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Barn Conversion Contemporary Family Garden

By London garden designer Cassandra Crouch. This large garden in Hertfordshire sits to the rear of a modern barn conversion owned by a young family.

A contemporary extension was planned for the barn and the clients wanted a garden that would complement this and allow them to enjoy the space all year round.

Barn Conversion Contemporary Family Garden

The existing garden sloped away awkwardly from the house breaking to a wide expanse of lawn and had very little interest. The brief was to produce a contemporary design with a grown up feel that was still relaxed and family friendly. Space for socialising, an area for cooking, a play area for the children and a good sized vegetable garden were all key requirements.

Barn Conversion Contemporary Family Garden

Our design used a strong geometric structure to follow the inear nature of the barn. Materials including hardwood decking, sawn sandstone, quartz stone aggregate and wildflower meadow grass were used to create areas for dining, relaxing and family play. A smooth rendered retaining wall was planned to level the existing slope and allow a generous flat lawn to be created at the heart of the garden.

Barn Conversion Contemporary Family Garden

A planting plan using a contemporary mix of herbaceous perennials and  grasses, with strong forms for winter interest, was designed to soften the straight lines of the design and enhance the relaxed modern feel.

Barn Conversion Contemporary Family Garden

Plant list 


Elaeagnus x ebbingei
Buxus sempervirens
Sarcococca confusa
Osmanthus x burkwoodii
Pittosporum tobira 'Nanum'
Skimmia x confusa 'Kew Green'
Viburnum opulus 'Compactum'
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii 'John Tomlison'


Trachelospermum jasminoides
Clematis Viticella Group 'Polish Spirit'
Solanum laxum 'Album Variegatum'


Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert'
Geranium himalayense 'Gravetye'
Verbena bonariensis
Stipa gigantea
Stipa tenuissima
Perovskia 'Blue Spire'
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Epimedium x youngianum 'Niveum'
Geranium pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clark'
Polystichum setiferum
Calamagrostis brachytrich
Sedum 'Matrona'
Helleborus foetidus
Salvia x sylvestris 'Mainacht'
Monarda 'Beauty of Cobham'
Aquilegia vulgaris 'William Guiness'
Agastache 'Blue Fortune'
Phlomis tuberosa 'Amazone'
Stipa arundinacea
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart'
Luzula nivea
Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
Foeniculum vulgare 'Giant Bronze'
Polystichum aculeatum
Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'
Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy'
Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Alba'
Sesleria caerulea
Verbascum blattaria f. albiflorum
Echinacea purpurea 'Baby Swan White'
Polygonatum x hybridum 'Striatum'
Heuchera cylindrica 'Greenfinch'
Aster pyrenaeus 'Lutetia'
Designed by Cassandra Crouch