Family Garden in South London

The owners of this Balham garden had recently put in a large extension to the house with bifold doors across the entire back. This meant that the original patio was far too small and the steps and retaining walls to the garden were not very good looking and also encroaching on the house. The obvious thing was to push back into the garden where there was lots of space. There was also a reasonably unattractive decked seating area at the back which they wanted to change into a children’s play area. The owner wanted lawn and some gravel on the upper level so we decided to make the path gravel with a side “Italian” seating area, to be planted with olives. The garden has not been planted yet but you can see the rather nice steps and walling that we have built, the new terrace is large, the lawn has been levelled and the play area is now in place.

The original retaining wall in this sloping garden was nearer to the house (the owners having built out into the garden for a big kitchen extension) and so to create a patio area we had to push back the garden quite considerably behind a higher retaining wall which was to be rendered in white with coping along the top. However my client felt that this was going to be too bright and stark so close to the house. My client insisted that “cladding” would soften the effect. I wasn’t at all sure having never really liked cladding but I think she got it right as the effect is pretty good. I may well find myself using it again in the future!

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