20 Dec 2022

Converted Stable Garden

This project is currently at the mid way point with the second phase resuming in Spring 2023.

Our customer had recently moved into their beautiful new stable block development and had whilst had fallen in love with the property was left despairing of the garden. With all the living room windows looking out on to the garden and with only hastily laid paving and turf thrown down to look at, having the garden designed was at the top of the priority list.

The brief was to stay in keeping with the character of the property but introduce some curve and flow to the scheme, with some contemporary social elements.

And so we set to work. As with all garden design the objective is to not be able to see everything at once but rather be taken on a journey, to explore, to arrive at different vantage points and destinations as the plot allows.

We broke up the original expanse of paving by re-laying in a staggered style, incorporating planting inserts for interest and ‘exploding’ the paving into the lawn and border areas to escape rigid lines. The gaps between the slabs will later be planted with creeping thyme to soften the edges and naturalise the patio area, accentuated by a rather beautiful stone water feature.

With a nod to the character of the property a new central cobble path was laid (reclaimed cobbles from a Manchester yard) leading towards a central stone bench, framed by a cedar screen and to be eventually flanked by small formal ewe hedging on either side. The effect is to draw the eye from the central glazed opening of the living space to the focal point opposite.

In contrast to this simple, orderly formality the curved path, from much softer material (to be self-binding gravel) cuts through the cobbled avenue as it wends its way across the site, stopping briefly at the circular patio area in the far corner of the garden before heading under the new pergola and into the courtyard garden at the rear.

The circular patio is to be a real focal point as it is sunken from the main garden level with a circular rendered raised bed behind. In the second phase of the project this will support a floating cedar bench from which to look back and view the magnificent building.

So far the only planting is the row of silver birches and the pleached trees on the boundaries but the Spring will bring the finishing touches with the second phase of the project and the garden will burst into life and colour.

20 Dec 2022

Creating a Wildlife Pond

We had been called into a garden in Northampton where the couple had been living there for 40+ years and although the garden had been well developed, loved and used over this time was now in need of a re-haul to reflect the couples current needs, whilst retaining its original features
The centre-piece of the garden was to be a wildlife pond and stream and needed re-siting further away from the house, so we set about designing the rest of the garden with this in mind.
In order for the pond to look as natural as possible we had to choose the shape and placement of each individual rock within the pond so that the right blend of rocks, old weathered wood and planting choices come together to make a wildlife haven, right in the middle of suburbia!
The pergola was re-designed as a covered structure from which the couple could enjoy the wildlife pond throughout the seasons, whilst privacy from an overlooking neighbouring property was achieved thought a carefully placed raised bed with varying height posts to provide screening.
We thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with our friends and fellow designers in the planting world for this project. Sam (from Plantology)’s choice of planting was the finishing touch on this beautiful natural garden that will only get better with time.
24 Jan 2022

Designing Inside & Out

2021 saw a new member added to the team. Jonny is a skilled joiner/general builder. With his skill set came the ability to extend what we do into property development and garden rooms into our designs. This project was to be our first one! 

Our client first approached us the previous year, and an initial discussion of design and layout reached the first draft. However, at this point, the client decided that they wanted to construct an orangery from which they could enjoy their new garden all year round. Plans went on hold whilst they sought quotes to build the new room, but because they had in mind a pretty bespoke structure, they found any quotes submitted to be quite expensive. That’s when Jonny stepped in and designed a room exactly to the spec they wanted and within budget. Adding the orangery into the overall garden design meant we then essentially flipped the design around so that the viewing point of the new room could focus on the primary features of the garden layout.

The result was one delighted customer and a rewarding step into a new field of expertise for us.

24 Jan 2022

Tropical Paradise

This was an exciting project! Our clients had recently purchased a large new build property and wanted a garden to reflect their lifestyle, maximising their outdoor space for socialising and entertaining.

The brief was to create a large outdoor kitchen (foodies!) with a bar and partially covered eating, relaxing zone.

We began with a mood board, exchanging ideas with the clients primarily over zoom (as we were in lockdown at the time)… Lush green foliage provides a tropical, holiday feel, uber-contemporary poured concrete for the structural features and even a gorgeous bespoke corten steel rain-wall water feature to go in - plans were afoot!

Once the job began, there were inevitable alterations and creative additions on the fly, for instance, the decision to go with vertical cedar slats (instead of horizontal) and use the same to partition the utility area of the garden.

Poured concrete for the kitchen & bar installations was an exciting learning curve for us but yielded fantastic results. The client was then keen to include additional benches from concrete piers and cedar seats in keeping with the overall design. The lighting spec also evolved naturally, with the client purchasing their own neon sign to add to the mix.

Perhaps the most challenging part of the project overall was getting our heads around creating the water feature. This corten steel ‘rain-wall’ idea had been a concept gleaned from Pinterest, but once the client had fallen in love with it, we had no option but to figure out how to make it! It became one of those occasions where it’s so important to have a great network in the trade, and with a bit of head-scratching from our steel fabricator friend and the pond guys next door to us who supplied the irrigation, we got there!

06 Feb 2020

Tranquil Sanctuary

We were given free-reign on this garden design, which is always exciting for us! Inspired by Japanese gardens, we sought to create a space that was both visually stunning and utilising of the relatively small space. Everything in this design is bespoke, from the modern style pergola and deck to the hand-masoned water feature central to the garden. We loved this job and are so excited by how it turned out. The finished product is a serene and tranquil yet modern and sleek zen-inspired garden.


It was an amazing experience watching the transformation of our tired garden into something delightful. I’m delighted with the decking, and looking forward to getting the maximum use of this next summer! J. Rawling

06 Feb 2020

Tree-Top Terrace

The challenge of this design was to overcome a three meter drop from the lawn to the back boundary, an expansive deck to cover the area was certainly the best option. The most effective way to build a deck like this is to set supporting posts on top of a concrete platform to protect the structure from damp. We couldn't safely get a machine down such a slope which meant we had to dig the footings by hand! It was an extreme challenge to overcome but the final outcome was worth the toil and strife. The deck itself is comprised of yellow balau hardwood boards with a handrail to prevent a nasty fall.


From start to finish, Nathan and his team have been professional, friendly and hard working. We are extremely pleased with the deck they have built for us and they have consistently gone beyond expectations. Nathan undertook quite a bit of research for us in order to advise on materials and design and ensured that the project was finished to a very high standard.

15 Dec 2018

Geometry In Motion

This was a newly acquired property on a new build estate. The owner had chosen this particular house because of the south-facing sunroom on the back of the property, with concertina doors opening out into a void of a garden – he gave us a call.

Clearly, the number one objective was to link the sunroom into the garden with minimal interruption. The garden was an unusual shape with the boundary cutting across obliquely- this dictated the design, we couldn’t use curves on this one. The other major point of the brief was an outdoor kitchen area, this was an interesting challenge to design this space as we would be governed by the dominant component of the barbeque oven, which only arrived once the project was underway. This was fine by us as we love making space and materials work as new problems surface.

There was a large change in level from the patio doors to the rear corner. We split the garden in half with sleeper retainment between two levels.

The customers were lovers of roses so we designed the planting scheme around this affinity and installed trellis surrounding the garden both for privacy and to train the rambling roses.

Nathan and team took our high level ideas and created a beautiful garden. Having moved into a new build we only had the turf and paving put down by the builders. Nathan and team created a garden with different levels and textures. Nathan was able to clearly describe his plan for the garden at the outset, and any changes that were made during the development. The team used the highest quality materials and have finished everything to a really high standard. M. Atkinson

17 May 2018

Contemporary Curves

This was a long, thin garden backing onto fields. In order to escape the narrow confines of the original garden, we opted for curves and flowing lines throughout. With this project, there was a request for clear visualisation and detailed 3D planning, produced as part of the quotation process.

The last third of the garden had already been developed with a large, modern office space. We were tasked with linking this functional space with the rest of the garden by a pathway from the main patio. We also wanted to create a distinction between the two areas and did so by use of open fencing. We added artistic flair by using descending heights on the posts in a sweeping curve.

We gave balance to the garden using two dominant circle features on either side of the path; one circle of lawn and one of sandstone paving. The flow of the path was further enhanced by a curved pergola on one side.

This theme culminated with a large sandstone globe water feature in prime viewing position from the sitting room and the main patio area. The customers’ love of water resulted in the inclusion of a bespoke water feature to be viewed from the office area.

Friendly and cheerful workers. Excellent design and creative thinking. They handled our extra jobs well. Very neat and tidy. We have had lots and lots of positive feedback from family and friends about our new garden. P. Middlemiss

17 May 2018

Traditional Country Garden

The design of this garden was dictated by its setting in the grounds of a lovely, traditional Northamptonshire ironstone country house. The garden backed onto fields and was largely undeveloped, in fact, it was more of a paddock when we arrived. The site already hosted a fair amount of original York stone paving which the customer wanted to incorporate into the new patio design.

The setting called for a more grand and formal design using straight lines throughout. The main York stone patio was complimented by the choice of materials; reclaimed brick was used for the raised planters, river cobbles were used to decorate the border areas and large, chunky timbers were used in the pergola construction.

We were able to add a contemporary twist to this traditional garden as the customer was enthusiastic about garden lighting. We highlighted the planters using large walk-over uplighting with smaller LED floor lighting surrounding the pergola base. We enhanced the structure of the pergola and planting with spotlights and spike uplighters.

One of the reasons I chose New Gardens to landscape my garden was the energy and obvious love they have for what they do. The first time I met Nathan, I could tell he was already picturing how he was going to create it and which plants and lighting would work best. The New Gardens team were professional and friendly at all times and kept to their schedule. We are very happy with our garden and have no regrets. J. Harris

17 May 2018

Mediterranean Makeover

This was a neglected garden with a large expanse of sloping lawn and several features that had become overgrown and fallen into disrepair. We were called in by a couple with a specific brief as one of them was terminally ill and they wanted to create a haven that would bring great joy to them in the final months of their shared life together. Many aspects of the garden had to take into account limited mobility.

We designed the space in close collaboration with the customers. As the project progressed we worked closely with them to implement changes in the design as they saw fit. The customer's decision to use New Gardens was primarily due to our flexibility.

In order to cope with the change in the ground level, we used natural limestone walling with central steps to move from one level to the next. The customer wanted to create multiple seating areas to view the garden from different vantage points. To accomplish this, we made a sandstone circle feature at the highest point, steps then led down to a corner seating area beneath a beautiful fanned pergola. From this pergola a path led through a wooden archway to the main patio, curved to its widest point to facilitate a dining area.

The customers wanted to retain some lawn but not too much so as to keep the mowing time to a minimum. The brief also called for privacy screening on one of the boundaries which we achieved through planting evergreen bay hedging.

The sound of running water was desirable to the customers so a small pebble stream fed into a rockpool water feature running alongside the central steps. This was made visible from the conservatory by creating a cut out in the limestone walling. Finally, the planting scheme incorporated a herb garden which could be maintained from waist height, an alpine rockery, multiple trellises to create a wall of colourful climbers and an irrigation system throughout the planted areas to minimise watering.

We chose new gardens for their creative and artistic designs. Nathan immediately made a good impression. He was courteous, knowledgeable, and able to interpret our ideas and vision of transforming our garden from a sloped, unusable mess and create a garden with flat, functional areas that are a joy to look at and be in. C. Johnson