I won this contract through the client finding me on Google. The garden was situated In Walkinstown on St Patricks Rd. which is within our range. I organised a date and time which suited us to meet on site.
On meeting the client I absorbed as much information as was useful. This is one of the most important times in Garden design, the initial sit down. This is where good communication and listening is crucial. The more information you have before you start the design the better chance you have of getting it right the first time. Another factor is the garden and its existing elements. As I am designer and landscaper I identify any short cuts when designing a garden. For example In this garden there are concrete patios and raised lawn. Rather than lifting the concrete I will lay directly on the concrete. For the raised lawn I will use this to work within the design. There is a central path that needs to be removed and back filled I will look for an area where we can excavate topsoil to create filling. Essentially I am looking to get as much garden within the budget allocated.
The next important stage is taking as much information away form the existing garden. Firstly I survey the site by measuring, checking compass bearings, taking levels and getting a feel for the space. This space was surrounded by un-plastered walls of differing heights. It had a concrete shed at the bottom of the garden, The whole garden was sloping toward the house. There were some mature plants but none worth saving. The camera is very important and is essential for storing information when it comes to re-acquainting yourself with the space when sitting in the office drafting pens in hand. Shots are taken from numerous angles.
Armed with the above information the design I came up with was simple but very effective. The new garden was broken into three distinct areas. First the seating area connecting the house to the garden. Then a 30cm retaining wall with two steps either side to access the next level. The steps accessed two paths serving as both mowing edges to the lawn and edge to the new beds. The third level was a large seating/entertaining area looking back down the garden. Finally the whole area was surrounded with pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce cladding. Cable was allowed for through the garden for future low voltage garden lighting.
On presenting the design and ideas to the client I got very positive feedback. For the materials I recommended silver flamed granite paving. For the retaining wall I recommended Kilsaran Connemara blocks capped with silver granite. For the lawn I wanted synthetic grass but was over ruled for instant roll out turf. For the surrounding walls I recommended pressure treated Scandinavian spruce 6 inch cladding laid vertically with overhanging cap.
The construction of the garden went very smoothly with the only extra being 1 tonne of screened topsoil. There was constant communication with the client throughout. The difficult part for the client was the timber cladding, I persuaded her to keep the faith and she was delighted with the final finish. Personally I would have painted the surrounds but the client loved the natural look of the timber. The following is the work schedule for completing the garden:
Work carried out
• Break out retaining walls, path, apron in front of outhouse and unwanted plants, cart to dump
• Dig out lawn to make space for extended patio
• Supply and install cable for future garden lighting
• Supply and install new gully, 4” waving piping & re-direct pipes
• Supply and install new retaining wall using Kilsaran Connemara walling capped with brush hammered silver granite
• Supply and install upper/lower patios and paths using 600x600x30mm silver granite
• Supply and install paving at side of house including 600x600mm recessed Man hole and 4 gully risers
• Supply and install new fence around garden using pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce
• Supply and install fence extension
• Supply and install new lawn using instant roll out turf
• Prepare newly created beds for planting
• Meet client at Garden World Nurseries to advise and choose plants
• Deliver and plant chosen plants
• Remove all rubbish and cart to dump
• Supply and spread 1 tonne screened topsoil
For every garden I create the handing over phase is the planting. I meet each client at the Nursery to advise and discuss what plants to choose. This is really important as it gives the client a say and also ownership of the project. It also allows for the choice of the best plants that are in stock at that time. The plants chosen for this garden were Buxus sempervirens hedging, Buxus sempervirens cones, Standard Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin, Diosma ‘Sunset gold’, Diosma ‘Pink Fountain’, Acer palmatum ‘Shojo Shidare’, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’, Lavandula angustifolis ‘Hidcote’, Carex ‘Evergold’, Erica carnea spp., Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’, we planted Narcissus bulbs behind the box hedging to give a splash of colour in the spring, the hedging hiding the decaying daffodil leaves as they die away in summer.
The client was overjoyed with her new space and kindly wrote the following review on Google:
“WOW! Total transformation. If you need some fabulous landscaping work done on your garden then Kevin is your go to person. Very impressed and delighted with our newly transformed back garden which we had despaired of in the past few years. The work was carried out and finished to a premium standard. Kevin was very friendly and easy to interact with. Many thanks to Ian for his hard work and job well done. Would recommend without hesitation”. Dolores & Brian