Waterwise Gardens bark

Alvor Garden

When the new owners of this house near Alvor moved in, they quickly realised that the 350m2 lawn wasn't making sense, financially or aesthetically. After researching Mediterranean garden styles, they opted for a naturalistic gravel garden, thickly planted with herbs, perennials and grasses. Three different plant matrices were designed: short "plats", blocks of taller perennials, and swathes of grasses. These interleaved plantings use differing height and texture to create a dynamic picture within the flat garden. Once the grass was weedkilled and ploughed into the soil, a 5cm dressing of gravel was laid on top, leaving a blank canvas on which to lay out the plants. Fortnightly waterings through the first summer were more than enough to keep these tough cookies going, and the rich soil has supported extraordinary growth in the first year.