With this in mind, the retaining walls in the back garden, which were softwood (and therefore rotting) were replaced with hardwood Oak timber sleepers, allowing for the reshuffling of certain areas and moving of steps. Timber decking was replaced with limestone, to create the new main terrace, and other areas are now surfaced with self-binding gravel, which makes an attractive, solid and hard-wearing surface.
Separate areas were requested in the garden design, including a lawn for the children to play on, an area for the existing fire pit, a shade garden for relaxing on hot days and a rejuvenation of the front of the house. Creating these different ‘zones’ actually helped to lend better scale and proportion to a relatively small garden, in comparison to the large stature of the house; a common trick for designers, which may seem counterintuitive to the layman.
Trees and hedging help to delineate these zones, as well as adding height and structure – whilst also softening the hard boundaries of the garden. Further use of soft herbaceous and grass planting help to add colour, texture and atmosphere to the new spaces.