Probably the most important design criteria for designing and landscaping an urban family garden especially for one with growing teenagers, is to provide space for teenagers and their pals to use and enjoy whilst also satisfying the critical parental requirements for an attractive colourful garden in which they too can also enjoy using. Ideally the design and the planting should not be too demanding or difficult to maintain and dog ‘proof’ or ‘dog-friendly’ would be a distinct advantage!
In this project one can see that the garden is much longer than it is wide and the only access was from house or at the opposite rear. Previously the owners had plenty of valiant experiences (the familiar struggles) of trying to maintain a lawn in good order with an energetic family pet.
In our design we proposed to remove the lawn area and replace it with a durable but attractive natural surface throughout. All planting would be re-positioned in purpose built raised planting beds, which would offer some degree of protection against accidental damage, but more importantly provide considerable scope to create distinct areas within the overall layout, lots of informal seating and a very distinctive garden feature.
Planting would be a contrasting mix of specimen trees, resilient low growing shrubs and equally reliable but very colourful performing herbaceous perennial flowering plants. The design layout comprises a series of interlinked areas including main patio at house which adjoined a more formal planted feature arrangement of clipped box hedging, carpet roses and a rose standard. In the latter half of the layout, a second patio was connected to a utility area which also contained a purpose built garden storage unit next to rear garden access.
There is a great sense of openness to the design with the fluency flowing easily from end to end and on both sides which is underlined by the distinct and gentle curves used throughout the raised planted beds.
A garden which is flexible, for all seasons and for all users, and one which it is not too difficult to imagine the satisfaction of using, admiring or simply relaxing alone or with a group. The benefits of a well crafted garden are obvious but one which by and large takes care of itself, featuring plants which are attractive, colourful and individual; a garden built with great care using resilient natural materials ensuring a very satisfying future proofed result, and as it flourishes and matures will facilitate many varied users and happy occasions to come.