A flat garden is a dreary garden – discuss. Sometimes a bit of a slope is a good thing, other times it is a complete pain. In this case the slope was not dramatic enough to be interesting nor gentle enough to be ignored.

Nettles needed to be grasped. The age old way of dealing with slopes is terracing Рit worked fine on ramparts and rice paddies so why not in pretty rural gardens? You build a wall across the slope and on one side you make a high garden and on the other a low garden. We joined the two together with a fine set of steps made from very chunky bits of stone Рa lucky find in a reclamation yard.

The top garden is all colour and zing with herbaceous plants set in randomly sized beds, the whole surrounded with gravel. The lower level is a series of snaking box hedges and balls set in grass. This gives contrast and a completely different feel depending on which end of the garden you start. There is another bit of garden round the corner with two snaking borders leading to a very lovely gate.