Landscaping With Patio, Wall Extension and Potting Shed Stepaside, Dublin

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Watch the full garden tour here:

I won this contract through a previous contract the client had viewed at a friend’s house in Killiney.
The former client had recommended she come and view her completed landscaping project. She
also recommended me as a good choice for concise communication, Landscape construction/ Garden
design.

The garden was located in Stepaside, Co Dublin. A very accessible location for me and within
reasonable distance from all my suppliers.

On the initial site survey the garden was south-facing. Access was located on the Westside and wide
enough for my .8 Tonne Kubota mini digger if required. The garden had a reasonable slope towards
the house. A small patio was located outside the back door of the house. The surrounds included an
unplastered 4” solid wall along the West and North boundndaries with a height of 2.4M and a Concrete
post and timber panel fence on the East side to a height of 1.8M. I find this in 90% of gardens I visit
where the boundaries are of varying height/finish. The surroundings of a garden cannot be underestimated. Boundaries are as important as the frame on a painting, they must be correct to
complete the space within to a high standard.

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The North side of the garden had a raised sleeper bed planted with Variegated Euonymus, Leycesteria Formosa, small central Prunus padus in the right corner an Aucuba japonica. On the West side there were 2 mature Prunus padus creating privacy from overlooking windows. The Eastside comprised of four specimens Olea europea still in pots and in very good condition.

The client was an avid gardener and had accumulated a number of potted plants, including 4 beautiful
old weathered Terracotta planters. She also had a prized bonsai collection. There was a lovely old
weathered concrete bench and a Liam O’Neill sculpture, which made me very jealous. I instantly
offered to buy it/come to an arrangement on a quote but was abruptly turned down (Quite right). Liam
O’Neill is an amazing sculpture from Spiddal, Co Galway. He and his wife Cathy are famous for creating
large timber sculptures using a custom built over sized, lath. His sculptures are huge and magnificent.
He also creates bespoke seats which you can sit in and smaller pieces made from bog Oak. Many people reading this would remember Liam and Cathy’s collections on view at the Anglo-Irish Garden Heaven
Show in the late nineties/early noughties. More recently they have had displays at the fantastic
Bloom Garden Festival.  I offered Dawn 2k off the price if she would sell it, but she was having none of it.

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After surveying the garden, measuring, taking photos I sat down for a while to get a feeling for the
space. The client and I then discussed the project including her desires & expectations. This was no small order as she had a lot of experiencef in gardening and very good plant knowledge. I would
need to be on my A game to make this client happy. The main thing for me were the the surrounds
with differing heights and materials. Surrounding height, material and colour is so important, giving
balance, privacy and room effect. The following is the wishlist we both came up with:

  • Remove existing raised sleeper be
  • Use natural stone to replace sleeper bed, keeping existing plants & the height
  • Remove existing patio
  • Supply and install 2 upper and lower patios, one for evening sun/one for morning
  • Use Grey Indian sandstone for patios, matching nicely with internal grey tiles, pick up grout
    lines, connecting outside to within
  • Remove existing trellis
  • Clad all walls the same height, creating room effect, increasing privacy
  • Paint trellis to soften surrounds/act as a foil for garden lighting
  • Incorporate the 4 existing specimen olives within planting scheme
  • Supply and create custom built potting shed
  • Include cat flap within shed for family cat
  • Create privacy from overlooking houses to west side
  • Create an area for Bonsai collection
  • Retain lawn
  • Install mole drain for run off of water during heavy downfall
  • Sage colour to be used on surrounds
  • Retention of existing mature Prunus padus to soften/retain privacy
  • Fix, clean, sand, re-paint prized Liam O’Neill sculpture
  • Create meandering raised bed around entire garden using old reclaimed cobblestone
  • Soft curves where possible
  • Garden lighting
  • Low maintenance
  • Use of materials which will stand the test of time , unlike existing native pressure treated sleepers
  • Improve parking space and planting at front of house
  • Shelter for bikes
  • Shelter for sitting out while raining, possibly an awning directly outside doors leading to a lower patio

The Design included most if not all of the above. The garden design included meandering soft curves throughout including circle concaves/convexes. The raised bed was built using Soap stone. Unfortunately, the graceful leycesteria had to go as the positioning interrupted the upper circular seating area. Beds were included outside the circle to house O’neill sculpture and existing terracotta planters. A small bed was also included at the base of the front of the shed to soften. This bed was planted with buxus hedge & Daffs for spring colour. The lawn took a bit of a battering due dry weather. We top-dressed and re-seeded the lawn which would recover in no time but with plenty of watering. The mole drain was constructed .5m back from the lower patio. It was created by digging a channel 400mm deep, filling 300mm with pea gravel, covering with geo-textile and finishing last 100mm with soil. Sod was retained from initial excavations and re-used here, to repair.

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The work carried out to complete this project included:

  • Site Survey and Design
  • Remove existing patio and bring to dump
  • Remove raised sleeper bed at back of garden/cart to dump
  • Supply and install cable for future garden lighting (30Lm
  • Supply and install first lower patio using mixed sized Grey sandstone slabs to match internal
    flooring, pick up grouting lines from 600x600mm grey tiling within
  • Edge patio with 200x100x60mm yellow Limestone cobbles
  • Excavate area for circular patio, save sod for future repairs, re-us soil to fill beds
  • Supply and install second upper patio using mixed sized Grey Sandstone
  • Supply and install a path, linking two patio areas using Grey sandstone slabs, path to be
    bordered by limestone cobbles
  • Supply and install mowing edge around garden using yellow Limestone cobbles
  • Supply and install Cladding to walls using planed pressure treated Scandinavian Spruce
  • Paint cladding with two coats of Ronseal ‘Sage’
  • Supply and install raised edge to beds using reclaimed granite cobble, the cobbles to be of varying sizes, make and colours
  • Supply and install 550mm high natural stone raised bed using baige natural stone, replacing sleeper raised bed
  • Repair Liam O’Neill sculpture by removing rotten base from plinth, clean and treat with Danish varnish, clean, sand, and treat sculpture itself
  • Supply and install custom built 6×4’ Baumanns garden potting shed shed, include cat flap and keyed lock to door for security
  • Extend roof of shed to meet side of house, creating shelter for bikes and improving privacy
  • Supply and install Low Voltage Garden Lighting System, including: 60 Watt transformer, Dusk till dawn sensor; 10 spike lights
  • Create bed by driveway, by breaking out concrete, fill with topsoil, plant with Buxus hedge and mulch with Ballylusk gravel
  • Create bed in front of shed and plant with Buxus hedge
  • Install slips under door
  • Paint and fit 8 trellis sections using Antracite grey
  • Supply and fill beds with 3 tonne screened topsoil
  • Remove all rubbish and cart to dump
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The client was delighted with her new garden and kindly posted the following review on Google:
‘This company provides excellent service in a highly professional way. Kevin attends to the
details as carefully as he attends to the overall design. The client’s wishes materialise but with
practicality in mind. A small space was transformed into an outside room with many
discussions along the way to create a beautiful and interesting garden. I can highly recommend
Landscaping.ie & Kevin Bauman for any of your landscaping needs’ Dawn Mulholland

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