Many clients want to combine formal planting, entertaining space, room for children to play and practical considerations such as storage and composting. This usually requires compromises unless the overall space in quite large.
The wilderness at the end of this garden was too full of roots and buried concrete to be easily incorporated in the existing lawn and beds but it was ripe for a radical make over.
This family had a garden big enough to accommodate all their ambitions including a dedicated play area, vegetable growing and keeping chickens!
Site clearing unearthed a lot more buried rubbish and concrete than might be expected. All unwanted vegetation was removed and old tree roots dug out.
With the area cleared, earth was moved to contour the site. The position of the large corner deck was marked and a new fence built.
Large decks must be correctly engineered to ensure that they will adequately support the expected load. Post and beam construction combined with correctly sized and spaced joists will ensure that this entertaining space will not wobble or feel bouncy even when the party is in full swing.
The finished deck makes the maximum use of space by fitting into a corner. The black stem bamboo planted along the fence will quickly grow to screen the garden from the houses behind and will be lit by floodlights hidden behind the deck.
A successful gravel path depends on a good foundation: compacted crushed stone. The area in the foreground will have raised beds for vegetable growing and has been covered in horticultural fabric to reduce weed intrusion. The deck has been stained to imitate hardwood and to tie in better with fence.
After grubbing out a lot of sapling roots and replacing clayey soil, a new lawn was laid to tie in with the existing one. Three active children can really wear natural grass, so the area under the climbing frame was prepared for artificial turf. In the background the chicken house is being constructed.
With weatherproof furniture and lighting sunk in the deck or hidden in the plants this corner of the garden is ready for the guests to arrive.