A sophisticated family entertaining space in Walton-on-the-Hill

I created this family garden design in Surrey for clients who were entering the final phase of developing the house they had bought in Walton-on-the-Hill. In designing the garden, I had to reconcile the needs of older children who still liked to kick a ball around with family dining and entertaining requirements. I designed a generous outdoor dining space, a stylish raised rear patio, and a large lawn, to meet everyone’s needs. The clients wanted a family garden design that would not require a lot of their time to maintain, leaving them free to enjoy family meals and entertaining on the spacious patio and deck.

The design harmonises Millboard Coppered Oak composite decking with London Stone Slab Khaki porcelain paving, which was used to form the raised patio and clad the planters. I used colourful yet simple planting to provide structure and seasonal interest, including scented climbers to new pespoke pergolas.

The Brief

The clients wanted a completely renewed rear garden, with separate but linked seating and dining areas, space for football and table tennis, and some bespoke metalwork structures for privacy and to provide support for planting interest. They wanted to be able to seat up to 12 people at a long refectory table, cook meals outdoors, have comfortable lounge seating, and attractive planting beds to soften and enclose these areas. The design also had to cope with the fact that much of the site was heavily shaded by neighbouring trees.

The Design

The design addresses the brief by creating a sleek, modern, raised porcelain patio that provides a flush access from the new large bay doors that lead out from the rear lounge/games room. This uses London Stone Slab Khaki paving for a crisp, smooth, neutral matt finish, and is also used to form the planters that wrap around the patio and the steps that lead down to a large dining and cooking deck. The deck is made from Millboard Coppered Oak boards with a curved edging, leading down one side to the spacious lawn and on the other linking to the kitchen door by Slab Khaki stepping stones set into gravel. Two large new bespoke metal pergolas provide shade over the two walkways, and provide support for evergreen climbers Trachelospermum jasminoides and Clematis armandii, which provide blossom interest and scent in spring and summer. Beds to each corner of the lawn provide shade-tolerant foliage and flower interest from shrubs, herbaceous plants and grasses, and a row of pleached Photinia ‘Red Robin’ provide privacy screening. Lastly, a new and choice multi-stem Acer is set into the deck to provide seasonal foliage interest to the dining area.




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