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The Shared Spaces Family Garden | A garden for family living by Nicola Haines

The Shared Spaces Family Garden | A garden for family living by Nicola Haines

A garden for family living by Nicola Haines


The Shared Spaces Family Garden

‘If you put the right structure in place a garden should last through a family’s life,’

believes landscape designer, Nicola Haines. Her design for this west-facing garden is a prime example. ‘The structure is very simple, with three distinct spaces that can be reformatted and customised as your lifestyle changes.’As a mother, Nicola understands the need to give teenagers privacy. The space closest to the house has been designed for parents and features a table and chairs for outside dining. This is edged with a raised bed with grasses and herbaceous perennials to semi-screen other spaces. ‘You want to be seen but not on top of your kids and raised beds are a great way of adding that privacy.’ 

Vegetable beds in the middle of the garden are followed by a relaxed seating area at the rear, which is an ideal space for teenagers to gather with friends. A pergola gives an additional sense of privacy and also serves as a mount for a hanging chair.


The garden is designed in a series of layers with planting in the foreground, midground and background. ‘Gardens can be so much more than the traditional layout of a long lawn flanked by narrow borders,’ notes Nicola. ‘By bringing some of the planting into the foreground and closer to the house this creates more drama and interest.’

This west-facing garden is designed for a family with teenagers and young adults but can be tailored to suit any household. 

All imagery courtesy of Bloom by Bord Bia. With kind thanks to Gemma Smyth at

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