Terraced Modern Family Garden on a Slope, Oxshott, Surrey, UK
To turn an existing sloped garden into a terraced modern family garden with a traditional twist
The house and garden is in a sought-after semi-rural location in Surrey, UK, and is primarily south facing. The slope creates an exciting opportunity to introduce a new terraced garden on a slope within the trapezoidal plot. The house is modern with a lot of glass, and the garden will sit comfortably with the modern facades, while offering large borders for a mix of cottage-style planting. The planting will complement the theme of escape and relaxation, and provide a haven for wildlife. Although the house and garden back onto a couple of large properties, the garden is secluded and additional planting will create a real sense of privacy. To the front of the house, the garden slopes away from the driveway and this will become a terraced gravel garden with plants suited to these conditions. This part of the garden is an access route to a single electric pedestrian gate and although not used by the family on a regular basis, the design will introduce low-maintenance plants, ridding the client of an awkward strip of lawn. The facades of the property will be softened with climbers. Towards the top of the slope, the earth will be cut into, with an elegant retaining wall to provide space for a shed, greenhouse and a small Potager.
Several of the trees have preservation orders, so these will remain with some regenerative pruning. The main lawn to the back of the house drops by several metres towards the east. New steps leading off from the terrace and a new patio by the lower part of the house will tie in with the terracing of the lawn and the new abundant borders. The existing terrace will be enlarged and raised so that there is a seamless connection with the house and doors. Different seating areas will provide different moods. A new modern outdoor kitchen will make the garden a space to enjoy during the day and the evening. New living screens of pleached Carpinus betulus (hornbeam) will offer privacy and create an architectural feature, allowing planting underneath. Soft harmonious colours, such as blue, grey and pink will sit comfortably against purple and yellow, with the use of ornamental grasses that will sway in the wind and create movement. Lighting in the garden is key for mood. The design will echo traditional garden design through the use of curved lines, with the push-button convenience of modern technology. A water feature will be audible from all parts of the garden. A sense of total immersion in the garden is complete.