One of the biggest challenges in family garden design is creating a space that suits everybody. The adults may want to sit, relax and enjoy the garden, perhaps by a fire pit or an outdoor cooking area.
However, most parents will also want a garden which their children (or grandchildren) can enjoy and which will encourage younger members of the family to spend time outdoors. Children are likely to want a garden in which they can play, run around, kick a ball or bounce on a trampoline. They may even be lucky enough to have a pool to swim in. When faced with the challenge of coming up with the perfect family garden design, we try to consider everybody’s needs from the outset.
Hampstead Garden Design: Family Garden spaces for everyone
The starting point, as with all garden design, is to explore the various ways in which different people would like to use the space.
The keen gardener will want beautiful borders and flower beds.
The kitchen gardener will need beds or planters in which to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and other edibles.
The entertainer will want space for relaxing and entertaining, for sharing
outdoor meals with the family and friends.
The thinker may need a garden office or garden room, a space to be ‘in the
garden’ but still sheltered.
The adventurer & sportsperson may want a safe, secure space in which their
children can play, whilst enjoying fresh air and exercise, away from cars and
The four-legged family members will love a garden in which to exercise, to
chase a ball or maybe curl up in a sheltered corner of a flower bed.
The hard worker will want practical solutions for drying washing, storing DIY orgardening tools and for organising household waste bins.
Family garden designs need to successfully incorporate the needs of all of the family, whilst still being beautiful, practical, manageable and not breaking the budget.
Planning your perfect family garden design
Who is going to use the garden and when are they going to use it? This helps to define the new layout for the garden. For example, if you plan to use your patio area for evening family meals, you may want to think about where the sun is at this time of the day. Whereas if you want to create a garden offce to work from in the morning, you will want to consider where light is best at this time of day.
Consider if you need to create a ‘Child Friendly’ Garden: Do you have young children who you need to keep an eye on? Do the grandchildren come over to stay? If so, then this will have an important influence on how you design the garden and what you decide to include. You will probably want to avoid ponds, lots of hard surfaces and plants with prickly leaves or poisonous berries, all of which can be harmful to small children.
Are there any keen gardeners or plant lovers in the family? If so, the design for your new garden should include ample space for planting beds and borders. Or it could be that that you are more interested in sitting and sunning yourself and need to create patio space in a sunny spot. Knowing the answers to these questions will help to develop the overall family garden design, from the hard landscaping surfaces to the planting spaces.
Don’t try to squeeze too much in: a common mistake is to try to get too much from the garden. Do you have space for an garden office, vegetable patch, swimming pool, swings and a trampoline? Prioritise what is most important and likely to be used regularly and work from here. If you try to include too many different elements, you may find that the garden design as a whole does not work well.
Create adaptable spaces: When investing in your garden, think about how the space may need to change over the years to come. How might you use the space when your children have out grown the climbing frame and sandpit?
Could the space left by the sunken trampoline be used to create a fire pit?
Could artificial turf be used to replace your worn out lawn?: Football practice and pets can really take its toll on your lawn and create extra cleaning as muddy boots and paws are traipsed into the house. An artificial turf could be the solution. The quality of many artificial turf products has improved enormously in recent years, so that many are barely distinguishable from the real thing.
Plan your storage: bikes, balls, table tennis tables, mowers, and BBQs all need to have a home. You may have a garden shed but perhaps you also need additional or more convenient forms of storage. Off the shelf or bespoke bike stores are increasingly common and can be conveniently located in your garden design. You may also want to incorporate storage for furniture cushions close by your patio, so that they can be found easily and conveniently when you feel like popping outside.
Zone the garden: if you have young children or pets you may want to divide the garden into different areas, using barriers to keep the younger users or pets in a safe area.
Use hard wearing plants: which are tough enough to cope with balls,
boomerangs and the family dog. Younger members of the family may not mean to crush your herbaceous border but they are likely to keep bombarding the
beds and borders with footballs, frisbees, model aeroplanes and anything else
that can be thrown! To avoid disappointment and family conflict, plant using
robust shrubs and perennials, with a view to things landing on them from time
By thinking out who will use the family garden and what they will want to do in it, you will have an excellent starting point from which to plan and design a space that will work for everyone.
Hampstead Garden Design: Fantastic Family Gardens
If you’re not sure where to begin, why not call in Hampstead Garden Designs. We have years of experience of creating beautiful, practical, hard wearing family gardens that will give you and your family years of pleasure.
Take the first step into your new family garden Contact Hampstead Garden Design
Back Gardens & Family garden designs completed for clients.
Classical Family Garden Mill Hill, London
This garden was redesigned as a part of the major refurbishment of this beautiful Mill Hill house. Our clients wanted their garden to be a large entertaining space, combined with a family friendly scheme. Our large, curved patio terrace uses brick which complements the traditional style of the property. The porcelain paving is low maintenance and mirrors the contemporary internal styling.
Contemporary Garden Golders Green
The contemporary design of this garden in Golders Green complements the internal finishes of our clients' home. Soft grey granite paving areas and iroko decking create a garden to be enjoyed on different levels. Shade loving plants thrive at the back of the garden, whilst mediterranean shrubs and trees enjoy the sun around the patio seating area. Bold black boundaries provide the perfect backdrop to show of planting.
Country Pool Garden Design
Our clients for this project wanted to create a cool, contemporary entertaining space, from which they could enjoy the fantastic views over the Hertfordshire countryside. The focal point pool is surrounded by granite paving and iroko decking. On cooler days the garden can be enjoyed from the stylish iroko clad garden room.
Garden Suburb Family Garden Design
Architects working on this Hampstead Garden Suburb property brought us in to redesign this large established garden. We created a new terrace to complement the extension to the property and reshaped lawns and borders to open the garden up. Our planting scheme utilises many of the mature existing shrubs and is designed to give year round interest and colour.
Golders Green Contemporary Garden
Our clients in Golders Green were remodeling their north west London home and took this opportunity to completely redesign their back garden. The new diagonal layout, arranged over two levels, creates interest and a feeling of increased space within the garden. The black basalt paving gives a contemporary edge, which complements the minimalistic, low maintenance planting scheme.
Golders Green Family Garden
Our clients wanted to redesign their garden to create a safe, interesting place for their young children, combined with a relaxing space for the adults. Making use of the existing ground levels, we designed a raised area at the back of the garden, home to an outdoor blackboard, sandpit and log stepping stones. The deck, carefully sited in the sunniest spot in the garden, gives mum and dad a relaxing seating area.
Exotic Kentish Town Garden
Our Kentish Town clients had outgrown the design of their small family garden and wanted a space which was less a football pitch and more an a space for relaxing. Using a strong geometric design, we created a sunny patio area and new planting beds. The existing exotic tree ferns and palms were kept and new shrubs and perennials added to create a colourful urban retreat which can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Traditional Family Garden in Hampstead
The back garden of this grade II listed home needed to be sympathetically redesigned, in order to respect the character of the property, whilst updating for the 21st century. We created new patio entertaining areas using buff sandstone paving combined with traditional clay bricks. Mature specimen plants in the existing garden, including a stunning Wisteria, were carefully retained and new planting added to create interest around the year.