Happy to help!
We were delighted to support the Love Your Garden team as they designed and created a child friendly coastal garden for a family in Surrey.
Alan Titchmarsh and his team of gardeners including David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill worked to design a safe and sensory garden for mum, Kirsty, and her 3 year old twins Phoebe and Sam.
Phoebe and her mum both have Stickler Syndrome which means that Phoebe suffers deafness and has difficulty with her eyesight alongside other complications. The family also suffered a tragic loss with the sudden death of dad, Kevin, last January.
The Love Your Garden team wanted to give Kirsty and her young family a space to be happy, relaxed and care-free in the safety of their own garden. Although the twins love the freedom of being outside, the current garden wasn’t safe or sensory enough to allow for Phoebe’s special needs and they needed a place for her and Sam to develop and explore together.
Kirsty found it difficult to take the children out on her own with her limited sight and hearing. So a full garden makeover was needed to give the family the safe environment at home and become a space for Kirsty to sit and remember her husband Kevin.
The Garden Project
The garden was split into different sections and designed to meet the family’s needs. That meant a space was created for extended outdoor living as well as a large interactive play area for the two energetic children. Towards the middle of the garden the team created a special space for Kirsty so that she could relax and reflect. This came complete with a thatched gazebo so she could use the garden all year round.
At the bottom of the garden designer David Domoney created a Treasure Island style coastal feature. This helps the family enjoy fun-filled family seaside outings in the comfort of their own backyard.
Creating a Coastal Garden
The family’s new seaside garden is a treasure trove of seaside items including an old boat, plenty of playsand and old oak barrels giving it a hint of swashbuckling adventure. Plants common to the British coastline line Erigeon ‘Sea Breeze’ and natural grasses were used amongst large Scottish boulders.
We were happy to supply a variety of our decorative aggregates. These included several large glacial boulders to give it a truly coastal feeling. This was so it was reminiscent of natural sea walls and beach borders.
As well as the large feature stones we provided a collection of smaller Scottish boulders 300-600mm. These helped give the space a sense of permanence and support to the planting beds.
Scottish Cobbles 40-90 were used to line beds and borders and looked fantastic around the base of the halved oak barrel features.
The seaside space also featured a great play area filled with sand. If you want to recreate this look in your garden, we recommend using certified play sand. It is non-toxic, clean and won’t leave a residue colour on hands and clothes.
The family were overjoyed with the garden created by the team! It looked beautiful and we hope they create lots of happy, fun-filled memories in it! You can watch the episode on ITV hub here.
For more ideas about creating a coastal space in your garden check out our blogpost from RHS Malvern. In this, garden designer Rupert Keys from Keyscape Gardens and Ruth Gwynn from Ruth Gwynn Associates talked us through achieving this great look.