And after pictures. Ta da!!
Tag Archives: landscaping
Finally the finishing post is in sight. Well.. as far as the hard landscaping goes anyway. And we’ve mainly had excellent weather for it!
It’s been an interesting few days with a some ‘eeeek!’ moments. Progress has felt rather slow – probably due to my growing impatience at wanting to get it finished! Anyway, on with the pictures, hope you enjoy.
I have to say I am incredibly pleased with it and have been internet window shopping for a bench for the bottom of the garden and arches that I may include at the sides to create two arbors for climbing plants. I’m also hoping my landscaper can source a mill stone to sink into the patio at the entrance to the main path. Our house used to be a granary, so although it wasn’t an actual mill, this would be a nice nod to its history.
So, it’s going brilliantly – despite typical British summer weather and countrywide rioting! It’s been a challenging week for me and the OH who both work from home, what with (internal) builders constructing a built-in wardrobe & landscaping in the garden – a LOT of tea making and a lot of mud & dust! ‘Lady Grey’ tea for the ‘rather particular’ builders (rolls eyes) and just plain ‘Builders’ Tea’ for the landscapers.
So on with the pictures, which reveal the ‘BIG DECISION’ over the path/bed edging pattern, a load of VERY heavy stone and some ancient Egyptian building techniques. Hope you enjoy!
This gallery contains 14 photos.
Days 4 and 5 don’t look that exciting – but work is progressing really well. On Monday, Chris, the boss, will be sourcing our large chunks of reclaimed York stone for the patio area near the house, which he’ll clean up by … Continue reading
This gallery contains 24 photos.
Day 2 – Site Cleared & the Site Inspector calls – she approves of unearthed grubs! … Continue reading
Tomorrow, 1 August 2011, my landscaping team arrive to make a start on our garden… finally!
I’ve had to wait even tantalisingly longer than expected whilst they finished a six week client build for me then went on to RHS Tatton to build a show garden for Alexandra Froggatt, a finalist in this year’s ‘Young Designer of the Year’ (Silver Gilt).
But now the waiting is over! And this is how I feel!
In my last post I talked about the background to it all and gave a brief description of the design. Unfortunately and typically, I don’t have a drawing I can show you. What I gave my landscaper was slightly better than a ‘back of a fag packet’ drawing, but not much! But it was to scale and based on my survey, so we should be ok!
So then, for posterity, here are a few ‘before’ pictures…
The plants in the pots that you can see are pretty much all I have, but the green beech hedge planted in March 2010 is looking pretty good now – though a few plants never made it from dormant whip to flourishing plant, so will have to be replaced this winter.
My Other Half will be glad to see the back of what some may call a lawn but is actually no better than field grass. The lawnmower (which is on its last legs) is going to the tip. The new design has no lawn – OH is ecstatic!
The old patio was lovingly built by my OH 11 years ago. There will be no formal patio in the new design – we’re using large chunks of re-claimed York stone set in gravel and, as it will be lower than existing, a new step from the patio doors.
The objects on pallets in the foreground are a solid stone birdbath , which will be a central feature and two solid stone planters to go either side of a , yet unsourced, bench at the bottom of the garden. I got them in the Foras sale a while back. I’d originally planned a central, working water feature but struggled to find anything I liked or liked and could afford (!) and wanted to keep costs down because our neighbouring farmer can be unpredictable and we plan to move house at some point.
Talking of the farmer.. this week we were due to get the communal drive at the front of the house resurfaced but it’s now happening tomorrow instead. Typical! Thankfully the farmer has agreed to let us put the skip just behind our rear hedge on his land, phew! Nice farmer. Not unpredicatable at all… lovely chap!
So there you have it. Some decisions, like whether I have any extra detail in the paths and do or don’t have a plinth for the birdbath will be decided as we go along. As will the addition of any archways or features to provide height and a framework for climbers.
It’s a well-worn blog phrase, but…. watch this space!
For many years I have lacked something rather essential. Like a chef with no ingredients or a carpenter with no wood, I have been a garden designer with no garden! This was not only frustrating but also made me feel like the archetypal Emperor with no clothes.
When I say ‘no garden’ I have had a garden of sorts; that is, a north-facing flat rectangle 8m wide by 16m long. When I moved here 4 years ago it had a past-its-best patio, scruffy boundary fences, overgrown uninspiring, un-renovatable shrubs on 2 sides and a solitary hawthorn tree blocking a lovely view. Although we live next to a busy A-road, as you can see below we have great rural views and lots of mature trees and hedgerows nearby.
We actually did make a start in March 2010, fully intending to get it landscaped that spring. I was incredibly excited! We had the hawthorn felled; it was not only blocking a view and light but was touching overhead electricity cables. It made me sad in one sense to see it go and deeply guilty for evicting an almost-fledged wood pigeon baby. But to my great relief, the youngster soon flew off to join its mother in a nearby sycamore.
The rest of the landscaping work was due to start in May 2010 but then there was a totally unexpected and disturbing development. See that lovely space and copse beyond the end of our garden above? Well the farmer owner built and opened a farm shop just to the left of it and put chickens, ducks and pigs on that piece of land. We literally had a pig sty at the end of our garden! There were a lot of other belligerent farmer shenanigans that I won’t bore you with that led to us putting the landscaping on hold to await developments. A particular low point was when there were at least 12 cockerels on said land driving us to distraction with their incessant crowing; not the best when you work from home as we do. Other neighbours of ours complained, the farmer locked them up in a coop and left them there for two weeks; cue the RSPCA. It was a dark time.
Fast forward to May 2011
There is great news! The farmer has realised that pi**ing-off his immediate neighbours isn’t the best idea; the pigs are no more (probably literally I’m afraid) the cockerels were removed (we know not whence – don’t like to think about it) and the chickens and ducks have been moved to another area that has a stream, which is lovely for the duckies. Although the farmer is pumping water from the stream almost certainly without the required licence. He’ s not one for bothering with trifles, like planning permission and all that other annoying red tape. However we are now on friendly speaking terms and he is growing nice quiet well-behaved vegetables on the area beyond our garden. The local rabbit population loves it!
So here we are again about to get our garden landscaped, as soon as my landscaper has finished on my client’s garden in around 7 days. I can’t quite believe it’s going to happen. I have simplified the original plans and specification so that it’s less expensive than it would have been before, just in case it all goes horribly pear- or pig-shaped again.
It’s a simple, symetrical design with central and side axes (kind of celtic cross shaped), with four beds (rectangles with internal angled corners) set in antique-looking brick and gravel paths with a central octagonal area that will have a simple stone bird bath, probably with box hedging planted around it. A new patio area near the house, made from large pieces of reclaimed York stone set in gravel and a bench at the far end flanked either side by stone planters.
I will probably incorporate some arches or other vertical elements but that’s the beauty of doing your own garden; unlike designing for a client you don’t have to visualise the entire thing and decide on everything at once.
And, with apologies in advance to keen grow-your-own’ers, if the worst should come to the worst, I can always join the farmer and just grow veg in it!