LANDSCAPING PROJECT: MAKING THE MOST OF A SLOPING PLOT
Overcoming the challenges of a sloping plot in this suburban family home
We love a challenge! So when Kate and Max first approached us to construct their garden in Reigate, we leapt at the opportunity. Not only did we have the unusually steep gradient to deal with, but access issues too.
This was another stunning garden design by Ivan Tucker of New Leaf Design. Ivan incorporated Kate and Max’s idea to develop the garden as their young family grew.
Facts & Figures:
Who lives here? Kate, Max and their two young children
Location: Reigate, Surrey
Garden dimensions: Approx. 250sqm
Why we loved this project: The gradient of this plot, and the tight suburban setting gave us lots of challenges which we enjoyed overcoming!
Kate and Max are a young professional couple with two young children. They have been renovating their period Victorian semi in the suburbs of Reigate. They approached us to help them with the final element of their project – the garden.
Kate and Max wanted a complete renovation of their sloping back garden and steep front plot, to make the most of their property for their growing family. Their new garden needed to have plenty of space for the children to play, as well as entertaining space, planting and garden storage. Everything a young family needs in their outdoor space but with the potential for the garden to evolve as their children grow up.
We love working with Ivan of New Leaf Designs because he designs gardens that enhance our clients’ quality of life, giving them outdoor spaces that encourage them to spend more time outdoors. In Kate and Max’s garden, Ivan saw the slope as a feature rather than an obstacle, highlighting the plot's natural gradient with clever design and stylish materials.
To bring Ivan’s design to life we needed to overcome a few challenges with this project, including:
- Moving the giant rocks of Ivan’s design into place in the back garden;
- Using the neighbours’ front garden to give access to Kate and Max’s plot; returfing the neighbour’s front garden was included in the project and costs.
- Access for our plant and materials through the narrow side entrance.
- Digging out to extend the patio area immediately behind the house, reducing the gradient of the lawn, and removing the excess soil.
- Working on the garden project whilst the family’s bathroom was also being renovated at the same time, which required flexibility with the contractors in such a busy, suburban street.
- Co-ordinating with other trades on elements such as the brickwork steps in the front garden and the stunning bespoke ironwork balustrades.
- Adding a log store to the side of the property.
Our clients were delighted with the finished project, which updated their tired, sloping plot into a garden that truly makes the most of the gradient as a design feature. Some of our highlights of the project were:
- The lawned children’s play area at the top of the garden is accessed by railway sleeper steps and separated from the main lawn by natural rock boulders. Kate and Max decided to keep as much of the garden lawned whilst the children were small, but this area could easily be developed by decking in the future. The decision to grass the top area of the garden also secured the existing tree, which gives a lovely, natural focus point as you look up at the garden.
- The different areas of the garden are accentuated by the planting scheme, designed by Ivan. Around the main part of the garden, the beds have a more cottage-garden feel, with lots of geraniums, hydrangeas, begonias and salvias in the raised beds and around the perimeter of the lawn. At the back of the garden, the more shaded area is planted with ferns, grasses and muscari.
- We added a shed at the top of the garden as storage for garden toys and installed a trellis to cleverly hide the tank for the garden’s new irrigation system.
- We used London Stone Gea Porcelain for the paving, and the coping stones on the wall and raised beds. The retaining walls of the patio are clad in Golden Sand Premium Design Clad, which we chose as it is lower maintenance than render and can easily be wiped clean.
- We added new Jacksons fencing along the boundaries and a new gate to the back garden.
- Lighting was used to great effect on this project, adding elements of interest by highlighting the tree and flower beds. We also incorporated lighting into the steps to make the most of them as an architectural feature.
In this garden, we focused on the opportunities that the sloping space gave us, rather than the challenges, to give this young family a garden that would grow with them over the years. The result is a green space that the children can play in, landscaped and planted so that the adults have a garden they can enjoy too.
"Thank you so much for your hard work on our garden, it’s a wonderful transformation! "
If you need some help designing an outdoor space that complements your home, give us a call to discuss your ideas, and let us help you bring them to life!