Family Garden

A large unusual site, two gardens forming a T shape – one plot at ground level long and narrow, the other a sloping wide plot on a higher level.

The brief was to create a garden which had distinct areas for different activities for all the family: secret private spaces, sunny and shady areas for relaxing, a beautiful space for communal eating, a place for composting, bicycles, logs and even chickens!

The upper garden needed to be relatively low maintenance with robust drought tolerant planting and some way of suppressing the rampant weeds, while the lower garden could give way to more abundant planting.

To stabilise the upper garden and provide an opportunity for steps a large reinforced concrete wall was cut into the bank. Materials throughout were limited to timber; sleepers for terracing, oak for the bicycle shed, softwood for the decks. Grit formed the paths, mellow stock bricks created open spaces.