Our client was a passionate vegetable grower (and eater) and needed his garden to be easily accessible/useable and very low maintenance.
The existing garden was divided into two: the bottom half was a bindweed infested vegetable garden surrounded by smooth paving, whilst the top half was a mixture of slate and paving. We removed the existing conventional vegetable beds and replaced them with raised wooden beds lined with several layers of membrane and filled with new, clean soil. The bottom half of the old vegetable garden was turned into a mulched, open bed and planted with autumn fruiting raspberries (these do not have to be caged as they are not eaten by birds), fruit trees and a couple of smaller beds for potatoes. The area around the raised beds was then paved with a grey riven paver (slightly rough to assist with footing but not so rough as to impede walking) which was then used for the pathway up to the house.
We reused the slate chips, and they were augmented on one side with a wood chip mulch. One side of the top garden was heavily planted, whilst the other side was left to be infilled with new plants by the client as he felt fit. Year round interest was created by planting a multi-stemmed silver birch which acted as a focal point: this was under-planted with Cornus, Sarcococca confusa, and a variety of perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Perovskia 'Blue Spire', perennial geraniums and Gaura lindheimeri. The Gaura, Verbena and Perovskia will all reseed themselves during the year. Seeds of Nigella, or love-in-the mist, and Californian poppies were scattered into the mulch; these reseed themselves annually and create additional vibrant colour.