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title. New Build back garden

date. 2018

location. Darlington

The Brief : The owner of this new build town house wanted a garden that extended the house. As can happen with town houses, the kitchen and dining areas are on the ground floor with the living room on the first floor. The client wanted the garden to flow from the house and effectively provide a ground floor living room. They were first to admit that they knew nothing about gardening and therefore did not want a lot of garden space, but they did enjoy colour, bling and sparkle.

The garden space is overlooked by neighbouring properties and it also looked out onto the rest of the estate, so you felt very much on-show when in the space. It was also slightly sloping towards the house and therefore the water was draining this way as well. The space also needed to function as a bin store, and it was also the main access route to parking, so essentially was the main route into the house. 

The Plan

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The plot is actually quite small. The wheelie bins at the top of the plan are to scale and give you an idea of the space.

Given that it is a small space, by angling the paving and staggering the entrance from the back gate to the patio doors, gives the idea of the space being wider and longer than it is. 

The gravel used for the steps down to the patio area was bound gravel. This is a small gravel mixed with a resin and effectively poured into the space and levelled. The advantage of this is that it gives the effect of gravel, and still lets water drain through it, but it is a firm surface to walk on, 

This plan does not indicate it, but the client also wanted lighting in the garden so that they could make the most use of the space at night. 

The Process

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This image gives you an understanding of the effects of altering the angle of the patio and pergola. The screening was used to both hide the area where the bins and shed were to be located, but it was to also provide some privacy from the estate behind the property.


Because the evening sun came from this direction, it was important not to have too dense a screen so that light could still penetrate. Also you will see the colour is graduated from a purple to a chalk white, to make the screen appear less heavy higher up, and it also ends up blending with the sky. 

In the raised bed is a self-contained water feature which was mains powered. I will admit, that it was by pure accident that it turned out that in the evening it reflects its rippling water like a projection over the surface of the house, which looks stunning!

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The Result

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The final seal of approval from Benjamin the cat. Once we created the raised bed, Benjamin found a new ideal bed, and with the water feature in the same bed, he didn't even need to go far for a drink! When the lights were added, rather than it affect his use of this space, he adored the limelight and would not budge. 

Client feedback:

As a complete gardening novice living in a new-build town house with a very small garden I was at a loss as to what to do with the space. Ideally I wanted it to be functional, easy to maintain, provide a storage area whilst providing a  secure main entrance way to my home. Oh and finished with a bit of bling and sparkly. Not much to ask!

Ady's concept was amazing. The aim was to achieve a living space downstairs, something which my house is lacking. Ady incorporated the colour scheme and decor from inside my home into the design as well as providing practical usage solution for what at first appeared to be an impractical space. 

The service provided was excellent. I was consulted at every stage throughout the planning and building processes and I always felt confident that the project was going to achieve the result I wanted. 

I'm sure you will agree with me, my cat (!!) and everyone who has seen the result that I am now the proud owner of a stunning urban outdoor living space. Ady's passion for his projects is unique and that translates into the finished product. 

I can't recommend Ernest and Edward Garden Design highly enough. 

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