The Lodge

Before work garden design Sussex Kent

The Brief

Our client’s priority was to make the existing patio area a more interesting and friendly place to sit and entertain by incorporating an outdoor bar and BBQ area. They also wanted a secondary place to sit, ideally with a fire pit, and then better access from the house out into the garden in order to improve the flow and make outdoor dining more practical.
Our clients also wanted a new porch which can be seen on our Dewlands Design Build website which we built in parallel with these works. We also do a lot of longer term planning for clients so that they have a joined up scheme to deliver against over time and as funds allow, in this case we also worked on the design for a pool area refurbishment and garage conversion to form a gym. These are projects we hope to complete for the client in the next 2-3 years.
Sketch Plan Garden design Kent Sussex

The Design

We developed a master plan to take into account several phases of work that would allow them to have a series of joined up projects over time, which would follow on logically from the last and not impact the completed work. We created ideas for the terrace, the pool area, the garage and also the porch. The latter can be seen on our Dewlands Design Build website and was part of the first phase together with the terraces, with the pool area and garage conversion to follow in the future.

Our design included upgrading the existing gravel to paving and introducing further planting into that area for a complete patio refurbishment. Within the existing patio area we have created zones for cooking, eating, and for a fire pit, and along with a bar area, this makes a perfect outdoor entertainment space. At midday and into the afternoon the sun is to the front of the house, so we designed and manufactured a bespoke oak bench positioned to make the most of the summer sun. Then as the evening approaches and the temperature drops, a fire pit will help to extend the alfresco experience in comfort. Our clients now have the choice of cooking outside while their guests relax, chat and admire the garden!

Rather than paving the entirety of the area, introducing planting and retaining some gravel softens the feel of the area, helps with drainage, and reduces the environmental impact of the hard landscaping somewhat. Limestone for the paving and sandstone in Oken buff for the steps were sourced, and local Freshfield Lane paver bricks used for the basket weave brick terraces and brick soldier course wide steps.







Construction of Steps leading to patio and outdoor bar area Garden design Kent Sussex

The Build

We have built a team of skilled landscapers and builders to help us execute our projects to the highest quality, regularly making furniture and bespoke structures in our workshop to fit with our design style and achieve better quality and value than is typically available on the market. We specialise in green oak construction and in particular steam bending – where curvy lines are desired.

On this particular project there were a great deal of services coming into the building: power, water, drains, phone and fibre optic cables, and it is our wealth of building experience that enabled us to carefully handle the in-ground complexities, and ensure that all were properly identified, excavated, protected and returned beneath paving, beds, and gravel with appropriate protection.












Planting around patio garden design Kent Sussex


The planting design for this garden is aimed at creating year-round interest, structure, and visual appeal. The design wraps around the house and incorporates yew cubes strategically placed throughout the garden to provide structure and winter interest. These evergreen shrubs not only offer a defined shape but also maintain their lush green foliage during the colder months, adding depth and texture to the garden landscape. In between the yew cubes, a carefully curated selection of long-flowering perennials is interspersed with ornamental grasses. This combination not only adds bursts of colour and texture but also ensures continuous visual interest throughout the seasons.

The long-flowering perennials, chosen for their extended bloom periods, offer vibrant hues and a variety of shapes and sizes. Species such as Echinacea pallida, Nepeta racemosa, and Salvia nemorosa Caradonna can provide pops of colour for a long season of interest attracting pollinators and creating focal points within the garden.  Complimenting the perennials are ornamental grasses, selected for their graceful movement and textural contrast. Species like Pennisetum and Hakonechloa not only add visual interest but also provide structure and rhythm to the planting design.

Using existing plants

As in most of our gardens, existing plants were carefully lifted and reused wherever possible to minimise waste and promote sustainability. By transplanting established plants rather than discarding them, the garden benefits from the maturity and resilience of these specimens while reducing the need and cost of new plantings. During the redesign process, plants that were compatible with the new planting scheme were identified and gently removed from their original locations. These plants were then replanted strategically within the garden, integrating them seamlessly into the new design while preserving their contribution to the ecosystem.

Transplanting existing plants offers several benefits beyond waste reduction. Mature plants require less time to establish themselves in their new environment, accelerating the garden’s transition and promoting immediate visual impact. Additionally, by preserving the existing plant community, the garden maintains its ecological balance and supports local biodiversity.  By prioritizing the reuse of existing plants, this planting design not only minimizes waste but also honours the natural history and character of the garden, creating a sustainable and resilient landscape that thrives for years to come.









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