This landscaping and driveway contract was located on Chestnut Rd. Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. The client decided to engage me on seeing one of my past projects in Mount Merrion. He was also confident in moving forward with me after reading my past reviews on Google maps (read the reviews here!). The initial site survey cost 75.00. With a design to follow.
Arriving on the allocated date and seeing the contract it was clear a garden design was not needed. The project was straightforward. Also to do a site survey would have been very difficult due to the nature of the site. I would formulate a rough verbal design and break down the areas and costs to be covered in the quote. 80% of the design was self-evident with 20% creative as the project progressed.
The space was accessed through an electric gate which opened inwards towards a slope. The existing driveway was of an old black cobble lock with raised edge. The driveway had sunken in areas and in need of repair. The entrance to the house was quite interesting. On entering you met the side of the house. There was a Grisellinia hedge to the right. A large lawn to the left with Grisellinia hedge surround. The grass was growing under and into the hedge. There was no clear boundary between the lawn and the hedge. It was not clear on entering where the front door was positioned.
The front door was positioned to the left, but the right side was where you were drawn due to the existing gate. From the road, the whole level dropped to the left, which was off-putting. There was an existing wheelie bin screen top right with a plastered wall behind, beyond which there was a wall extension. The house jutted out in angles towards the entrance and had a raised bed to the left. The bed
accommodated 3 standard Bay Laurels and 4 Buxus balls. The black cobble lock continued around to the front door on the left with dips and hollows. The cobble lock path lead to a small cobble lock patio on the right which was surrounded by large edging cobbles.
There was a 6×6’ fencing panel haphazardly placed, defining the property between neighbour. The front door was located on the right with two steps leading to the door. The steps were created using cobble lock risers finished with overhanging grey sandstone slabs. The house was beautiful but the driveway, planting and landscaping was really letting it down. The aspect of the side of the house was North-East facing.
The design I came up with was very straightforward. Due to the steep slope, I decided to go with a large silver granite cobble lock apron. Once clear of the slope there would be 14mm Ballylusk gravel laid onto the gravel core matting system to create firmness underfoot and reduce ridging by car wheels. To the left, a mature Portuguese laurel hedge would compartmentalise the area. A semi-circular silver granite path bordered by cobbles would sweep with the hedge to the front door. Further on the cobbled patio would be removed and replaced with the lawn. The boundary fence would be redone to a height of 2M, creating privacy. The step would become larger coming out in line with the house. The step would be created
using silver granite kerbs and paving. The existing bed on the driveway would be extended to follow the line of the house. Granite kerbs would also be used here. Due to this aspect, planting would be simple by using Buxus hedging, and re-introducing existing Buxus balls and existing standard Bay Laurels.
The base of the kerbs would have granite cobbles which would define the gravel space back to the apron. The raised edge of the kerb would lookwell from down at road level, also the planting would soften the house. The plastered wall behind the wheelie bin screen would be cladded with 4×1” planed timber picking up the existing wall extension and painted in the same colour. Reclaimed cobbles from the driveway would be used to create a mowing edge to define the whole lawn area and make maintenance/lawn cutting easier. A granite apron would be installed in front of the existing garden shed. The lawn area was very much a football pitch, so this is all that was required. I put all the above descriptions along with a breakdown of areas and prices into an email. The client was happy to proceed but needed me to call again a do a walk-around describing my ideas. The client then paid a 25% deposit and got a slot in the diary.
The project went reasonably well running by only a week. The main problem was removing the heavy fall, creating a level upper area. This meant the final level of the semi-circular path ended up a good 400mm above the existing lawn. I solved this problem by extending the width of the bed allowing for a sloping bed down to the lawn. The finish looked fantastic and really improved the overall area. The clients were both delighted with the result.
The job can be summarised as follows:
Work carried out to complete the contract.
- Initial site survey
- Re-use existing cobbles and create double mowing edge around the circumference of lawn
- Remove all other cobbles including seating area by front door, cart to dump
- Supply, spread and compact 25mm layer of quarry dust over entire area to prepare levels
- Supply and install apron using 200x100x50mm tumbled brown & silver cobbles (15Msq)
- Create raised bed around house using 4” solids with kerbs on top, remove existing sub-base
to a depth of 400mm, fill beds with screened topsoil (12 kerbs, 4 tonne topsoil)
- Supply and install edging using 200x100x60mm silver granite cobbles (38Lm)
- Supply and install gravel core matting to upper area of driveway (40Msq)
- Supply and install granite paving to front door, face & extend existing step (18.5Msq, 3
- Supply and install path using 600x300mm slabs (4.2Msq)
- Fill gravel core matting with 14mm Ballylusk gravel (3 Tonne)
- Clad wall behind wheelie bin screen using 4×1” boards laid horizontally to connect with
existing extension (8Msq, Colour to be decided)
- Deliver & plant new beds with suitable plants (Labour only)
- Break out kerbs from former seating area, remove sub-base, fill with topsoil, lay roll our
grass (20Msq turf, dumping, 3 tonne topsoil)
- Plants, including 8 x heathers, 3 x Nandine domestica, 3 Drimys aromatica, 11 x Buxus, 1 x
- Remove grouting from existing patio, re-grout with strong sand & cement mix
- Supply and install new low voltage Garden lighting system
- Supply and install mowing edge using 200x100x60mm tumbled silver granite cobbles
- Supply and install new paving along side of house
- Remove old fence, wire and steel holding bar, supply & install new fence using 6×1” planed pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce boards laid vertically, paint with 2 coats of Ronseal ‘Slate’ Removal of all rubbish and cart to dump