On the initial site visit this small North facing back garden had had very little done to it since the builders had left. On entering the garden there was one meter of dead space then two 8”steps up to an upper level which had compacted lawn and small curved cobble-lock patio. The small retaining wall and steps made the space uninviting. The space was also overlooked by neighbouring houses and the surrounding walls had changes in levels.
After surveying the site and discussing requirements with the client we came up with the following brief:
– Remove retaining wall and steps and lower levels
– Seating area for entertaining
– Garden lighting
– Low maintenance
– Create an outdoor room
– Synthetic grass lawn
– Side gate
– Small budget
The budget for this job was limited. The clients requirements were more than the budget could reach so garden lighting could be prepared for but not installed, the water feature we would create ourselves using a quarry stone, plastering of existing surrounding walls could not be covered.
Going on the brief we came up with a simple garden design involving surrounding raised beds to protect foundations, circular seating area with raised bed to double up as seating, semi circular step and path, wall extensions around whole garden to give continuous level and create privacy, DIY granite boulder water feature and synthetic grass lawn for low maintenance.
Our landscapers then set about de-constructing the site removing retaining walls, steps and 32 tonne of soil storing a small amount of topsoil for raised beds. The retaining raised beds were then installed using 4” solids on the flat where we required seating and on the side elsewhere. The solids were then capped with limestone and plastered with a concrete render. Heavy gauge plastic was placed behind the beds to protect against moisture for future painting. The raised beds were then filled with the stored topsoil. Armoured cable in the form of 4 core 2.5 SWA was laid around the garden for future garden lighting and water feature.
The semi-circular step, path and circular Cota brown limestone patio were laid on a 50mm bed of strong 3:1 sand and cement mix and pointed with same. 100x100mm Camel dust Indian sandstone setts made up the the border of the whole lower level to give definition and create bed for water feature. The water feature was created by drilling 25mm hole through the centre of suitable granite monolith boulder. A reservoir was placed under the boulder with pump installed and 25mm pipe which was fed through the hole. A stainless steel LED light was connected to the end of the pipe and pushed back flush with the top of the stone creating a lovely nocturnal effect. The surface of the reservoir was disguised with 30-40mm Wexford beach pebble.
Our landscapers then laid the synthetic grass lawn on a 25mm bed of compacted plastering sand. The wall extension was created using pressure treated Scandinavian spruce. The hit and miss style of fencing was incorporated which would lessen pressure on walls by being porous to wind. Instantly the area was transformed holding the eye in the space and giving privacy.The wall extension was painted in Teak using the Sadolins trade brand.
Planting consisted of hardy shrubs, perennials and grasses all of which could put up with shading at various parts of the day. The plants which were used included 5 specimens, consisting of 2 Japanese maples, 1 Dicksonia antartica, 1 Euonymus alatus and 1 Pittosporum tobira. The shrubs, perennials and grasses were planted in groups of 3 consisting of Epimedium rubrum ‘Purple Red’, Rosmarinus prostrates, Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’, Lavandula hidcote, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Ophiopogon nigrescens, Uncina uncinata rubra.
To frame the entrance of the seating area two planters planted with mint were placed either side with lanterns for candels placed on the seating above. To frame the garden from inside two standard Lauris nobilis were planted into tall planters.
This garden really achieved the brief coming within budget and creating a usable outdoor room. If you like what you see and require a professional landscape and design service contact Kevin on 086 8198444.