A Family Garden With Roof Garden
A suburban garden for a professional couple with two children, incorporating a large terrace to the roof of a garage. The clients were building an ‘L’ shaped extension to the rear and side of their 4 bedroom semi in Dorking, and they wanted to redesign the front, side and rear garden areas at the same time so that it would work well for them as a family garden.
The house was on an originally steeply sloping site that had been leveled in the 1960’s so that the rear garden was now roughly level with the roof of the double garage at the end of the garden. There were high brick retaining walls to contain the large level changes but these were cracked and damaged by the roots of trees that had been planted as a hedge many years previously. Sadly, as is so often the case, these conifers had been allowed to outgrow their position and had become huge, oppressively dark trees which were taking over much of the garden area, damaging surrounding structures, casting deep shade and requiring costly annual trimming.
The design solution was to remove the problematic trees, allowing the rear pedestrian access to be completely re-routed via a new set of steps which rise 3m from the garage forecourt to ground floor level of the house, thereby enlarging the rear garden and allowing replanting with more suitable trees.
The garage roof is re-modelled as a large roof terrace, to provide space for dining and relaxing as well as much needed space for children’s play. Existing brickwork is kept where possible and the ugly concrete screen walls replaced with rendered blockwork. The rear garden is gated to make it a secure children’s space, whilst refuse and recycling are moved to the new side garden area, which also has space for a small kitchen/herb bed outside the new side door. The front garden is also completely remodelled, with overgrown hedges and another unsuitable tree removed, to make way for naturalistic new shrub and perennial planting and a pond for wildlife and supervised children’s access.