Family Friendly Garden, Beckenham, Kent

purple buddleia, antirrhinum, yellow snapdragons

What makes a family friendly garden?

The garden design brief

For this client in Beckenham, Bromley in Kent, the new garden was going to include: –

  • raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables
  • colourful but easy maintenance ornamental planting
  • child friendly areas
  • removing a koi pond
  • changing levels to improve the flow through the garden

The first item on the list was the re-housing of the koi as the unwanted pond took up a large part of the rear garden. Koi need to be moved during the warmer months, April – October.

Our sibling company, Plews Garden Landscaping, carried out the construction and landscaping to our design

The long, narrow garden needed well designed raised beds and borders if it wasn’t to look even narrower. Including two freestanding raised beds at a different angle leads the eye across rather than along the garden, making it seem wider. All the raised beds were constructed of the same material throughout, to give unity to the garden design.

A soft, mixed herbaceous perennial and shrub planting design gives interest throughout the year, changing as the seasons change. Easy maintenance gardening should not mean boring planting schemes!

Our client wanted gardening lessons to learn how to get the best from his new garden; for both the ‘grow your own’ area and the ornamental planting.

The existing patio at the top end of the garden, surrounded with shady trees was cleaned and left as it was in decent condition

  • we pruned some of the existing trees and shrubs that surrounded it
  • removed some of the old, tired planting
  • added new raised beds to formalise the planting area
  • rejuvenated the green foliage planting with shade tolerant flowers and variegated foliage


 A family friendly garden should include play spaces and room for children to explore –

  • by leaving the old patio we found space for a trampoline
  • we created a secret path running from the lawn to the trampoline
  • a larger area of turf lawn gives plenty of space for friends to come round and play

The decking next to the house had serious issues with rotting. A new deck was built, the angled shape reflecting the raised beds and sending the eye to the new focal point – a small arbour surrounded by scented climbers. I mean, relaxed parents are part of the family friendly garden too…


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