• Sarah Kay

From the Sarah Kay Garden Design studio this week - N5 Secluded Family Garden

It's been a busy week in the studio. I've been working on a design for a family of four in Highbury who are looking to create a garden which provides a secluded, practical space that works for the family and their newly acquired puppy.

Kitchen View

This garden is overlooked from the back and, whilst this is currently managed with a tall Laurus nobilis, Phyllostachys nigra and a damaged Ceanothus tree, these plants are far too large and dense for this compact North facing garden.


The garden fencing is different heights and styles and is not in good condition and the lawn and flower beds are tired and uninspiring. There is no area for dining or entertainment and the existing deck has no real purpose

Existing garden

My design aims to address the privacy issues in the garden with pleached trees providing an elegant space saving screen, above a new horizontal batten fence painted dark grey to unify the space.

Final Layout Design

The garden is designed on a 45 degree angle to the house, which creates an interesting flow through the space and brings the planting into the centre of the garden. Raised beds provide a dog friendly space for plants and porcelain coping mirrors the low maintenance floor surface and provides additional seating options.


A large L shape floating bench creates a permanent dining space for 4/5 with space for additional seating when required and a painted wooden store provide ample storage for bikes, bbq and tools.

Bench View

Planting has a Japanese essence with a feature multi-stem Betula in the far right corner and grasses, ferns and climbers in whites, purples and lime greens. The pleached and other trees will be uplit to create night time interest from the kitchen and carefully placed potted plants soften the edges of the raised beds.


This walk through the garden highlights the secluded dining space and enhanced views from the kitchen.




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