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  • Writer's pictureNick

Fantastic Family Garden with Terrace, Trampoline…. and Rabbit Run!

A contemporary family garden by the Distinctive Gardener

"We needed a garden design that could combine an aspiration for clean contemporary lines on the one hand, with a desire for a romantic, cottage garden on the other; a space that could transform as children become teenagers, but for now, still house a trampoline, somewhere adults could unwind and where rabbits could relax!

Nick and Douglas are accomplished and knowledgeable designers who obviously enjoy their work. They have stacks of good ideas, an infectious enthusiasm and are easy to get along with, ‘can do’ people. They are also efficient, fast-working, great project managers - all on time and on budget.

They took our confusing brief and have created a lovely garden that hits all our criteria while having a coherent design, easy maintenance and beautiful planting. We love the result! Our garden is utterly transformed, feels so much bigger and has become another room in our home, which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed during this wonderful summer. We are all delighted - adults, teenagers, children and rabbits! It’s been a pleasure to work with Nick and Douglas, such a charming pair!" - Lee & Tamsin W5


The garden before and after

The lovely clients of this garden, which is located on the Brentham Garden Estate in West London, had a number of requests for their new garden. It had to have an area for the adults to chill out in, a place for the kids' trampoline and be home to a large rabbit run for their beloved house rabbits! And oh yes, the garden also had to be low maintenance and be full of flowers all summer long.

We decided to make the most of the modest space in the garden by creating four distinct areas. The first area, as you descend the steps from the house, was the terrace.

The garden from the patio terrace

The more contemporary limestone paving is framed by the more traditional bloc paving

As the garden is located within a conservation area, the brick steps that descend from the kitchen diner are covered by a preservation order. In order to harmonize the steps within the design, we decided to build the terrace using similar antique bloc paving complemented by more contemporary limestone paving set within it.

The terrace has an attractive wooden corner sofa that has a large raised flower bed behind it, which works well as a natural ‘room divider’ to the middle section of the garden.

The natural room divider with raised floral bed

The raised bed in mid-summer with vibrant pink Achillea, bronze Fennel and ornamental grasses

To the left of the terrace is a wide border (below) that has been planted to give 12 months of interest. It contains both evergreen and seasonal interest. Amongst the planting there are Cornus, which has brilliant red and yellow stems in the winter and lovely variegated foliage in the summer.

We have also planted evergreen ferns and camellias, as well as fabulous hydrangea Limelight, with their wonderful white flowers that really stand out in the early evening light. Long flowering hardy Geraniums and red Persicarias keep interest in the border for months on end.

The garden from the corner with flower and foliage beds

The wide border is packed with year-round flower and foliage interest

The middle section of the garden has an artificial lawn and is also home to the large rabbit run. There is a bench to the left and we also created a narrow border on the right boundary, planted with climbing evergreen jasmine.

Rabbit hutch on the artificial lawn

The 5 star surroundings ensure the rabbits will always have something to look at, and the evergreen jasmine ensures a wonderful fragrance will keep the air sweet!

The top section of the garden is currently home to the trampoline. When designing a family garden, you always need to plan ahead, because as the children grow the garden will need to adapt.

With that in mind, we paved this area of the garden so that when the trampoline is no longer needed, it can become a secluded chill out zone for teenagers and adults to enjoy alike. We used an attractive trellis to partially screen the trampoline from the rest of the garden.

Secluded garden area, currently with trampoline

The trellis, planted with roses and honeysuckle, distracts the eye from the trampoline’

Finally, with a small family garden, it’s important to use every square inch of space. We decided to create a storage area under the kitchen window that is reached via attractive stepping stones.

Sentry shed garden storage box

The Sentry Box storage unit and the standard bay tree make this small space both useful and attractive

The garden looking from the bamboo planters on the terrace to the bench on the middle lawn


If you have a multi-functional garden looking for a distinctive makeover, why not get in touch to see what we can do for you?


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