Tag Archives: stepping-stones

Family Garden with Adventure Tower

Family Garden with Adventure Tower

Newly finished garden with lawn and play surface

Newly finished garden with lawn and play surface

This family garden with an adventure tower also has a rubber play surface and lawn area.  A sunny sitting area and a small area for vegetables are reached by stepping stones through a herb lawn. The garden is in Islington and also has high listed walls and trees which must be protected.



Islington Family Garden

Adventure Tower

Bespoke Adventure Tower Design

Adventure tower design

The adventure tower is located around a mature sycamore tree giving it some of the feeling of a tree house. It has two decks, an access ladder and a rope scramble net.  Our bespoke design addressed European safety standards, ease of construction and a pleasing appearance in the garden. Most importantly the children love it!



Bespoke Adventure Tower viewed from Sitting Area

Bespoke adventure tower viewed from sitting area






Play Surface

A recycled rubber surface in two colours gives a safe, bright and well-drained play area close to the house.  It can be used soon after rain and is easily kept clean.

Shady Lawn

The garden is north-facing and shaded by mature trees so is not the best location for a lawn.  We chose a Poa supina grass turf which will tolerate low levels of light, reasonable wear and drought.

Herb Lawn

Herb Lawn - new plants will spread to make a carpet.

Herb Lawn – new plants will spread to make a carpet

Herb lawns are also better in sun.  We chose low growing plants that like shade at the shady end –alchemilla and mitella,  and camomile and thyme at the sunny end.  In the middle, we have a small evergreen geranium.  It is an experiment to see what grows best and can be adapted as needed.

The lawn is crossed by stepping stones from the re-used York stone copings on the previous retaining wall.

Long Narrow Gardens

Long narrow gardens are made interesting by dividing the space into linking areas.  The use of curves also gives the appearance of greater width and it helps to keep the garden as open as possible to neighbouring gardens.  We applied these principles successfully in the re-design of a garden in Stoke Newington, North London

Stoke Newington Garden


Patio with Raised Planters and Cedar Strip Screening

Patio with Raised Planters and Cedar Strip Screening

The patio beside the house is used as an outdoor room.  The stone paving has been re-laid in an attractive flagstone arrangement.  A simple pattern of clay brick pavers makes the space feel larger.  It includes a semi-circle detail which links with the arc of a new raised brick planter.  This curve softens the patio edge, and encloses the space.


The area is screened with cedar strip lateral trellis for privacy.

Pergola and Cottage -Style Shed

Pergola, Shed, Cedar Bench and Patio Detailing

Pergola, Shed, Cedar Bench and Patio Detailing

The paving continues as a short section under a pergola. This has been planted with climbing roses, and a scented evergreen jasmine.  In time, these will screen the patio area.  Beneath the pergola is a thyme lawn, edged with clay pavers. The climbers are underplanted with Nepeta  and Achillea.

The pergola frames a small cottage-style shed items used on the patio.


Wavy Brick Paver Path, Lawn and Borders

'Stepping-stones' of clay pavers, meander through the lawn.

l ‘Stepping-stones’ of clay pavers, meander through the lawn

A path of brick paver ‘stepping-stones’ invites us through the lawned area in a gentle meander past a willow tree.  Large curved borders are planted on either side.  The boundaries are mainly open to the adjacent gardens with a stretch of low palisade fence.  This gives the garden a spacious country feel, quite different to a long narrow garden in London.

Until the plants are established, the borders have been protected with netting as there are several foxes who like to visit.


Work Area Screened with Willow Hurdles

Willow Hurdles and Work Shed

Willow hurdles screen the work area

The path finishes at the paved work area with a large shed for storage. The work area s attractively screened with willow hurdles which fits the country-style of this part of the garden.