Family garden in Ashtead, Surrey

Work in progress


The brief

  • Aspect of the back garden: North east facing with unbroken views into the wider landscape.
  • Detached house with existing large terrace laid with composite decking and paving. The railing obstructs the view into the garden and landscape from the house. 
  • The terrace is L-shaped, wrapping around the lawn which is on a lower level. Steps lead down on to the lawn. They are steep and laid with paving stone. 
  • On one side of the garden two stepped raised beds with rendered retaining walls retain the level change. 
  • A oak pergola covers a second seating area on the higher level at the side. 
  • There is a ‘mancave’ shed and a children’s play house at the side of the terrace. 
  • To the right there are young birch tree underplanted with meadow grass. 


  • Keep the existing overall layout of the garden, retain the unbroken views, add a few trees to create focal points and to frame the views, add spring and autumn interest (colour, flowers)
  • Open up the terrace and access to the lawn with steps leading straight onto the lower level.
  • Take out steps in the corner, take out steps in the middle of the raised beds. 
  • Convert the raised beds/retaining walls  into ‘less hard landscaping’ while maintaining the upper retaining wall. 
  • Explore options for paving, different textures on the ground, which blend in with the colours and architecture of the house.
  • Explore options to keep the ‘mancave’ shed or clear and have a possible outdoor kitchen installed instead. 
  • Keep the playhouse and re-locate if necessary. 
  • Keep the pergola and bar.
  • Re-design the planting within the retaining walls/future bank
  • Improve the wildflower/meadow grade area, add more structure, add plants on the upper terrace