Brief

The existing garden was almost unusable, being on a very steep slope with a large drop at the end of it. Having two young children, the clients were keen to turn the garden into a more usable, safe and enjoyable place to be in. There needed to be areas for the children to play and have fun, as well as areas for the grown ups to relax and socialise. The overall design style was to be contemporary with a low maintenance planting scheme.

Design solution

The garden needed to be terraced to create these usable spaces. A long time was taken working out the best way of doing this, finding the correct balance between practicality and design aesthetics. We settled on a plan of four main terraces off set from each other, creating a visually stimulating pathway through the garden. These were broken up with blocks of planting, adding splashes of colour. Structural planting was chosen to compliment the rest of the design, with Phormium & Box a recurring theme. Clean lines and rendered walls were used to create a very architectural, contemporary space. A limited material palette fed into this aesthetic with Granite and smooth render being the two main materials.

A seating area sits mid way between two terraces intended for play, allowing the parents to relax while still being able to keep an eye out and feel connected to the kids. The upper terrace is home to a purpose built play area, complete with a climbing wall and padded flooring. While the mid terrace is home to the traditional lawned area & personalised playhouse. The lower terrace is the largest and allows for sit down meals, or a table tennis table, depending on the mood. Lowering the existing retaining wall allowed more light into the house and invites people out into the garden.

With this level change over such a short distance there are some unavoidable safety concerns, though care was taken to ensure there were no exposed drops, with the use of glass and wire balustrades, especially in the play areas.