A contemporary garden design for a family with teenage children

My current clients have lived in their home for several years, and with children now grown up, they are reprioritising how they want to use the garden: a special place for relaxing, entertaining and a dedicated space for growing vegetables and fruit.

They have had a house extension in recent years and are now ready to invest in their garden.  The garden has hardly changed since they bought their home and they were ready to create something special and contemporary.  As they’d lived their for so long and become used to how it had been, they were struggling to envisage how to make the changes they needed.  It’s a significant investment for them, and they are a professional couple who appreciated the need for planning how their budget would be spent.

Design objectives:
• Creating interconnecting areas for dining, entertaining, growing kitchen produce and general relaxing, ensuring these areas have a unifying character
• An opportunity to create various seating areas to catch the sun at various times of day, including a pergola or similar structure/s to provide dappled shade as well as sitting in the sun. A separate dining area from a seating area to ‘retire’ to and not move furniture about
• The various levels within the garden, paths patio and house threshold require consideration
• Careful thought for privacy and feeling of ‘closeness’ from neighbouring homes. The back and sides of the garden are overlooked. At the side it currently feels quite exposed, particularly as the neighbour’s property is at a higher level
• Connecting the house (kitchen via patio doors) to an extended patio area leading to lawned areas. Sliding doors from the sitting room have a large drop to the external patio – although not used, a step would be advisable to future proof the use of this door. Transition from house to patio to lawn to ‘work well’
• A sensitive lighting plan to enhance the garden for security, safety and aesthetic

The design includes

  • a pergola with seating for upto 8 people which will form an architectural element aligned with the home and viewed all year round from inside the home
  • steps from the garden, up to the house, to allow the transition from the garden to the two sets of patio doors
  • A second seating area for relaxation and chilling out at other times of the day with different views
  • Pleached trees to create an avenue to venture down the garden, and using them in a separate area to screen overlooking neighbouring windows
  • Separate kitchen garden with greenhouse, storage shed and raised beds alongside a young orchard
  • Creating a new welcome entrance to the back garden, separated from the existing narrow side path

The design plans are at outline and concept stage.  Next stage are construction plans with design details where chosen materials will be worked into the design.