Love Your Garden makeover in Durham

Love Your Garden: Episode Six

By David Domoney, August 02

Love Your Garden: Episode Six

A place for Sam to relax



It was great fun building this garden in Durham, the last in this year’s Love Your Garden series. We wanted to create something special for Sam and her family; a place for them to come together but also a place where Sam could relax and take some time for herself.

Making a garden appear larger

Different materials make garden appear larger



Small gardens are often more challenging than the larger ones. The first thing to do is to make it appear larger than it is. Using different types of surfaces is a great way of achieving this. Here we used a mixture of lawn, decking, paving and borders, which also gave it a great deal of character too.


Paving connects parts of a garden together. This one linked the decking to the dining area and the house itself. It follows the beautiful borders drawing you through the garden as it goes. Complexity adds depth making the garden feel larger still. 

Frances dragonfly!A feature I particularly liked was leaving certain slabs out of the paving, filling them in various creative ways instead. In one we placed an olive tree that would cascade over the slabs. You’ll see this in many places around the Mediterranean. They plant trees in the missing slabs on the sidewalk which softens the hard landscaping and adds height and effect into the space.

Frances then created a dragonfly slab using different coloured pebbles and it’s a great thing to do at home with the kids. Make sure you practice your design on sand before starting because you don’t want to be moving the pebbles once they have been placed in wet concrete! Then make a wooden mould to pour the concrete in. Family hand and footprints are always good or you could let the kids design something themselves adding pebbles, glass beads and similar items to create arty paving.

Concrete table

David's concrete table



I made a table-top from concrete, sprinkled some green glass into it and then polished the surface to create a really urban look. A lot of chic restaurants and modern, boutique hotels these days are using concrete and floated cement as both flooring and furniture. The table came out better than even I thought it would, though it is rather heavy... 

Dry-stone walls

The boys hard at workWalling was key in this garden. We chose dry-stone walling and it really fused the modern and traditional styles. Raised beds are fantastic in any garden and easy to maintain but I especially love the dry-stone look. It is immensely popular the further north you head in the UK and I think it adds tremendous character to a garden.

It was an interesting build with so many of us crammed into such a small space. The small passage made it difficult to create a large building and to get the hot tub in. Some things ended up coming in over the back wall!


David is a celebrity gardener and broadcaster. A regular face on ITV's Love Your Garden and the resident gardener for ITV's This Morning.

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