along leaps and bounds. I’m so pleased they sent me updated photos and hope they continue to do so :o)

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes and learn how to design your garden…

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Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    7 replies to "Wide Garden Design – Howard’s Garden Update"

    • Janine McMahon

      Love it – great design Rachel and brilliant follow through by Howard. Well Done !

      • Admin Superstar

        Thank you so much, Janine 🙂 We appreciate your support and delighted to hear that you have enjoyed the design.
        Successful Garden Design

    • Chris

      Hi Rachel,

      The comparisons are amazing and to think the after pictures are done in January is fantastic. The plants that you planted look great and the patio and other hard landscaping really compliment each other. There doesn’t look to be a lot of maintenance required either which is always a plus. And lastly, I’d love to read more of your ideas in articles if you publish them and I will try to do some of your suggestions for our backyard. Thanks so much for a great read.


      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Dave

      great comparison of the before and after. I really like the planning design of the garden and seeing it come to life. Still keeping plenty of space but making it more modern. Well done

    • Arlynn McMahon

      I love the oval lattice at the top of the privacy fence. It really softens the hard lines of the fence panel. I love mirrors in the garden but have been afraid of fire. However, I can see from the shadows in the photos that this mirror probably never gets direct sun. I may have just the place for a no-sun mirror! Two great ideas I can use in my project. Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational.

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