Family Woodland Garden – S.E. London


Transform a dangerous, steep, narrow and under-used outdoor area into a family garden.


Instead of “fighting” the slope and surrounding mature vegetation, we decided to embrace them to create a fun, Woodland Pocket Garden.

The design includes enlarging and raising the patio to make it a better area for entertaining friends. The sunniest spot is allocated for sunset relaxation in the “G&T zone”.

A nature-based play area at the top of the garden includes a 3m long slide, using the existing topography to create a play circuit.

The winding path adds the illusion of increased width. Planting tumbles over the sides of the staggered steps to hide some of the path from view and blur the line between hard and soft landscape.  Use of rustic, natural materials in steps, retaining walls and surfaces reinforce nature cues. The planting plan is dominated by shade-loving plants, with a bias towards paler flowers which show up well in evening light.