Inside, outside

Surbiton, KT6: west facing without a right angle in sight.

This garden is long, thin and at an odd angle to the house. The design successfully disguises the unusual shape, so the garden appears wider and more in line with the house.

With the sun beating down on all but a sliver from 11 am, we created raised beds in the light shade, containing low maintenance plants. The triangular, rendered beds, support part of the top deck and are angled towards the house.

The old feather-board fence was renovated, clad with vertical battens and painted, making a smart backdrop for the plants. The vertical stripes and colour scheme reflect elements from within the house, to create a cohesive environment both inside and out.

A lower deck, further down the garden, provides a shady spot to sit among the plants. A rill, set into the top deck has been planted with sun-loving Sempervivum, Aloe and Saxifrage, a lovely detail, which will largely mind its own business.

The design initially featured an Acer in a large pot, until we investigated the existing red Camellia. When we cut it back to reveal its structure, it offered all the interest that we were looking for; something for nothing, lovely.

The deck was raised to the same level as the house, for a seamless transition through the slide and pivot doors from the kitchen. Long planks without joins, line up with the tiles on the kitchen floor. A small detail but it makes a big difference to the overall finish.