Getting started in Totteridge

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November sees the start of a new garden design and landscaping project in Totteridge (or is it Whetstone, it’s difficult to know). This is a large suburban garden which has been used as a family garden for several years, but as the children are getting older, now is the time that the family have decided to reassess their needs. The garden has grown, a little untidily, over the years and large trees and shrubs surround what appears to be a barely functional lawn.

The design brief was to reduce the size of the lawn, no longer needed for children’s play, clear the old defunct garden pond and come up with something interesting to the eye, varied from one space to another and more in keeping with a grown-up family.


The garden has an existing softwood deck adjacent to the house. At the far end of the garden the ownerrequested a new deck, suitable for outdoor dining and entertaining. Initially, composite decking was suggested by the owner, but examples we have seen still look like plastic. In the future, no doubt such products will be much more realistic, but I would hold off for now.

Instead I suggested Cumaru hardwood decking, which looks great, especially with a coating of Australian timber oil, and is much more durable than softwood.

Down from the existing deck will be an oval lawn, smaller than the present one. The different areas of the garden will be linked by paths of Cotswold chippings. Such a path leads past a new circular pond, edged with granite settts, then past a garden seat and on through a series of free-standing arches forming a pergola. Finally the path reaches the new hardwood deck.

The planting will change as one progresses through the garden, becoming less formal, more wild. Where boundaries are currently exposed, they will be screened with trellis and planting.    

The garden will be completed with low-voltage garden lighting.

As we near the end of November, the clearance of the garden has begun, fences ar about to be fixed and construction of the decking is underway.