"Water, water everywhere……"

A large enclosed, safe garden for family play and fun, so what was the problem? Cold, ugly, uninteresting and uninspiring, almost depressing, were only a few words my clients used when they first described their garden to me.

The retaining brick wall, with a fence above, both 1.5m (5 feet) high, enclosed the garden with quite an oppressive feel. These fixed structural elements certainly needed some disguise and softening.

The brief

  • A clean, uncluttered, contemporary style, with warmth
  • Patio/deck for BBQ, outdoor dining and entertaining
  • Designated play zone for the little ones
  • Lawn for play and fun
  • An area to grow some vegetables
  • Planting with year-round interest and impact

The agreed geometric scheme, organized the space in a rather quirky and unexpected way. By raising the hardwood deck, the impact of the wall is significantly reduced, captures the sun for precious extra moments at the end of the day, and introduces interest with the change of level.

The planting was mixed. Herbaceous perennials mixed with ornamental grasses planted alongside shrubs for winter structure and interest. Bulbs add early seasonal impact and punctuation.

The pergola provides a link from house to play zone, supporting climbers as they entwine around and over the structure. The visual weight of the pergola balances and reduces the influence of both the wall and fence.

"We are sitting in the garden enjoying it so much!"