Earth Designs, London garden design and build, were contacted to design a Modern Family Garden garden in Sevenoaks in Kent.  The clients have lived in the house for a number of years and have two young children and two very active Jack Russell dogs. The property was extended a few years ago.  Emma is a keen vegetable gardener and has a plot in an allotment very close to their property. The children rarely use the garden, so the clients are happy to make its principal purpose about entertaining friends. The clients would like a contemporary garden design that complements the interior of the house. However, the garden should be practical enough to cope with the demands of an energetic family. The only feature of the current garden to be retained is the shed in the bottom right corner.

 London Garden Design Sevenoaks Before Shot 1London Garden Design Sevenoaks Before Shot 2London Garden Design Sevenoaks Before Shot 3

The garden is split into 3 distinct areas each can be utilised in different ways. The first section, directly outside the back door, has a fixed bench seating area comprising decked bench seats backed by rendered block planters containing low lavender hedge. A large decked table and two trestle-type benches (which can be stowed away under the fixed bench when not in use) give ample space for outdoor dining. When formal dining is not required the table and trestle benches can be combined with the fixed benches (the table will be height adjustable) to form a huge double bed lounger for all the family to relax upon.

The floor in this section will be laid with Indian sandstone paving in a stretcher pattern. A mesh screen attached to the fence along the left hand boundary will provide a backdrop for climbers, framed by acrylic planters planted with architectural copper grasses. A walkway, laid with Yellow Balau hardwood decking, will lead up the left hand side of the space to the second section of the garden.

The second section will consist of two large planting beds bisected by decking paths. The beds will be planted prairie-style, interspersed with a selection of Perspex and stainless steel mesh screens of varying highs and sizes to create drama and structure to this area, with pride of place given to a bespoke, artist designed panel screen that creates a focal point from the back door. The central triangle of the space is framed with two stainless steel cubes 50cm sq. Each bed will be edged to create definition and retain a pea shingle mulch. The central segment of the area will be mulched with Scottish cobbles.

The final section of the garden will be given over to comfort and relaxation. It will feature a large outdoor rattan suite, a giant stainless steel planter containing a multi stemmed silver birch tree and  two series of 3 colourful acrylic planters, all set against a backdrop of a stainless steel mesh screen straddling the width of the garden. This screen, interwoven with fragrant climbing jasmine, will masks the shed and utility area at the bottom of the garden.




Clearance and preparation
~ Remove existing paving    
~ Remove existing lawn    
~ Remove existing foliage as necessary    
~ Remove general garden waste    
~ Relocate shed, including new concrete base    
Waste disposal (skip hire)    
Sandstone paving
Install decorative patios as per design. To comprise:     
~ Excavate area to depth of approximately 150mm    
~ Install MOT type 1 granular sub-base at 100mm compacted thickness*  
~ Install Mint Fossil Indian sandstone paving (600mm x 300mm) in stretcher pattern, to cover approx. 30  sq metres
All materials for above    
Disposal of excavated waste    
* Paving to be laid on full mortar bed (min. 25mm thick). Mortar joint sizes not more than 10mm.   
Paving to be laid with 1:80 drainage fall to beneath decking walkway in area adjoining house. Drainage fall to beds in area at 
bottom of the garden.    
Install Yellow Balau hardwood decking to various areas as per design. To comprise:  
~ Install pressure treated timber support posts in concrete foundations  
~ Construct frame from pressure treated timber, using high torque exterior wood screws to secure  
~ Install weed suppressing membrane    
~ Install 145mm x 25mm Yellow Balau decking using green coated deck screws to fix. To cover approx 20 sq metres.
All materials for above    
Board direction as per design    
All boards to be laid with expansion joints of not more than 10mm    
All screws to be countersunk    
Construct various timber screens, as per design. To comprise:    
With perspex panelling:    
1 x 600mm high x 2000mm wide     
1 x 1800mm high x 1000mm wide     
2 x 1200mm high x 1200mm wide    
With stainless steel mesh panelling:    
1 x 850mm high x 1200mm wide    
1 x 1600mm high x 1200mm wide     
1 x 1750mm high x 750mm wide     
1 x 1800mm high x 2000mm wide    
1 x 1800mm high stainless steel mesh dividing screen across width of garden, with 850mm wide gate at right hand side
1 x 1800mm high x 600mm screen with artist designed laser cut corten steel decorative panel, commissioned to specification
To comprise:    
~ Pressure treated 100mm x 100mm timber for posts, beams and alcoves  
~ Exterior timber screws to fix    
~ Concrete to secure support posts (minimum 600mm in ground)    
~ Stainless steel mesh (13mm x 13mm)     
~ Staple nails to secure mesh    
~ Perspex panels (3mm) (client to choose colour (single colour for all screens)   
~ Stainless steel screws to secure perspex panel    
~ Corten Steel laser cut panel 1800mm x 600mm in ‘Prairie Plants’ design  
All materials for above    
Waste disposal    
Raised bed
Construct rendered block raised bed 1000mm high as per design. To comprise:  
~ Excavate and lay concrete strip foundations 300mm (d) x 500mm (w)  
~ Constuct raised bed from dense concrete blocks    
~ Render raised bed. External render bead to be used to achieve smooth, chip-free lines  
~ Coat interior surfaces of raised bed with paint-on waterproof coating  
~ Paint all visible faces with exterior masonary paint    
~ Fill bed with soil    
All materials for above    
* Assumes bed to be filled part filled with soil taken from excavations elsewhere during construction. To be mixed with
 imported graded topsoil.    
Decking seating
Construct decking seating and table as per design. To comprise:    
~ Yellow Balau hardwood decking    
~ Treated planed timber for frame    
~ Exterior wood screws and deck screws to secure    
Install plants to all beds as per planting scheme in supplied design presentation. To include:  
~ All plants     
~ Pea shingle to mulch (approx 18 sq metres at 50mm – 75mm depth)  
~ Cobbles to mulch (approx 6 sq metres)    
~ ‘Everedge’ classic powder coated steel edging system to edge beds as necessary (approx 20 lineal metres)
~ Labour to prepare beds and install plants    
Install various planters. To comprise:    
~ 11 x (1000mm (h) x 450mm x 450mm) tapered acrylic planters (client to choose colour)  
~ 3 x stainless steel planters ( 2 x 500mm cube, 1 x 1000mm cube)     
~ Soil to fill    
Labour to install    
Various lighting and electrical installation. To comprise:    
~ 11 x 240v low energy in-ground lights. Stainless steel. Positions as per design.  
~ 11 x 240v 35w spike spotlights (black metal casing)    
~ LED strip lights for screens (approx. 6 linear metres)    
~ 4 x 240v stainless steel adjustable spotlights (2 for house wall and 2 for rear screen  
~ 1 x 240v 100w floodlight to uplight mature tree    
All necessary connectors, lamps (bulbs) and transformers for fittings    
All electrical installation materials*, to include RCD, armoured cabling, weatherproof switch**, etc  
Electrical installation by qualified electrician***    
Labour to manually install fittings    
* All electrical materials to be suitable for exterior use and rated to at least IP65 where appropriate  
** Lighting to run on one single circuit,  i.e. controlled by a single switch (all lights come on together). The exact location of the switch 
  nature will be determined on site and may be dependent on the recommendations of the electrician
*** A copy of the appropriate NICEIC Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate will be given to the client on completion of the work
PLEASE NOTE (1): Wherever possible, all cabling and junction boxes will be hidden. However, due to wiring regulations and the 
of some of the materials used, in some cases this may not be possible and some cables, boxes, etc may be visible. These will 
be made as inconspicuous and sympathetic with the style and finish of the garden as possible.   
PLEASE NOTE (2): The above specifications and quoted price for the work is dependent on the existing interior electrical installation 
being safe and suitable for the addition of further wiring/fittings (for example the main consumer unit must be must be properly earthed). 
If it becomes apparent during installation that the existing electrical installation is unsafe/unsuitable for purpose then Earth Designs  
may be unable to complete the exterior installation (i.e. Earth Designs may be unable to connect the installation to the mains power or 
issue a certificate) until the client has undertaken the necessary remedial work. The cost of any necessary remedial works is not 
included in the quoted price above. It remains the responsibility of the client to organise and contract any necessary remedial work, 
although Earth Designs may administrate/organise this for the client at additional cost on request.
Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ (allium)
Astelia nervosa ‘Westland’ (Bush flax ‘Westland’)
Betula utilis var. jacquemontii  (West Himalayan birch)
Carex comans ‘Bronze’ (Bronze New Zealand hair sedge )
Clematis ‘Dorothy Walton’ (Clematis ‘Dorothy Walton’)
Clematis ‘Helsingborg’ (Clematis ‘Helsingborg’)
Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’ (Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’)
Crocosmia ‘Jupiter’ (Montbretia ‘Jupiter’)
Echinacea purpurea ‘Alba’ (Coneflower ‘Alba’)
Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ (Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’)
Heuchera americana ‘Plum Pudding’ (Alum root ‘Plum Pudding’)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lavender Lady’ (Lavender ‘Lavender Lady’)
Luzula nivea (Snowy woodrush)
Pachysandra terminalis ‘Green Carpet’ (Japanese spurge ‘Green Carpet’)
Phormium cookianum ‘Black Adder’ (New Zealand flax ‘Black Adder’)
Salvia purpurascens (Purple sage)
Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ (Elder ‘Black Beauty’)
Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (Potato tree ‘Glasnevin’)
Stipa gigantea (Golden oats)
Trachelospermum jasminoides (Confederate jasmine)
Verbena bonariensis (verbena)