Maintenance: Four hours a month
Type of design: Not sure
Seating area: Sits 8-12
Features: A water feature, lighting and a slope
Notes: “We have a large family, with four young children, three boys and a girl. We need a place where they can play ball games without the garden looking like a football pitch. We would like a swimming pool, but we’re not sure where to put it, and a small area with astroturf for bowls. We also want a water feature with a cascading fountain.”
In this large garden in Surrey, we designed the pool to the right of the house. Often, pools are designed in front of the house, but if you have the space, it’s ideal to design the pool to the side of the garden. Pools aren’t used 365 days a year, and when they’re not in use and covered, they can look unattractive.
This leaves a large lawn area in the centre of the garden, which is more than suitable for ball games. A central water feature ties in nicely with the steps that lead down from the decking area We always try to interconnect such areas.
We planted the borders with formal plants in order to lean towards a more modern style, which suits the internals of the house. You don’t always have to do this, but it can provide continuity and connection.
We designed an astroturf area to the left of the house. This is in a hidden corner of the garden, so it made sense to put the play area containing a trampoline, table tennis table and bowls area here. To hide the trampoline, we planted a tree with low-level plants surrounding it.
When you have a viewing platform that looks down onto the garden, lighting plays a more significant role. Gardens can feel especially dark when looking down onto them in the evening, so more emphasis should be placed on lighting the perimeter.
Our design included lots of spotlights that uplight the hedges and bollard lights that illuminate the formed plants in the front of the border.
(click to enlarge)