An outdoor extension

An outdoor extension

Tracey Errington and Liz Newport in the garden

For a small plot, such as the back garden of a house in the New Streets area of Penrith, bringing in an expert can help to make the most of the space.

When Tracey Errington decided to splash out and create an outdoor room as an extension to her home, she approached a friend from the Penrith Women in Business Network, Liz Newport of Buzy Lizzie Garden Design, for ideas.

“The garden at the back is quite misleading, it looked long and thin, with a border and lawn,” explains Tracey, “but having seen Liz’s work at a networking meeting, I knew she could turn it into something with variety and scale, making it a great place to sit out and enjoy any good weather. I love gardening but am always busy, so the finished garden had to be easy to maintain too.”

Liz developed a more detailed brief with Tracey, incorporating the existing small shed, recycling and reusing hard landscaping materials, especially the local Penrith sandstone, and creating plenty of seating options for different times of the day. She then designed the planting with a purple and pink colour scheme based around budleia ‘Black Knight’, clematis ‘The President’, Elymus magellanicus , Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Heuchera, giving the garden some height and lots of interest throughout the year but keeping it easy to maintain.

“I never thought I’d be able to have a raised bed for salads and herbs as well as plenty of shrubs and flowers,” says Tracey, “and I wouldn’t have known anything about the ornamental grasses and some of the other plants that Liz has combined to create such a lovely effect. Letting Liz loose on plant choice was great – you can often waste money getting the wrong plants for certain parts of your garden – mines now thriving.”

Liz explains the challenge of Tracey’s small plot: “The existing garden had the usual back path which we incorporated into the garden to maximise space and we also used an arbour and planting to make an area with more privacy as well as space to entertain friends. Tracey had high expectations of what we could achieve but I think we’re all really pleased with the resulting garden and the team thoroughly enjoyed working for a delightful client.”

After almost 18 months, Tracey’s garden is now established and she’s been able to plant a few new additions, include some bulbs for the spring and also prune back the budleia.

“I’d never have been able to extend the house into this space,” she says, “but Liz’s garden design has given me a garden room, an outdoor office and a party space all in one – and I love it!”