Low Maintenance Garden, St Newlyn East




The Background

A semi-detached bungalow set at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac cover looking superb country views.  A good size garden in St. Newlyn East that wraps around the property giving a front, side and rear garden.

A retired lady who wanted a low maintenance garden with planting that would withstand the strong winds, provide shelter without obstructing the views.

The Brief

The client had recently moved to the property and wanted a complete garden makeover.  She needed a low maintenance garden that accommodated her two dogs that love to play and to dig and also to incorporate some treasured plants she had brought from her previous garden.

The Project

A series of practical yet beautiful areas were created with emphasis on the views from the garden to the countryside and from the interior of the property onto the garden.

The front garden now provides a welcoming and attractive entrance for the client and her visitors with the carefully chosen plants imparting an ever-changing view from the kitchen.  Key plants were chosen to provide height, texture, movement in the slightest breeze and a play of shadows against the garage wall.  The ground was covered with membrane and topped with slate shingle for an appealing and weed-free backdrop.

The side path is now bordered with raised fruit and vegetable beds, providing an opportunity to grow your own without the need for digging or bending.  A Lutyens-style bench flanked by the client’s standard bay trees is positioned against the fence, offering a focal point, a quiet space to sit and an alternative view within the garden.

To the rear of the property a patio and seating area surrounded by scented ornamental plants was created for socialising and al fresco meals.  Much of the rear garden is seen from the full height lounge windows and a wide selection of tough yet beautiful and unusual plants was chosen to provide interest throughout the seasons.  The rear fence will be screened by a myriad of contrasting foliage; the views to the countryside over the side fence will be framed and unobscured.  Practical needs such as a sunlit area for the rotary washing line have been taken into account.  The slate shingle-covered membrane from the front garden is continued throughout this area, which will allow the client and her dogs to walk through the garden at any time of the year without getting muddy.

Perhaps the star of the show is a circular artificial lawn.  Maintenance is minimal, the dogs cannot dig it up, and with state of the art materials the effect is surprisingly natural – it really has to be seen to be believed!


“Having had the builders in, my wide, shallow garden needed a complete makeover.  Kim came to meet me and to survey the site to understand what I needed from the garden which, although I am a keen gardener, included play space for my two little dogs, whilst requiring minimal routine maintenance. I was delighted with her design proposal and am thrilled with the end result which has been much admired by all my friends who have seen it. The artificial grass has been a particular talking point as due to the care with which it was laid, it looks spectacular. Kim’s planting plan utilised an imaginative and unusual selection of plants and I very much look forward to seeing the garden develop as the plants grow. Kim and her team worked extremely hard in building the garden and were a pleasure to have here. I cannot recommend Landscapes of Distinction highly enough. Thank you Kim”

Truro Front Garden



A returning customer, as we did a large make over in the rear garden last year. The front had a sloped drop at one end of 1.5 metres with access steps to a side gate and the back garden on both sides. Stepping stones came through the granite chipping to the front door. The existing planting was tired.

The Brief

The client wanted access to the windows and fascia of the property for maintenance. Materials were chosen to match those existing and used in the back garden. For ease of access we have designed a retaining wall (to match the existing walling) to give the client level access.

The Project

We recycled the bricks left over from previous projects to continue the wall around and make a level area.

Weed-suppressant membrane was topped with golden flint and a range of plants selected for movement, scent, colour and all year round interest.

Cynara cardunculus and Stipa gigantea provide height and an architectural element and Stipa tenuissima sway in the slightest of breezes.  A purple, pink and white theme is carried throughout with Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, Leucanthemum ‘Wirral Pride’, Eryngium and Anigozanthus.  Gradually spreading Geranium ‘Rozanne’ flowers its socks off for months on end, trailing Rosemary breaks up the length of the wall and this and the fennel add scent.  The whole garden is buzzing with butterflies and bees.


Newquay Courtyard

The Brief

This is a small courtyard in Newquay. As you can see (in the before image) it was very overgrown and  unloved. The client wanted a bespoke playhouse for her grandchildren, a small water feature and sitting area. The central access path had to remain. The client has a very floral front garden with a number of quirky features.

The Project

The client collects and stores items found at the beach so we designed a false wall storage unit for her to store items in and to disguise the water butt (wanted to collect water for flushing the toilet) and soil vent pipe. This was made with a sliding door to allow space for a bistro seating area in the sun.

The garden was made to look larger with the use of a mirror across one of the walls and this was softened with planting.

The neighbours have very high walls on both sides. Columnar plants were added to the planting to soften this and we designed and made a false mirrored window with shutters to add interest and for the grandchildren to be able to play with (opening and closing the shutters).

All the planting was through a weed suppressant membrane with a pebble mulch to make it as low maintenance as possible.

Waterfront Holiday Home, Looe

Built into the side of the cliff in picturesque Looe, this three-storey property was bought in the winter of 2014 as a private holiday home. The owners commissioned award winning interior designers, Camellia Interiors, to manage the renovations. Their vision was for a space large groups of friends and family could enjoy, and being able to host large parties.
Landscapes of Distinction were commissioned in 2015 to undertake the re-design and landscaping of the extensive garden.
A challenging site; built into the side of the cliff face, with limited topsoil and access difficulties but offering very special, unique landscaping opportunities.

The Brief

With several external terraces directly outside the property, the client wanted a main relaxation area overlooking the magnificent Looe Island with a series of pathways leading to the private beach, ensuring access was easy and possible all year around.

It was important that all planting reflected the coastal location and in areas provided shelter, whilst complimenting the sea views.

The client wanted a scheme that was low maintenance but that could be used all year around.

The Project

A circle paving area with hand cut edging mirrored the existing terraces but provide a fantastic location for relaxing overlooking Looe Island. A raised planter of railway sleeps on end at varying heights gave the opportunity for bold scented planting to disguise gabion baskets. The area was surround by golden gravel softened by occasional low growing evergreen plants.

A large second raised planter offers a fantastic supply of fresh herbs all year round. A terrace directly outside the kitchen offers a further selection of herbs and striking coastal planting.

The client was keen for existing grass footpath to be replaced with gravel. This was achieved by installing 200 railway sleeper steps to take in the steep gradient and provide safe access to be the beach below. Areas of planting throughout the walkway soften and create focal points along the pathway.

The client was so delighted that we were commissioned to undertake a second phase; the stone terraces to the side of the property. A more secret location, just off one of the large terraces, it offered a rare opportunity to showcase some very special unique planting.

We continue to provide ongoing maintenance and have undertaken several smaller landscaping projects.

Family Home, Pentire


A recently renovated contemporary family home situated on Pentire Headland with spectacular views across the River Gannel and Crantock.
The client, a busy working family, initially employed Landscapes of Distinction to re-design the planting and modify the layout of the borders but the project evolved to include building a kitchen garden and installing new terrace areas.

The Brief

Situated in a very exposed location the planting needed to withstand the harsh salt laden winds. The client wanted bold, striking planting that reflected the contemporary design of her home. It was important that the plant choice was architectural and would not be seen decaying.

Very much a family home, that is used to play in, relax in and entertain; the garden needed to accommodate this and look striking throughout the year.

The Project

The garden had a number of unusual plants that we were able to retain and reuse. These were complimented and enhanced by additional planting to extend the season of interest and to add sound and movement to the garden.

The borders were re-designed, stainless steel edger’s commissioned and beautiful pebble mulch installed to reduce maintenance and protect the planting from the resident pets.

A new kitchen garden was built that offered the client a choice of over 30 different herbs and seasonal vegetables.


We modified the existing modern terraces and installed a further two terraces so the client could make the most of the late evening sun.

The client was so pleased with the project that they have commissioned us to undertake several more projects and to provide all the maintenance for the garden.


Countryside Home, Milton Combe

The clients had lived in the village for a number of years before buying and renovating the property. Set on the outskirts of Dartmoor the property is situated at the bottom of a valley with a steep west-facing slope as part of the garden and with a small stream running through it.

Their vision was to have a high impact low maintenance garden that wrapped around the property, providing a transition to the grassland slope and the countryside beyond.

The client approached Landscapes of Distinction at an early stage as renovations were starting so that the garden and house could be designed as one. Initially we were employed to design the garden but the client was so delighted that we were asked to complete the landscaping too!

The Brief

The garden and house very much work as one, with large windows and doors linking the internal and external areas. It was important to ensure the areas directly around the property (on three sides) provided interest throughout the four seasons, privacy from neighbours, whilst enabling as much light as possible to enter the property.

Situated at the foot of a valley, drainage was paramount.

As part of the brief we ensured both the oil tank and boiler pipe were disguise.

The Project

The garden offers fantastic views from all windows, ensuring the gardens beauty can be appreciated 365 days of the year. Planting of taller exotics along the northern boundary created privacy from the other properties whilst more integrate plants closer to the home created a series of wows!

All the planting areas were mulched with a golden gravel to reduce maintenance and link to the stone used to line the stream. Where appropriate a weed suppressant membrane was also used. Landscapes of Distinction designed the whole area, although due to works on the property the landscaping will be undertaken in two parts.

The client was over the moon with the completion of stage one which has now had 12 months establishing and is keen to progress with the second stage which includes a mirror to reflect and add depth to the stream, a living roof on the shed and two entertaining areas; one directly outside the kitchen patio door and the other looking down on the stream.

Treffry Road, Truro

The client retired to their Truro property from Oxfordshire in 2015. The previous owners to property had undertaken some initial landscaping to part of the garden with an ecliptic mix of materials but it remained largely unfinished.

Their vision was for a garden the client could enjoy and relax in, they didn’t want to be tied to regular maintenance but enjoy pottering in the garden. The client approached Landscapes of Distinction to design and landscape their garden.

The Brief

It was important to have a transition between the native woodland and more formal garden area. This was created using planting that gave a more naturalistic feel but offering all year round interest and scent.

Landscapes of Distinction suggested a formal seating and entertaining area that was sheltered and enclosed within the surrounding the garden.
A second sheltered ‘drinks area’ was included with a stainless steel and glass screen directly outside the backdoor so that the couple could regularly enjoy the magnificent views across Truro.

The client was keen to have a yin and yang feature as a reminder of their Oxfordshire garden. This was incorporated as a central feature leading off the sweeping steps. A 5m stainless steel ring defined the areas with small black and white gravel used to compliment the six stainless ball sculptures.

The previous slippery footpath that joined the front and back gardens was removed. The planting from the Japanese style garden was extended to form a cohesive link between the two gardens. An informal gravel footpath with sleeper steps enabled the client to meander between the areas enjoying the pieces of sculpture they have collected.

Plan for Treffry Road

The Project

The garden offers privacy and shelter making it useable throughout the year. Landscapes of Distinction created a journey through a series of outdoor rooms. Focal points and sculpture enhanced views and created interested, drawing the eye to new and secluded areas of the garden.

The client is delighted to be able to retain a relatively large garden that doesn’t require lots of maintenance, leaving them time to explore Cornwall and enjoy their garden.