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Help me design a new garden

Our garden is as shown in the figure;
The house has 3 patio doors facing the garden as shown, the living room has one, and the kitchen/diner (with skylight) has two others.  The house floor is 40cm above ground level and currently has some nasty concrete paving.

There are two manholes shown in grey, and cannot be moved.

We want to remove as much as the paving needed (can be replaced with something nicer) to make way for a Swing and a Slide for our child.  We want to get a standard size swing as no longer a toddler and if possible a normal size slide.

so far the grass in the southmost side is mushy and dead, and being in london the clay is like a bog this winter.  We just returfed a couple of years ago, all dead.  Any ideas and plans are most welcome.  Thanks


  • send_to_alansend_to_alan Posts: 21
    edited February 2021
    These are the designs I have come up with so far;
    Decking slightly under 30cm and paving on the ground level, ignore double swing, will be a single with slide on the one side!

    Design 1

    Design 2

    Design 3 (forgot the tree)

    Design 4

    Design 5 (forgot tree and that is a childs paddling pool hidden in the decking)
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,429
    I like design 4 personally as it has the toys tucked away and more paving taken up.  It's all personal taste though,  let us know what you decide 😀
  • I wouldn't want to a) step from the decking and have to weave my way through swings etc to get a patch of open lawn (nos. 2 & 4) or
                               b) accidently step in the water because I was distracted or
                               c) do you realise in no.2 there is only 5 feet between the (closed) barbeque and the seating?

    Honestly I like that you have put some thought into this and given details.
  • I think you need a path, at least, outside all your patio doors, so design 4 may not work unless you're planning not to use the door at the side of your kitchen/diner - or mud will be tracked across your floor...

    I think I'd go for something nearer no.1, though you could curve the patio edge so there was less of it, perhaps.  I'm not a great fan of decking, but as WonkyWomble says, it's very much a matter of personal taste.   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Thanks for the comments all very good!

    The decking will be a foot above ground level and will have a balustrade to prevent people falling off accidentally and the it will be like a balcony.

    the paddling pool will have a cover made of decking wood and will be closed most of the time, it will be about a foot deep.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,222
    edited February 2021
    No.3 I think, although I would push the swing into the corner rather than have it right in the middle opposite the patio doors.
  • If the height difference is just a foot why not have a single step down from the deck? If you didn’t want a step along the full length you could use planting as well. Then you wouldn’t feel the need to have a balustrade and the decking would feel more connected to the garden
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  •        Thanks everyone, loving all the feedback!  I did try to push the swing, however neighbours shrubs overhang and will need a lot of chopping up to avoid fouling.  The problem is if you chop too much, they will start overlooking and vice versa!

    We weren't planning to get off the deck (the idea was adult space, so little one won't be bringing in mud etc) and walking from kitchen to deck to without wearing garden shoes etc

    Regarding grass, due to soil and lack of sun only bits survive, what are the options out there please?
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    edited February 2021
    In cost terms No1 would be the best. 
    Is there a reason why you haven't considered the play equipment being sited up the tree end?
    With your patio doors I would imagine sight lines to the children  would be ok.
    You could then separate the area with a picket fence and lay landscape fabric and play bark.
    Large planters to run down the patio placed to prevent direct access into the house planted with herbs and salad crops in the sunnier spots, each child could have their own if they are old enough.

    Lifting heavy decking off a paddling pool will become tiresome, how will you empty it as decking has to have gaps to expand as wood moves so rain and dirt will end up in the pool and it will get bits of grass etc when in use. Wet decking is also slippery.

    As to your hope of 
    "We weren't planning to get off the deck (the idea was adult space, so little one won't be bringing in mud etc) and walking from kitchen to deck to without wearing garden shoes etc"
    Sorry that's just not possible!
  • True, agree 1 would mean resurfacing existing patio and adding to it.
    I guess it can go there, that is the only sunny bit and the reason it was this end was no grass was growing there.
    Sounds good, I like the picket fence and bark.
    The decking would be on gas struts, with a hinge and there will be a lid over the pool.  the pool will be a small bath tub or a plastic water tank, with standard drain plug connected to the kitchen waste water outlet.  I already have an outside hot tap and cold tap, so would use a standard bath fitting to fill it in.  Not sure how much use it would get though.
    Fair point, I can see what you mean!
    Thanks a lot

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