A family and entertaining garden design in Reigate, created to provide a beautiful planting scheme

These clients approached create a garden design in Reigate for the garden of the new house they had recently bought, one of a pair constructed by a developer on the site of a larger house that had been demolished. As is so often the case, the developer had done a nice job on the house, but a really lacklustre one on the garden, where they had merely done the basics. A full design was required to make the most of the blank canvas, creating new borders, room for garden storage and composting, and new path to the oak-framed garage.

The main elements were in place, but the developer had made some basic mistakes – the steps up to the lawn were too steep and narrow, and the garage at the end of the garden, in daily use, had no path to it. In addition, one of the common challenges of a garden design in Reigate – nutrient-poor, sandy soil – needed to be addressed in the planting palette. In gardens, as in life, a challenge is also often an opportunity, and an experienced garden designer will know how to get the best out of the existing soil and choose suitable plants that will cope with the garden conditions.

The design uses the innovative Terrabase Rustic resin-bound paving system from Addagrip, and was constructed for me by Ayegardening.

The Brief

The clients wanted to improve the very basic garden that the developer had left them, requiring a much nicer set of steps from the patio to the raised rear lawn, a path from the house to the garage making access easy at all times of year, new fencing, a shed and composting area, and planting to improve the sense of seclusion. To some clients, plants are a bit of an afterthought, but these clients really embraced planting as something that would add value to their lives – not just by its intrinsic beauty, but also by making the garden into a haven for birds and pollinators. These garden visitors bring clients a lot of joy, and are the icing on the cake of an attractive garden design.

The Design

I worked with the clients to look at some very simple initial 2D design concepts, to explore different border shapes and widths along with different path layouts. This was a simple exercise, since much of the geometry of the garden had already been dictated by what the developer had done. Both the clients and I had a strong preference for organically curved borders and a similarly sinuous, serpentine path from the house to the oak garage at the rear of the garden. To the side of this, I designed a new built-up area for a shed using the clever Woodblocx system, and this in turn shielded a utility/composting area from the house. The path is made from a special resin-bound aggregate system called Terrabase Rustic, made by one of the leaders in the field, Addagrip.

The borders I designed were generous and curved, allowing for a lot of seasonal interest in the planting, which relies on quite a bit of New Perennial planting, with two new trees planted, and deciduous and evergreen shrubs used for structure, along with the evergreen climber Trachelospermum jasminoides for scent and evergreen foliage interest. Finally, the steps were re-positioned and re-built to give a broader, deeper ascent to the lawn. The clients are really happy with the garden and have been in touch since to re-work the front garden to include electric vehicle charging and new planting. Fun fact: this is the latest in the year that I have ever planted a garden – in early December, with snow falling as I was planting the garden.

The garden was constructed by Ayegardening, who have now constructed several gardens for me.




Got a project?

If you have questions or project ideas to discuss. I am happy to help.