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Designing a small back garden

The project was to prepare garden plans designing a small back garden in Fleet, Hampshire. 

The clients, a young couple who commuted to London daily, wanted a low maintenance garden that they could enjoy at weekends without much work. They asked for a seating area and if possible to make the garden appear larger.


View of the garden towards the back gate

The area was a compact south facing garden 5.5 metres wide by 10 metres long. The garden was fairly level with a slight slope away from the house to the back of the garden.

The area was fairly neglected with a lawn area – used by the previous owner’s dog and in a poor condition. We enjoy the challenge of designing a small back garden.


A forlorn seating area

The garden led to a back lane and the bins were stored just inside the back gate. The clients wanted a solution to hide the bins and also provide some storage.

The vantage point for seeing the garden was  from the conservatory which ran the full width of the house.

Beyond the back lane was the garden of a house which had a well maintained high hedge which gave the garden an attractive backdrop.

First stage in designing a small back garden

The first day's work - clearing the site.

After consultation with the clients we were ready to begin the construction work.

There was a mature silver birch tree which we agreed to keep and a few mature shrubs on the side fencing. The clients wanted to keep the fencing as it was for cost reasons and perhaps change it at a future date.

The plan was to divide the garden with the use of trellis fencing and planting, hiding the shed and bins.

The clients also wanted a garden shed for storage. this was set in the back corner.


Making progress

By dividing the garden it was possible to give the impression that the trees in the garden at the other side of the lane belonged to this garden and by walking through the gate you would walk into the next part of the garden, helped to give the illusion that the garden was bigger than it actually was.

In the section nearest the house we designed a stone circle as a seating area and the path through the arch turned gradually right.


The trellis and arch instantly divide the garden into two sections and surprisingly this doesn't make the garden appear smaller, but larger.

Beyond the trellis fencing on the left hand side a garden shed was installed for storage and an area to hide the bins.


The garden is getting populated

While designing a small back garden we filled every space with interest. On the right hand side at the back of the garden we planted a mixed flower border and some evergreen shrubs to give all round colour and shape. We  installed a trompe d’oeil (an illusion mirror) framed by roses and clematis. The mirror was angled so that it showed the planted area not seen from the house.(unfortunately the photograph of this feature has been lost.)


The view towards the house.

We then installed spot lights highlighting specific shrubs and the tree, creating a welcoming room for warm summer evenings and viewing on frosty winter nights.

We prepared a planting plan and after consultation with the clients bought some of the plants to start the garden going. The clients planned to add to the plan as time and money allowed.

Design and build took two months after a number of consultations with the clients. Design costs £800.00 plus implementation costs. The client organised the contractor and we monitored the project on behalf of the clients as they were both working in London. There was an additional hourly rate charge for the monitoring.



Take a look at how we went about a patio garden design

Or return to Landscape garden design portfolio

For more information contact us:

email: lifestylegardendesign@mail.com

Telephone: 07768 586383

2/1 West Grange Gardens, Edinburgh, EH9 2JB

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