This is the rectangular rear garden to an end of terrace, Edwardian property which is currently undergoing major extension and refurbishment.
An extension is being built onto the back of the house which means that little of the previous landscaping remains, however, there is an Acacia to one side which has a TPO on it and that will stay. There are also some other mature shrubs, however, they are now a little old and have outgrown their space.
The garden will, when work is complete, be accessed via bi-fold doors across the back of the house.
Soil samples from around the garden show that the soil is PH7.5, which is alkaline, but still suitable for a wide range of plants.
The garden has inevitably suffered during the extension work, however, having previously been landscaped over ten years ago, the client felt it was probably time for updating anyway.
The client would like to create an attractive, multi-functional space which appeals to all the family. The new extension will have a back wall made up mainly of glass, so the view out is very important too.
For convenience, the main sitting area will be directly at the back of the house, the client would like to accommodate two sofas, or the equivalent in built-in seating, and a free-standing fire pit. They would also like a shade sail over the seating area, which can be taken down in winter so as not to block too much light from the house.
The client will also need space to use a gas barbecue, possibly built-in, but this can be screened from the house so that they don’t have to look at it when not in use.
In order to introduce the pleasing element of sound, we discussed incorporating a water feature into the patio design. If placed within view of the house it will also make a stunning focal point, especially when up-lit at night.
This entertaining/relaxing area will be paved and we talked about using sawn, natural paving for a more contemporary feel, rather than riven, and laying it in a modern, linear pattern.
The client would like to retain as large a lawn area as possible (although it will be artificial, rather than natural turf) and therefore the planting beds will necessarily be quite small. This will mean that we should take as much advantage of the vertical space as possible, planting many different climbers to clothe the new fences you need on both sides.
The new planting scheme needs to be low maintenance, but should provide interest throughout the seasons. A wide range of evergreen and deciduous climbing plants on the boundaries can ensure that the garden gets colour and interest throughout the year, together with some perfumed varieties too. Other favourite plants include Lavender, Poppies, Salvia, Alchemilla, Cistus and Geraniums.
We plan to introduce some herbs, a raised bed somewhere for the clients son to grow veggies and some room for pots to grow spring bulbs and summer annuals.
Lighting will add another exciting dimension to the garden, making it not only usable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in the winter months. With practical lighting to the barbecue area, inset lighting to the built-in seating and paving and up-lighting to the water feature, shade sail and structural planting, the effects can be dramatic. However, with the use of different circuits, a more subtle feel can be achieved, according to the mood and occasion.
The children’s play area to the rear of the garden will incorporate a new shed, of similar size to the existing, but with a low guard rail (to retain cushions). Once the playhouse section of the play structure is removed, this will leave space at the side for either a table tennis table or other play opportunity.