Our Story

Learn more about the history of Southlands and the creatives behind the gardens and artwork
we're featured on

Southlands has been developed on a long, narrow sight (365 feet long, 25 feet wide near the house, widening to 35 feet). It once formed part of the orchard on the estate owned by the aristocratic de Trafford family who had held most of the lands in the borough of Trafford since medieval times. When the garden was purchased in 1990 only one pear tree from this orchard remained in it. Although the blossom is still beautiful, its fruits are small. In summer it is clothed in the climbing rose ‘Wedding Day’.

The garden did contain many other productive fruit trees, providing delicious crops of plums, greengages, apples, pears, cherries and peaches. Some of these trees have been retained. For the most part the garden was laid to grass with little in the way of boundary hedging.

Pond and Garden
Greenhouse

It has taken twenty years to achieve a garden that we both love and enjoy. Having said this, parts of it are relatively new because we have changed and modified the planting and design of it. We live in a suburban area, where hedges and fences denote the boundaries of every garden. Consequently, we have no landscape to ‘borrow’ in order to give the impression of additional width to ours.

The elongated shape of the site has to some extent dictated the design of it i.e. a series of ‘rooms’ each with its own character and planting. It contains a Courtyard, Mediterranean garden, a Shade garden linked to the Kitchen Garden by a Gravel walk, Pond Garden and Woodland garden. However, unity has been achieved by limiting the use of hard landscaping materials and by echoing planting combinations and colour schemes throughout the garden.

BA (Hons) ATD

Maureen is a gardener and practising artist and designer who divides her time between the development of the garden at Southlands, the garden design and consultation service she offers and her own work which she exhibits in galleries and craft shops. In the past she was a senior lecturer in art and design.

Maureen is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Cottage Garden Society and a listed RHS speaker.

Maureen Sawyer
Duncan Watmough
BA (Hons) ATC – University of Wales

Duncan is a practising artist who exhibits his work in major galleries throughout the country. He has now retired from his position as a senior lecturer and Head of Foundation Studies in Art and Design in a college of Further and Higher Education

Open day for the National Garden Scheme
Sunday July 21st 2019 from 12.00pm – 6.00pm.