Garden Design and Landscaping in Mount Merrion, Dublin

After Landscaping
After Landscaping

This contract was located in Hyde park, Mount Merrion Co Dublin. The client was recommended to me from a previous project I completed nearby. On first site visit the driveway was of concrete. Mixed hedge on right & adjacent to road. 1.2 M high wall, on left side with no hedging, giving the space an open feel. Below the wall was a raised semi-circular lawn with large red edging stones. A 600×600 unsightly man hole to the left as you entered. The look was quite industrial and cold. The house was beautiful, so wasn’t going to take much to improve the overall aesthetic. The aspect was West facing.

I surveyed the site, took photos and tried to imagine how to design the space. I then sat down with the client to draw up a wishlist. The following is what we battered out between us:

  • Gravel driveway to brighten up the space
  • The use of gravel core matting system to create stable gravel base and reduce ridging of tyres
  • The use of double granite cobble surround to define the psace
  • The use of granite cobbles to create apron/border between roan and new driveway
  • Use bright 14mm angular angular gravel for less movement
  • Creation of a meandering path leading to front door using cobbles and 600x300mm silver granite slabs
  • The inclusion of small seating area to the left of door
  • Planting in front of the house to soften
  • Planting of hedge along left wall to make the space feel enclosed and create privacy
  • Low voltage garden lighting system
  • Removal of unwanted plants and tidy up existing hedging
  • Raised cobble edge to beds to further enhance definition
Before Landscaping
Before Landscaping

 

Before Landscaping

We started by breaking out the concrete driveway. This is the worrying part. Sometimes the concrete can be very deep and extremely time-consuming to remove. Luckily here the cement was mostly between 100mm -150mm deep and came out easily enough. We then removed the semi-circular lawn area. First we removed the sod and carted to the dump. We then dug out our beds in front of the house to a depth of 400mm. This was all builder’s rubble and hardcore, this was then carted to the dump. The pre-prepared turfless soil from the lawn area was then used to fill the excavations, soil was also put under existing hedges, the rest being stored for possible future use, in our yard. Re-cycled quarry dust was then imported and spread over the whole area creating levels and falls away from the house. The quarry dust was watered and compacted. The paving for the seating area was installed on a bed of 50mm 5:1 mortar mix using 600x300mm & 600x600mm Silver granite slabs. The path was then installed using a 3:1 mortar mix, stronger here.

After Landscaping
After Landscaping

 

After Landscaping
After Landscaping

The path would need to be strong to take the weight of car tyres. The path delineated the area allowing enough space for a car each side. This would mean the path would never be blocked. The path also added a feature to the area, breaking and softening the gravel area. The cobble apron was then installed using 200x100x50mm tumbled silver cobbles. This was also laid on a strong mix. The tumbled cobbles provide the best look with their softened edges. The double cobble surround was installed using 200x100x50mm cobbles. Next was the raised cobble edge using 200x100x100mm cobbles. The raised edge added definition to the area and would stop soil from encroaching into the area. Gravel core matting was installed 25mm below the level of hard landscaping. The gravel core matting is a brilliant system. It provides a weed proof barrier along with a firm base under foot, it also slows water runoff, reducing the strain on public services after heavy downpours. The matting was then filled with 10mm Ballylusk gravel, instantly brightening up the whole area.

Before Landscaping

 

Before Landscaping
Before Landscaping

 

Before Landscaping

 

Before Landscaping

 

After Landscaping
After Landscaping

Next was the visit to the Nursery with the clients at Gardenworld Nurseries to advise and choose plants. I do this on all, my contracts allowing the clients the final say on their project. It also gives the clients ownership of the space. The hedge to the left would be a mature 2M high Portougeuse Laurel hedge providing instant screening. This was not cheap but very important to complete the space. The planting in front of the house was Buxus hedging & Buxus balls , Catmint for colour. Soil from the yard was then imported back and used to bring levels up to the top of the cobble edging finishing the beds, this gave a nice clean look. The clients were delighted with the result. We were employed a further two times after completing the front, to complete the back garden, unfortunately I only took photos of the front.

 Below is a breakdown of all works carried out to complete front and back gardens.

  • Remove existing driveway, to a depth of 100mm, cart to dump (11 Tonne)
  • Remove lawn 100mm below existing level, fill beds, cart to dump (9 Tonne)
  • Remove unwanted plants, cart to dump
  • Supply, spread and compact quarry screened dust to a depth of 55mm (14.5 Tonne)
  • Supply and install tumbled silver granite cobble apron at entrance (6Msq)
  • Supply and install paved area in front of house using 600×300 and 600×600 silver granite slabs, disguise manholes (28Msq)
  • Supply and install path using 600×300 silver granite slabs, bordered by double row of 200x100x50mm tumbled cobbles (Each side) (7.2Msq)
  • Supply and install double cobble edge, around entire driveway, include raised cobble to define beds
  • Supply and lay gravel core matting system (50Msq)
  • Supply and fill gravel core with 10mm Ballylusk gravel (5 Tonne)
  • Meet client at Gardenworld Nurseries to advise and choose plants
  • Plants
  • Deliver and plant plants (Labour only)
  • Back garden plus 2 visits to dump (15Hrs)
  • Return to plant second Evergreen Oak, stake both
  • Remove all rubbish and cart to dump
  • Top up and finish beds with screened topsoil (1.5 Tonne)
  • Level soil and compost heap
  • Dismantel and move shed
  • Supply and install 45Lm cable around perimeter of garden for garden lighting
  • Visit Nursery, choose best plants, collect digger
  • Remove existing hedge and cart to dump
  • Dig trench for hedge, remove soil for shed area
  • Plant hedge
  • Breakout old wall, cart to dump
  • Supply and install fencing using planed pressure treated Scandinavian spruce (11Lm)
  • Supply and install semi-circular seating area with silver granite cobble surround
  • Remove shed
  • Supply and install Gravel board retainer (4 Boards)
  • Create raised planting area using existing soil
  • Digger rental (4 Days)
  • 23 Specimen Laurels
  • Remove soil and dump, 3 loads (7 Tonne)
  • Collect plants and gravel, plant plants and spread gravel
  • Plants
  • Supply and install Low Voltage Garden lighting system
  • Meet client at Gardenworld Nurseries
  • Plant 2 x Evergreen oaks, 4 x standard Laurel, shrubs to be decided
  • Supply and install low voltage garden lighting system, including 60 Watt transformer, dusk till dawn timer, 6 spike lights & two spot lights for under trees

As can be seen, we breakdown all our project prices into individual areas giving transparency and flexibility to remove areas as budget allows.

 

 

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