This client wanted to cram many features into this small space. There was to be a lawn for football kickabouts, an area to place his bbq, ample provision for dining, it needed to be aesthetically pleasing with a clean, uncluttered appearance, and above all it had to be as low maintenance as possible.
The main focus of the space is a seating area in the top right corner consisting of an L-shaped fixed bench backed by an L-shaped raised bed, plus a freestanding square table and several cube stools. The bench benefits from armrests at each end and is framed on either side by low planters containing quirky 'Buxus sempervirens'. Table, seats, planters and raised bed are all constructed from thick railway sleepers. Flooring in this area comprises Chinese natural slate in a formal lay pattern edged with rectangular granite setts laid in a single 'soldier' course (i.e. laid side to side rather than end to end.)
Flooring in the remainder of the space is divided between an area of artificial turf with horizontal sunken railway sleeper edging, and ornamental paving directly outside the back door consisting of a series of sunken railway sleepers of decreasing lengths interspersed with a decorative aggregate and occasional granite setts.
Planting in the space consists of subtle ferns and big glossy leaves, with a flush bed running along the back of the house and along the left boundary. The walls of the adjoining houses are adorned with a variety of climbers, whilst succulent 'Fatsia japonica' and a variety of ferns, including 'Dicksonia antarctica' (tree fern) give the garden a soft jungle feel.