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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How to achieve a Secluded Family Garden in North London?

My clients in Highbury were looking for a garden suitable for their growing family (two teenage children and new puppy) to sit out, dine and entertain.

N5 Secluded Family Garden

The existing garden was overlooked by neighbours, particularly at the back and left hand corner. Bamboo, a Californian Lilac tree and a Bay tree had been used for screening but had become too large and domineering for this compact garden, making it dark and gloomy.


Pleached Carpinus Betula (Hornbeam) and a multi stem Betula utilis jacquemontii (Silver Birch) provide more subtle screening and new dark grey horizontal batten fencing provide a contrasting backdrop to the planting.

Urban slate fencing contrasts with planting

The awkwardly shaped boundaries have been disguised by designing the garden on a 45 degree angle. This creates triangular beds which lead the eye around the garden and bring the planting into the centre.

To discourage the puppy from digging up the plants, the planting is raised in London stock brick beds with a Steel Grey porcelain coping to match the patio. The coping can double as additional seating for a morning coffee or evening drinks.

Permanant seating is provided by a beautiful L-shaped floating oak bench, which can easily accommodate 6, but with space for additional seating (furniture to follow).

A bike box, painted to blend with the fencing allows for bike, bbq and tool storage.

Fuchsia planters add a pop of colour, bringing out the pinks in the planting scheme, which has a Japanese essence, in a restricted palette of green, white and purple/pink.

All plants used are non poisonous to dogs.

I look forward to seeing the finishing touches (furniture) added to the garden and the plants establish.


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