BRIEF: This house in Chalfont St Peter (Buckinghamshire) had been completely renovated along with the garden to remove a derelict swimming pool, terrace and over 100 over grown Leylandii from the boundaries of what was an irregular-shaped plot. Removal of the conifers opened up the views to a field and beech wood beyond. Completed in 2016, the brief was to create a naturalistic garden that blended in with its surroundings; new terracing that worked with the upside-down style of the house; and, new seating areas in other parts of the garden.

DESIGN SOLUTION: A new cedar deck was added which projects away from the house in two directions, echoing the building’s t-shaped footprint and a playful cedar walkway through planting connects the two sections. Constructing the deck from timber creates a more temporary, floating feel which accentuates the sloping site and hints at a pier or landing point by the sea or on a lake. Because of the upside down arrangement of the house, strong geometry was introduced which would be seen most clearly from the first floor kitchen, lounge and master bedroom. A long sinuous curve to the edge of the main lawn blurs the change in levels where the land falls away. Three large circles – one picked out in low Yew hedging, one forming the upper lawn in the back garden and another creating another lawn in the front garden, both with inset curved benches – are key features in the design.

A new split level cedar deck was added as sun and dining terrace; making the most of the aspect and projecting out in two directions to create a feel of a beach house. An elliptical foreground planting bed was added to provide some interest closer to the house whilst retaining a large area of child-friendly lawn. A number of birch trees were added and a new beech hedge to help the garden blend with the landscape beyond. Two smaller circular lawns were added with benches to create different areas to sit.

A number of birch trees, beech columns and a new beech hedge were added to help the garden blend with the surrounding landscape. Planting focused on ornamental grasses and late flowering perennials to create a naturalistic feel.