I moved into a house last year and have finally got around to thinking about the garden.

What I have:

I have a west facing garden in London that is currently completely paved.

I have full width glass patio doors that open from the kitchen (back of the house) onto a small patio outside (just built this with the same large grey tiles as the kitchen). The doors also face west.

I plan on removing the old paving and putting down turf instead (unless you have any better ideas?)

I am looking for some ideas on what to plant, where to plant it and more general ideas of what to do to make this an amazing garden. I also have a greenhouse on the roof (long story) so I am happy to grows stuff from seed to have costs etc.

Here is a plan of the garden (to scale, 1 square is 1m2):

Patio is w 6.6m x l 2.4m

Rest of garden is w 6.6m x l1m (so 13.5m including the patio)

I have a shed in the back right corner (needs a door) I have an inedible cherry tree in the back left corner. (looks great in spring but puts the centre of the garden in shade at about 4pm or 5pm)

empty plan

Here is a picture of the garden from the kitchen: from kitchen From the patio: 7

My giant inedible cheery tree:

enter image description here

Facing towards the kitchen: towards the kitchen

Inside the kitchen from the door: enter image description here

Here is a plan that you can change yourself if you like: http://www.gardena.com/uk/garden-life/my-garden/my-garden-page/?g=0fbed972-bc2b-4649-9814-b629aeede757


The sun hits the back of the garden about 10am and slowly covers the whole garden by about 12pm. At the sun arcs over the left fence by 3 ish the left bed has a bit of shade from the left fence (depending on the time of year.) By 4pm the centre of the garden is in shade because of my cheery tree (I may have to give it a very big haircut or we have talked about removing it completely. Seems a shame but sun is very important in the UK ;) )

What I want:

I would like somewhere to:

  • eat dinner
  • relax and entertain that is a bit more comfy.
  • sunbathe (could be the same area as above)
  • have a bbq (but would be happy to wheel it out when i need it)
  • have a bit of room for kids to play (dont have any yet but will do one day)
  • that is lit at night and looks great from the kitchen instead of a black wall of glass (which is what we get now from the patio doors at night)

My ideas so far: (dont let them influence you too much)

Beds on the sides with a seating area on the right, table, charis and bench on the patio: (you can see why I need help ;) )


I was thinking about a small table and chairs on the right of the new patio for eating, and then putting some comfy seating in the middle of the garden on the right (like a rattan sofa) so we don’t put all the seating on our new patio which will block the view from the kitchen and will mean we don’t fully use half of the garden.

I also know nothing about plants (but I am willing to learn J ). I would like that garden to look great all year round and be lit as it is the view of the kitchen.

Specific non broad question Where would you put the seating?

Thank you so much for you time in advance!

  • 1
    Not sure where your back door to the house is...orientation (north?)...what kind of tree you have back there...is there a reason you want to use turf? A small landscape so intimate with a home is best modeled after an interior room...hard floor or at least fine gravel, low garden walls for seating and defining rooms within the big room. Perhaps a simple water feature that causes water sounds without breeding mosquitos. If you stand at your back door or view your backyard, you DO NOT want to see everything, leave some mystery...Please send pictures, would love to help! – stormy Jul 23 '15 at 20:03
  • 2
    How do you plan to use the garden? What outdoor activities do you need to accommodate? – michelle Jul 23 '15 at 20:03
  • 2
    Same queries as everyone else, can't access any pics, nor your scale plan, but one extra question - how much sun does it get. I know its west facing, which means afternoon sun only, but is the sun likely to be blocked by tall buildings or trees round and about? I'm in London too...and NOOO, don't turf the middle with borders either side, specially if its not a large garden – Bamboo Jul 23 '15 at 21:10
  • 2
    I agree!! This site is called Gardening and Landscaping!! User 18909...you've done a great job with trying to explain what you need help with...this will take a little work but I for one am glad you braved asking the question. Landscaping is never going to fit a question/answer template. Never. I would love to help, for free...grin! This a great space to landscape professionally. Lots to discuss...if you want contact me at stormytrails@gmail.com. I would love to help...! – stormy Jul 24 '15 at 23:57
  • 2
    Cool, I've done one design via the internet, solely, and so far a great deal not only for you but me as well. Never imagined designing via the internet but I can get you a reference! A Landscape Architect's services are so valuable but few can afford us. Designing over the internet is an experiment for me...I do not do CADD or computer generated stuff. Doesn't work for me. I can afford to pick and choose clients to do 'pro-bono' projects. I am hoping to take results to help improve the use of 'Landscaping' for this site. Grin...I am a weird professional that IS doing this for free!! – stormy Jul 25 '15 at 0:18

You need a designer/landscaper, frankly - Kevinsky's right, 20 hours minimum from a professional, after a consultation, viewing the site and measuring, and I wouldn't do it for free any more than another professional would.

The one thing I will say is I would definitely remove that tree and possibly replace with a narrow one, maybe on the other side (compass required to decide that). And given the modernity of your extension, and your ideas about what you want, 'urban room' springs to mind rather than classic British garden. That doesn't mean no greenery/planting, but it requires careful thought and planning so that it doesn't look too stark and unbalanced, yet fills your requirements in terms of how you want to use the space.

Likely this question will be closed, I'm afraid.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.