By William Lailey/ Aliki Kraterou


You wouldn’t know it from the front, but this 1960s semi hides an amazing secret.


Annmarie and Andrew Swift have spent the last 12 years turning the garden of their home in Walsall, West Mids, into a personal Eden.


What was a boggy lawn has been miraculously transformed into a peaceful corner of nature, complete with plants, a waterfall, ponds and even a mini spa.


Annmarie, 57 and Andrew, 60, moved into the home in 2008.


The pair’s initial plan was to create a Japanese style garden but they soon realised they had chosen all sorts of plants, which made their garden more exotic.


The 15m x 11m site consists of a big pond connected by a stream to a smaller pond, with a small waterfall at the end, 50 trees, countless unusual plants such as ferns, bamboos, bananas and yuccas and a hydrotherapy tub.


The couple have spent over £10,000 to transform their garden over the years.


Andrew, a fire safety engineer, said:  “When we first moved into the house 12 years ago, it was just a typical garden with a lawn and a few plants around.


“The first thing we decided was that we wanted a pond – and we put one at the bottom of the garden on its own.


“It escalated from there and we decided we wanted a bigger pond.


“Gradually we realised we wanted a Japanese style garden but we got carried away and we kept adding lots of different things.


“We have a waterfall, lots of unusual plants,  we like anything tropical.


“We finally got it to where we wanted  it.


“It took us years because everything that has to do with gardening is usually expensive.


“We have about 50 trees, a huge collection of ferns, a big pond connected by a stream to a smaller pond with a waterfall.


“It’s our own special corner, we spend a lot of time in the garden, it’s beautiful.


“There is a lot of wildlife, we get all sorts of birds, moths and frogs – it’s because of the water. “


“Annmarie and myself do everything together, we designed it together, everything we did as a pair but I must admit my wife is the main gardener.


“We get so many nice comments from friends and neighbours.”