Landscaping, Patio, Driveway & Garden Design in Rathfarnham, Dublin

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Watch the video tour for this landscaping contract here:

I won this contract through Google. The clients chose me because I install custom-built wall extensions. On the first site visit, the garden was medium-sized and south facing. To the east side there was a newly plastered wall, the North and West side had original walls constructed in 1932. Cement was only available in Ireland from 1936, so these walls were quite weak. The existing planting included a number of climbing plants on the West side, a beautiful Bay laurel tree and a large pittosporum on North, with very little on the East. The only plants worth saving were a Clematis, Mahonia, Poppy & a couple of climbing roses. Everything else was removed apart from 2 beautiful climbing roses & the Bay Laurel and Pittosporum.

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The new extension & installation of soakaway had taken it’s toll on the lawn. The lawn was quite uneven, especially on the West side where it raised up 250mm. An old 10×6’ garden shed was tucked away behind the existing Pittosporum, East side, with compost heap beside.

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I sat in the space for a while, surveyed site, took photos/notes. I then sat down with the clients to draw up a wishlist. Shauna had already created a simple sketch which covered the West side and this was a great help. The wishlish we agreed together went as follows:

• Meandering beds
• Save climbing roses, keep selected plants, remove everything else, creating a blank canvas
• Removal of old 10×6’ garden shed
• Create utility area behind shed
• Wall extensions around whole perimeter
• Colour of windows and doors of new extension to be picked up around garden, Ral 7015
• No chemicals to be used to kill existing grass, weeds etc.
• Levelling of whole garden and installation of large lawn
• Pest proof concrete slab to be installed for base of new shed, previous shed housed foxes
• Removal of compost heap, re-use good material within garden
• Prune and shape existing bay Laurel, tidy Pittosporum
• Raised beds with timber seats
• Garden lighting
• Trellising for climbers
• Paved area on West side to catch evening sun
• Sunken trampoline
• Area of wall free for kicking ball
• Hazel wigwam for herb area
• Garden lighting throughout
• Cover only structural planting, the rest to be made up of perennials organised by client
• Supply and install new custom built Baumanns garden shed
• Shed to be painted in Ronseal ‘Slate’ with white door and surrounds, security locks and shelving also to be included
• Price for re-doing front driveway to include path, new steps, wheelie bin area & core gravel matting system

WoW this job was almost the end of me. I had to take 5 days off after finishing. It just never stopped raining, every day, March & April 2024. A complete washout. Other factors included wall extensions taking ages, due to having to cut existing cappings and lower pillars. Posts for the North and West walls needed to be concreted as the walls were very weak. We strengthened these walls using express nails connecting the walls to posts. The levelling of the garden also took ages. I allowed for the removal of approximately 15 tonne. The finishing amount is around 25 tonne. This was all removed by wheelbarrows out to a trailer, each load 2.5 tonne = 10 runs. The house was on a busy road so no room to heap soil to be taken away by grab lorry. I have been in landscaping for 30yrs, I still can’t get soil amounts correct. Once the soil is disturbed it always seems to double in quantity.

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At the same time, I was so lucky. The clients were a pleasure to deal with. There was great rapport and communication throughout. All the neighbours couldn’t have been nicer. The stored soil amounts and excavations for the trampoline were the exact required for filling raised beds, and levelling surfaces for instant roll-out grass. The stored amount was to the wheelbarrow, what luck. Also the existing gravel amounts for the driveway were bang on. A lull in the bad weather appeared exactly when I needed it. This allowed for laying of instant roll-out lawn. The visit to Gardenworld Nurseries was a breeze & we acquired beautiful plants for the structural planting. The lights & fittings I had in stock, so lucky here also.

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A breakdown of the work carried out included:
• Prune plants, remove unwanted, remove trellis, cart to dump
• Lower man-hole by 100mm
• Scrape off raised soil/lawn area, cart to dump
• Remove roof tiles (1 Load)
• Store topsoil on patio, cover with plastic, re-use topsoil to topdress new lawn, prepare for turf, fill all raised beds, top-dress beds (No extra soil required)
• Remove garden shed (Client to empty shed)
• Lay slab of cncrete for new shed
• Supply & install custom built 10×6’ Baumanns garden shed
• Supply and install apron in front of garden shed using Grey sandstone (3msq, approx)
• Supply and install mowing edge around entire garden, use 200x100x50mm tumbled silver granite cobbles (38Lm)
• Supply and install raised edge behind mowing edge using 200x100x100mm reclaimed granite cobbles (20Lm)
• Supply and install cable for future garden lighting
• Clear beds of rubbish, weeds & small tree stumps, cart to dump
• Supply and install wall extension using 125x25mm planed pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce boards, cap with chamfered 50x25mm overhanging latts, cap 4×3’s (54Lm)
• Posts west side, dig & break foundation for holes x 8, remove broken concrete, fill around posts with concrete, connect posts to wall using express nails, strengthening wall
• Paint wall extension with 2 coats of RAL 7015, re-paint back of wall extensions (West side & North side, touch up East)
• Touch up wall extension
• Supply and install area for seat within semi circles
• Supply and install raised bed around tree, along East wall, using 1000x200x100mm silver granite kerbs, include two seats, include, sleeper retainer against shed & sleeper steps down to utility area, extend step to accommodate new gate (23 Kerbs, 8 sleepers, 100 seating joists, paint each in teak, silver granite slabs for step)
• Extend existing patio bed to wall, finish double cobble mowing edge
• Supply and install 7 uplighters within cobble mowing edge to glaze face of raised bed/seat
• Point all paving with strong 3:1 sand & cement mix
• Plant 2 large specimen trees, front & back, stake and make sound (Labour only)
• Meet client at Gardenworld Trade Nursery, advise and choose plants
• Deliver and plant plants, front & back (Labour only)
• Plants
• Supply and install high quality instant roll out turf (120Msq)
• Supply and install low voltage garden lighting system, including 8 spike lights, 60 watt transformer, timer & sensor (4 extra lights + cable)
• Excavate soil for 3.3M Trampolene, construct and install same
• Remove excess topsoil, cart to dump (250/load, 6 loads)
• Supply and install gate for utility area behind shed, break out foundations
• Supply and install 1 custom built Hazel Wig Wams
• Prune Viburnum, Forsythia & Fuchsia, breakout existing tumbled & sawn cobbles, use kerbs to create bed, re-use retained cobbles in front of kerbs, extend space for car, clear bed of weeds, plant with chosen shrubs/perennials
• Supply and install wheelie bin paved area (1.9Mq)
• Remove topsoil and stumps from front bed
• Repair front driveway, install path
• Include gravel core matting system within driveway (80msq)
• Supply & install custom built steps at front door using bullnosed silver granite paving
• Paint wall, East side, 2 coats
• Break out foundation for football wall
• Fix pointing on patio
• Specimen trees, Betula Jacquemontii (Back) & Sorbus aucuparia (Front)
• Wire trellising
• Plastering & painting
• Remove all rubbish and cart to dump
Thanks soo much Alex & Shauna for trusting me with your garden 😊

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