This landscaping contact was in Stillorgan, Dublin.
I won this contract due to the fact I completed a garden for this client 18 yrs prior, in his previous dwelling.
On first site survey and discussing wish list with client I created the following brief
- Soften block walls
- Plant hedge to create boundary between neighbors
- Soften whole front area through planting within gravel
- Remove existing wall extensions, soften high surrounding block walls
- Supply and install down lighters on new timber cladding
- Remove existing wall extensions
- Soften walls surrounding house maintaining height of original wall extensions
- Keep as much lawn as possible for kids, make beds as small as possible while softening new cladding
- Create definition within the space/reduce maintenance
- Install mowing edges for beds, tie in with existing yellow limestone patio
- Re-use existing climbers
- Create customised trellising that will tie in with new cladding and create support for climbers
- Supply and install uplighters below each climber/trellis
The first step on this job was the cladding of bare block walls which was sucking the life out of the entire space front and back.
The surrounds of a garden are one of the most important aspects, creating that room effect and holding the eye within the space. The timber used was planed pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce. This is imported softwood timber and as close as you will get to a hardwood. Its slow growing and of very high standard. The boards were 6×1” connected to 2×2” joists which were nailed to the walls using express nails. The boards were installed vertically with a 5mm gap between giving shadow lines and definition. The tops were finished using 2×1” latts which overhung by 1”. These topping pieces really finish the look, but more importantly protect the lower timbers.
We then installed the edging in the back using 200x100x50mm yellow limestone cobbles which tied in with the existing patio and connected everything. The turf was then removed and screened topsoil was used to prepare the beds for planting.
A further bed was installed in front of the wheelie bins to allow for screening plants.
We then planted the front gravel driveway using Photinia ‘Red Robin’ for the hedge bordering the neighbors. The far side was planted with specimen Thujs ‘Smargards’ to give height, the smargards were then surrounded with further lower growing specimens, all evergreen and variegated to give year round colour.
2 planters were placed each side of the door planted with Buxus balls to frame the front door.
This effort completely transformed the front from an industrial feel to a softened welcoming space.
The first stage of planting the back was the connection of customised trellising to the cladding. These were constructed with the same timber, went horizontally and were installed to give climbing frame for climbers and to pick up light from up lighters at night. The Trachleospernums were then planted and connected to the trellising, giving height but taking up very little space. This is a technique I have never used but looked excellent, and will be using again in limited space.
The beds were then planted using a mixture of mostly evergreens with a few perennials for colour. The planting scheme would give all year round interest and be low maintenance.
The low voltage lighting system was then installed. The system used is a ‘Plug and Go’, which allows a non electrician install a full lighting system,. It also gives the client control over re-positioning of lights or adding lights. The system included a 60 watt transformer, Dusk till dawn sensor which has a photo electric cell and is automatic or manual, 7 downlighters for the front and 7 spike uplighters for the back. All this then requires is plugging into a socket. The system is 12 volts, all Led technology, with very low energy output, equivalent to turning on your kettle for up to 9 hours lighting.
The plants used in this project were as follows:
Thuja ‘Smargard’, Pittosporum argrophyllum, Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’, Nandina domestica ‘Mayers Red’, Buxus balls, Photinia ‘Red Robin’
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Tricolor’, Pittosporum ‘Banow Bay’, Agapanthus ‘Northern Star’, Viburnum ‘Davidii’, Agastache ’Blue Boa’, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Corsican Blue’, Pittosporum ‘Silver Magic’, Helianthemum ‘The Bride’, Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’, Carex ‘Feather Falls’, Helianthemum ‘Fire Dragon’, Euphorbia ‘Velvet Ruby’, Drimys aromatica, Carex ‘Ice Dance’, Coprosma ‘Pacific Night’, Erica spp.
The client was very happy with the results, and posted the following review:
Professional, perfectionism, visionary and a pleasure to deal with.
If you are looking for a landscape gardener we could not recommend Kevin more highly.
We had used Kevin about 18 years ago in our first house. That garden looked as good the day we left as when Kevin had finished it. It was a real value add selling point for the house as well as giving us so much pleasure over the years.
I had no hesitation in looking up Kevin again for our new house. Kevin had a great visionary eye for what would look well for our garden but was also more than willing to take our views on board. He likes to work in a collaborative manner but he also sees things that we just couldn’t have imagined and our new garden is 1000% better than we could have hoped.
Kevin is the ultimate professional and having been burnt by a very dodgy builder on the house renovation he has restored our faith that there are still people out there who take pride in their work. Kevin is a perfectionist and makes sure that everything is to his and your satisfaction and really well finished.
We would also like to say that Kevin was a complete gentleman to deal with. He delivers on what he promises but was also respectful of our family life during the current Covid situation (e.g. not making noise when the baby was sleeping)
We mightn’t have the strength to go through a house move again but if we do, Kevin will be doing our future garden.
Could not recommend more highly.
Brian & Niamh