Coastal Family Garden

Poole, Dorset

Robust, functional but full of delight, this small garden for a contemporary home packs a lot of joy into a small space.

Modern, clean lines and low-maintenance planting were priorities for this busy family, as were distinct spaces for adults and children to enjoy.

An outdoor kitchen and BBQ area are positioned at the end of the plot where the evening sun dips into the bottom right-hand corner. Alongside sits a cedar-clad games room, with meandering slate inlays leading down the lawn to both.

Space may not be plentiful, but depth of colour and range of texture are. Planting around the seating areas and on corners softens angles, to unify built and natural forms and introduce layers of interest. A pergola along the northern boundary provides instant height and support for climbing roses and clematis, while three small Malus ‘Evereste’ trees along the north-eastern boundary, interspersed with climbing plants – Trachelospermum jasminoides, roses and Hydrangea petiolaris – produce spring blossom, summer flora, autumn colour and fruits: a visual treat that attracts wildlife at eye level.