The Lawn Garden – 1. History & Planning

The original garden had a large patio of cheap cement slabs unimaginatively running across the entire back of the house.

In the following photo (Sep 2013) you can see the slabs are being lifted. We shifted them all in a couple of weeks via Freecycle. To my amazement there were no end of people willing to come and take them away for free! In fact the old white sheds went the same way with one guy spending two days dismantling and carting off the larger one single-handedly. They were happy, we were happy – a win win situation!


Over the next six months we had the extension built. (I’ll do a page on the extension another time). Here it is a couple of month’s after completion, looking back across the undeveloped garden:

As you can see it was a bit of a wasteland. We had to step out of our nice new extension onto rubble strewn mud. The grass was an uneven, ankle-twisting mess of weeds which was a pain to mow.

The challenge was now to design a garden that would connect all of the existing garden spaces and buildings in a single coherent whole that would bring years of work to fruition.

Here is an overview of what we had to work with


A common treatment of folding sliding doors is to place a patio or deck at floor level straight outside. Is this really the best we can do?

It was tempting to put a new patio or decking straight across the back, like  so many people do (see insert, right)

The idea is to continue the interior floor out at the same level extending the inside outside seamlessly. But is this really the best option?

In our case the extension faced North East, so any sitting area would be in cold shade for much of the year. Also, it pushes the garden further away. Lets face it 95% of the time those doors will be closed and we will be looking out at a boring expanse of paving or deck.

Quite early on we decided that this was not the way to go…

Next up: The Lawn Garden – 2. The Design Process