The property now
The property is a detached house in a quiet rural location. The garden is ¾ acre and slopes down at 1:10 to the river Yare. This project is to create a modern formal garden immediately to the back of the house, which is approximately 600m2 and almost south-west-facing.
There is a patio at the back of the house which has been covered with railed decking for safety. Steps from here lead down to a level lawn area with banked sides with more lawn beyond.
There are a few ornamental shrubs at the top of the garden but the bulk of the site is laid to lawn with mature trees and overgrowth on the boundaries. The site is very long for its width; the excess of trees with large canopies makes it look even narrower.
There are plans for a conservatory on the back of the house.
There was ample space elsewhere in the garden for the football pitch and other children’s paraphernalia, so this area was to be the grown-up space. The clients wanted the impression of the space to be green rather than excessively hard landscaped, with a good view from the conservatory and kitchen. In particular, they wanted to retain the view from the conservatory down to the end of the garden. Consequently any tall planting must be confined to the sides of the garden.
There was a lot to fit in to this garden. The main requirements were:
- a hot tub as close to the house as possible,
- a terrace for lounging and another for eating (suitable for 8 people),
- a smaller breakfast area accessed from the new conservatory (suitable for 2 people),
- a fire pit or outside fireplace in the lounge area,
- the sound of running water,
- plenty of scope for planting but for the area near the house to be mainly evergreen,
- a seat further down the garden, and
- to hide the children’s play area.
The mature willow and beech trees must be retained in the new design.
The proposed garden layout
The new design divides the garden in to three areas.
A raised deck around the new conservatory forms an upper terrace. The hot tub is sunk in to the deck on one side, with space for a breakfast area on the other.
Generous steps lead down between raised planters to the lower terrace.
The existing banked area is properly retained with new steps down to the formal lawn. The flat area created becomes the lounge and dining terrace. A tall fence on one side screens off the bike stores and potting bench. This incorporates a wood-burning fireplace as a focal point for the lounge.
A water cascade is built in to the end wall of the steps from the upper terrace.
Lawns and borders
The end of the garden is given over to a large lawn and generous borders.
Three new trees in the side border screen the view in to the neighbour’s garden. A double border at the end of the garden are backed by a yew hedge to screen the children’s play area – the height of the hedge was calculated to ensure it won’t break the view down the garden from the conservatory!
A bench is set in to the end border to provide somewhere to rest and admire the view.
Buildings and raised platforms usually require planning permission. Always check with your local authority before starting work.