Your Garden Made Perfect Demi & Laura Episode 1


We have been working with Demi and Laura on a design for their front garden, following on from the original build in Series 1 of YGMP where we looked at their rear garden. The new design creates space for two cars, improves access between cars and pavement to the front door with the rest of the space given over for easy going plants and some where to sit and enjoy conversing with neighbours. The garden will be built in 2023. The first two images show our renders for this proposed scheme.

Brief & Site

Demi and Laura needed a garden for spending time outdoors and to match their comfortable family home. Space to relax but also entertain friends and family. The children need space to enjoy playing and spending time outside. The hope is to add a home office over time and the garden must be able to adapt.
The garden wraps around the house on two sides with the main garden facing west. In the height of summer the existing terrace is too hot. As there was no where else to sit the family went back inside. The garden offered little to look at and enjoy resulting in the garden not being used. A large leylandii hedge dominated making the garden feel considerably smaller. The high hedge felt slightly claustrophobic and there was nothing to pull you out into the garden. There were few plants in this garden offering little interest throughout the year, an unchanging landscape. The view back to the house was very stark. There is a drop of 700mm from the house to the garden. A single change of level of this size is a real hazard. The existing patio had a number of structural issues.

However there are the most beautiful views the other side of the high hedge and this is a good sized garden.

Design Solution & Planting

A path, set at a midlevel between the top terrace and the garden leads to a second terrace. Especially important in the height of summer this cooler space offers much needed shade. Sitting between these two terraces is a small deck for outdoor cooking, a great place for the chef, surrounded by family and friends. Planters protect the now reduced height drop up by the house and introduce much needed greenery. These planters are packed with herbs including sage and prostrate rosemary that will cascade over the planters once established, close to the kitchen and the BBQ area.

That large drop has been reduced to just 3 steps from both the top terrace and side steps. What before was rather intimidating now adds considerably to the look and feel of the garden. The house and garden now have an easy connection. The side deck steps are a great place to sit and enjoy the garden and the pretty borrowed views of the surrounding landscape. Planting beds around the steps, pathways and new terrace add much greenery and interest. The solid block of dense green has been replaced with soft planting offering interest across the seasons. Climbing roses and clematis, selected for longevity of flowering will soften the pergola, fence and house walls, providing scent, colour and interest. A number of shrubs have been selected to also provide scent and further soften the structures. Three new trees have been planted to draw the eye, frame the view of the pergola and terrace whilst also addressing issues of privacy. The large planting bed under the acer and pergola signal that the garden continues to the side of the house, making the garden feel bigger and further encouraging you outside to explore. The second lawn to the side currently has a trampoline and play equipment. This space can be adapted as the family grows and offers space for an outside office.

The full plant list is shown in the slides here.

This is a new garden and it will take some time for the plants to fill out and I will post images as we revisit the garden in the coming years.


London Stone Porcelain Warm beige for pergola terrace. London Stone Porcelain Rovere for top terrace. London Stone Chestnut Brushed Composite Decking.

Planters Harrod Horticulture. Trellis made on site using materials readily available from many timber merchants and fencing specialists.