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Garden Design Projects in Surrey

We have compiled a selection of Rumbold–Ayers' most recent garden design projects in and around Surrey: click on the “read more” links below to see the full story:

Large Suburban Garden, Surrey

Large Garden Design Surrey Summary: Garden design for a large suburban garden, associated with a contemporary style replacement dwelling
Location: Cobham, Surrey
Scope of work: Conceptual Plan and Visualisation, lighting design, liaison with architect and quantity surveyor


the site

The site is a corner plot in a leafy cul-de-sac of large houses, with a narrow road frontage and constrained by tree preservation orders covering about half the total plot area. The replacement dwelling is contemporary in style, but designed to reflect the general form of the neighbouring houses, and includes a below-ground double garage.

the brief and design solution

The principal features in the rear garden are the patios and swimming pool. The pool is sited to take advantage of the best afternoon sun, away from the shadow cast by the house, but also set to one side of the principal views from the main living areas (a pool can be a dreary sight during the winter months!). A pool house not only provides a sheltered sitting and changing area, but serves as a visual backdrop. The pool machinery is sited behind the pool house, taking advantage of the accoustic screening the building provides.

large Surrey garden design

The house forms a south-east facing "L" shape, with fully opening glass doors, so a pergola and some carefully choosen small trees provide shade from the midday sun. The site rises significantly as one moves away from the house, so the patio is split on two levels, with a lower area for relaxing in comfortable chairs and a somewhat larger upper level dining terrace.

A substantial part of the garden beyond the lawn comprises mature woodland, and this area has been sympathetically reworked to form grassy pathways threading through areas of woodland flower and shrub planting.

Large Garden Design SurreyThe front garden is predominantly devoted to a driveway, parking and turning space. Due to the site layout and significant difference in levels from the roadside to the rear garden, the internal floor levels and driveway design needed special attention. The driveway is necessarily quite steep to accommodate acceptable approach and breakover angles, but we were nevertheless able to find space for an additional parking and turning area by the steps to the front door. The site topography precludes a level approach to the front door, but elsewhere the design satisfies the requirements of Building Regulations Part M.

- under construction 2017

Suburban Garden, Surrey/Hampshire borders

Garden Design Hampshire Surrey Summary: Garden design for a steeply sloping circa 11m x 11m back garden, associated with a house extension
Location: Surrey/Hampshire borders
Scope of work: Survey, Conceptual Plan and Visualisation, Detailed Design documentation



The house is a typical mid-late 20th Century semi-detached property, with brick and tile hung facing, situated within a suburban residential area. The back garden slopes upwards quite steeply, and is shaded by large trees on the neighbouring property. Plans include extending the house by adding a substantial orangery at the rear, and the creation of useable patio areas with a hot tub in the garden.

design solution

Steeply sloping sites, such as this, need to be terraced to create useable space. This typically involves the construction of retaining walls, in this case also to the sides bounding the neighbouring properties. The new orangery extension opens onto a secluded dining terrace, bounded by rendered retaining walls with trailing plants and steps with a glass balustrade leading to the middle level of the garden. The principal view from the long side of the orangery, towards a high masonry and stone-faced retaining wall, is enhanced with ornamental planting and an illuminated water-wall feature. The slate paving, white render and zinc galvanised planters combine to create a crisp, contemporary feel.

Surrey garden design

The middle level is the principal entertainment space. We designed a bespoke, contemporary style gazebo for the above-ground hot tub, with a small “bar” area to enable hot-tub users to socialise with other guests. The adjoining terrace area provides space for chairs or sun loungers. The hot-tub, terrace and planting are arranged to receive maximum sun, but still enjoy a sense of privacy despite the elevated position.

Steps lead up from the middle level to the top level, retained by a wall of stone-filled gabions. This area comprises planting and a gravel garden.

- planning permission granted Q4 2013

Surrey Gardens

There's some great garden design inspiration to be had by visiting one of the many excellent gardens in Surrey, including:
  • RHS Wisley near Woking – this world class garden extending to more than 200 acres has everything from ornamental to practical, traditional to innovative. It is the RHS's flagship garden and, in addition to richly planted borders, it is also where the RHS conducts many different field trials.
  • Saville Garden, Windsor Great Park – another world renowned garden, with something for every season. Some good examples of contemporary planting design, too.
  • Loseley Park, Guildford – the Walled Garden is based on a design by famous planting designer Gertrude Jekyll, and has a series of “rooms ” including the Rose Garden, White Garden, and Herb Garden.
It's easy to think of Surrey as predominantly suburban but, although the landscape is now rather fragmented due to urban development, there are substantial areas of open spaces and semi-natural vegetation. The landscape comprises a considerable number of distinctive regions, including the Thames valley, heathlands, North Downs, wealden greensand, and low and high weald: woodlands are a common feature throughout the county. As a consequence there's really no such thing as a “Surrey garden”, and the designer should pay close attention to the individual setting of each project.

So, if you're wondering what to do next, why not call us for an informal chat on (01722) 714443.

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