A garden designed for entertaining in Harpenden

 Garden before construction


An exciting, lush outdoor entertaining space has been created from a dull, average sized, sloping family garden, dominated by three immense Ash trees.


My clients’ three children have grown up, so they wished to reclaim the garden for their own use. A large dining area in full sun was a must. Also requested was a separate lounging area with a fire pit and the gentle sound of water, year round planting, lighting so the garden could be used on summer evenings and most importantly, privacy from the row of houses overlooking the garden.


To create privacy on a low budget, newly pleached Carpinus betulus trees were planted. Their strong growth over the next few seasons will create dense summer time screening.


The existing gentle slope of the land was exploited to create separate areas at different levels.


Easy-care millboard decking flows outside the house for access. Further out into the sun, it forms a level dining area big enough to easily seat 16 people in comfort. Bright lively planting invites stimulating conversations around the  dinner table.


Between dining area and house, formal planting of lollipop bay trees and box balls are countered with informal, naturalistic perennials. This planting softens the view of tables and chairs from the house and the return view for the diners.


 Patio before construction


The natural drop in ground level and the surrounding planting makes the limestone gravelled lounging area with its fire basket feel snug, separate and contained. This area catches the low rays of the afternoon sun, which sparkles on the fall of water from the stainless steel feature.


The use and atmosphere of the garden is extended and enhanced into the evening, Spots with glare louvres light the table from the pleached trees, a moonlight in one of the big Ash trees washes down onto the lounge area where the bespoke Millboard bench glows from beneath lighting neatly stacked logs. Up-lighting on the lollipop Bay trees, a young flowering Cherry and two multi-stemmed Amelanchiers and the water feature throw pick out areas of interest.


“Gilly gave us a very thorough briefing before she started planning our new garden. She was accurate in interpreting our wishes into a lovely design that has been realised very professionally. She managed the project very well and her attention to detail was second to none. We are very pleased with the end result and feel confident that Gilly would be an excellent choice for other clients.”

D & S F - Harpenden


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photography © alex pikal

all rights reserved