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title. Extended front garden design

date. 2019

location. Northumberland

The Brief : The clients in this example wanted a design only as they were going to organise its installation. They have been fortunate enough to be able to purchase the land in front of their garden thereby providing opportunity for its redesign. You will see from the pictures that there are a few key issues in the design of this space:-

  • They use the front garden as a space to park their car. The current area results in the car being right against their front porch. Their extended garden will provide better opportunities for parking.

  • There are significant steps to the front door with no rail. 

  • There is a height difference between the land purchased and the present front garden.

  • Presently the drainage of the space heads towards the house and there is pooling in areas. 

The clients were keen that their front garden blended with the rest of the street environment and attracted wildlife at the same time. All year round colour was wanted in the garden. They are keen and able gardeners but wanted guidance on what plants to use in the space and looked forward to gradually planting up the area after the hard landscaping had been installed. 

The garden now

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Sketch ideas

In this part of the process I come up with a range of ideas for the client to look at. Some of the ideas will be very in-line with what they wanted, and some ideas may push them to consider other things - that is after all what I am paid for. I talked through the sketch designs with the client and leave them to consider what they want to do. It is usually the case that people will opt for elements from different designs. My job is to then put these together into a coherent plan for them. 

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Architectural Garden idea

Parterre in Privacy idea

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Wild garden idea

The final plan

From the ideas presented to the clients they decided that they did not want a new entrance created for their garden and would prefer to use the shared drive access already in existence. They liked the informality of the wild garden which used the existing differences in heights in the garden (thereby saving labour costs and material removal), with the lower garden nearer the house consisting of a number of small trees underplanted with a range of spring bulbs that would then give way to wildflowers. The upper area would contain mixed planting of shrubs and perennials and also feature a driftwood sculpture and upper lawn with sitting area. 

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The clients also liked the idea of a step and ramp combination to their front door, as they feel it would be a useful idea for the future and also adds feature to the front of the house. 

The final plan incorporates these elements alongside some changes in materials to provide better consistency through the garden e.g. there are wooden railings around the ramp and steps, the raised garden area is bounded by sleepers and the steps and bench are also sleepers. All this ties in with the driftwood sculpture creating a visual flow across the garden. 

Alongside of the planting plan for the design I also included an album of the plants and structure that would be around at different times of the year. 

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What next?

Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures as and when the clients have installed the garden. 

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