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Outdoor office

A new outdoor office build with groundworks to level a sloping garden using oak sleepers as a retaining wall

The owner of this garden came to us with a challenge. The clients were combining family life with busy executive work lives, and they needed extra space to work from home. Combined with this they had purchased a new build property and the developers left the owners with a sloping garden.

Outdoor activities such as swimming pools/ spas, seating and outdoor structures don’t work so well on sloping ground and so Smiths Landscapes were asked remedy the problem such that they could install an outdoor home office and enjoy other activities in their garden.

The client wanted high grade oak sleepers surrounding the lowered new garden area to act as a retaining wall and 30 of these were installed using discrete dowel covered fixings on a concrete foundation. The existing paving was matched with granite pavers and a new lawn installed on top of a bed of topsoil.

The 12-week project was operationally challenging due to access restrictions, material supplies and of course the weather. The client wanted the ground levelled as well as a storm drain lowered 300mm. There was no external access, so a wooden bridge was built to allow excavator and plant access through the garage area. Over 23 cubic metres of topsoil were removed during site operations via a driveway the size of a large car.

The new large and spacious outdoor office was constructed using a kit system on a levelled eco grid base filled with shingle to allow for good drainage. 

Craig and Kaye of Bilberry Gardens said “ We worked very well with Jason and his team – and they assisted us from the very beginning to help realise our vision. There were some considerable challenges with our original garden, but Jason has a very much a ‘can do’ attitude and we were able to resolve many of them. He gave continuous updates through the build and always had a keen eye for the overall effect. We can now use the garden how we have always wanted to.”

Selected photography copyright and courtesy of Craig Hassey.



Oak sleepers (no.)


Volume recycled (m3)


Eco base (m2)

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