Updating a Traditional Multi-Level Garden in Purley on Thames

Follow our team as they update a traditional Purley garden to provide a more generous entertaining space and a more contemporary feel.

ALDA in Action

Our Client’s Brief

To create a more contemporary style garden with a generous patio area for seating and entertaining.

Central to the brief is repositioning and redesigning the existing entrance steps – the goal is to make the transition from the patio to the steps as smooth as possible, removing the unnecessary level changes. The link between these steps and the rest of the garden will be the focal point for the design.

What we did

A simple but clever design and a methodical, skilled approach to landscaping all contribute to the success of this garden:

1. Site Clearance & Preparation

The team work hard over several days to take up the existing vegetation, paving and steps, together with the brick wall with its pillars. Rubbish is removed from the site using several skip loads.

They continue working in the wet and muddy conditions in early May, shoring up a bank of soil in preparation for the new retaining wall.

2. New Retaining Wall

Concrete footings are laid next and a retaining wall is constructed using 9” hollow concrete blocks with steel work inside. These are infilled with concrete and finished with a brick facia. To add a modern touch, the wall is finished with a covering of Venetian screen cladding. The existing retaining wall on the upper level is also clad with the same Venetian screen.

3. The New Patio

A new and much larger patio is laid across the back of our client’s property. The grey limestone paving we use ties in with the modern bifold doors on this level.

Using circle paving packs of matching grey limestone, three circular patios edged with brick pavers are created within the main patio. In addition, a small circular patio laid close to the shed at the bottom of the garden opens up additional seating options.

4. Wide, Curved Steps

A series of wide, curved edge steps are installed leading down from the upper level onto the lawn and one of the circular patios. These steps are constructed using matching limestone treads and instantly provide a more contemporary feel to the garden.

5. A New Lawn

The hard landscaping phase of the garden is finished by laying a new lawn of quality seeded turf (much to the relief of our client’s dog, who has had to put up with very muddy conditions over the past 3 weeks!!).  All borders are dug over and topped up with soil ready for the new planting.

The Result

Our client is enjoying using the new space the garden now offers.  Katie’s clever design of a simpler layout with fewer level changes creates an updated look which complements the property. The new grey limestone patio adds to this feel and the wide curved steps provide a stunning focal point within the garden.

Next Steps

Katie is working on a planting plan for our client; once this has been finalised, plants will be sourced from local nurseries, delivered and planted up by our team. New balustrading is on order and will be installed along with a new resin pathway which will be laid on top of a prepared tarmac surface. Lighting will add the final finishing touch to this multi-level contemporary/traditional garden.

Update: Time Lapse Video of Garden Construction through to Planting

Our client kindly shared with us this timelapse series showing the construction of the garden:

Like what you see?

From planning a new border to a complete garden remodel, we pride ourselves on transforming ideas into beautiful reality, with minimum disruption. If you’re based in or around the Reading and Newbury area, we’d love to meet and discuss your project in detail – book your free no-obligation garden consultation today. We do get pretty booked up, particularly during the Spring, so plan ahead if possible!