Large Family Garden

This 500 sq m garden is to the rear of a house situated in a conservation area with severe restrictions on development and alterations so any work had to be approved by the planning authorities and a local heritage association. Although it was to be, above all, a family garden with a large lawn, the clients also wanted certain contemporary elements.

The design solution was to create a space which has three clearly defined areas: a terrace made of polished poured concrete in a buff colour, containing aggregate to give it texture and added interest. The terrace acts as an outdoor sitting area with shade provided by two umbrella topped London Plane trees which are up-lit at night.

Dividing this from the rest of the garden is an infinity edge water feature with stepping stones with water fed from a letterbox spout, draining off into a slim rill. The water feature acts as a visual pull into the garden, leading one’s eye down to the end. While it was not designed to be one, in practice, the children use it as a paddling pool on hot days.

The largest part of the garden is a rectangular lawn bordered by beds and gravel paths and cut into at one point by two side beds containing beech hedging and lime trees. At the far end of the garden is a secondary terrace area of gravel with the garden shed and a children’s slide, screened by more beech hedging.

The planting palette is purely white, off-white and green incorporating a couple of existing red leafed shrubs for additional interest. The planting includes multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarckii trees, lime trees, beech hedging and a range of shrubs and perennials, most of them sun-loving due to the garden’s Southerly aspect.