Welcome to our Blog. Inspiration, updates and industry trends from the team at Landscaping Solutions.
There’s what you want from a garden and there’s what it and life impose on you. That’s where garden design and skilful landscaping step in - to marry the two into a something that meets your vision, services your needs and deals with its problems in a satisfactory manner. Oh, and looks good too.
Timber slatted fencing increased the privacy of the garden while the limited palette of colour, requested by the client, added to the calm elegance.
This garden in Barnes, south-west London, designed by Justin Greer, was built by us in 2012 and, we’re proud to say, garnered a BALI award for Domestic Garden Construction (costing between £30,000 and £60,000).
What were the problems? Well, it shared issues that we see frequently in London gardens. The plot is pretty much triangular, 10 metres wide at the house, narrowing to 2 metres along its 20-metre length. For tools and toys, it needed storage space that didn’t detract from the look of the garden, and it needed a greater sense of privacy from the houses close by.
In addition, drainage of rainwater from the rear extension had to be dealt with and, as happens so often with major garden projects, enormous changes were taking place in the house at the same time, the most major being the digging of a new cellar.
The triangular shape of the plot was very clear in the garden before its makeover.
These are merely obstacles that we meet frequently in the course of our work, however. Certainly they were nothing to interfere with our mission to remove the dilapidated decking patio and completely replace the existing unstructured and obviously awkwardly shaped garden with an enticing, more formally laid-out space that would indulge the clients’ desire to be outdoors, relaxing, dining and barbecuing with the family.
Creating the garden’s calm, relaxing atmosphere is garden designer Justin Greer’s strongly geometrical layout, with space for entertaining next to the house, a gas barbecue, a play area screened from the main garden and house. The whole has an elegant, timeless feel.
Sawn Yorkstone was used as a traditional paving and, here, benchtop, to complement the reclaimed bricks and old boundary wall.
Part of achieving this feel lies in the materials used. As anyone who’s been in an old London garden knows, the boundaries are usually tall walls, made of weathered London bricks. This was no different, but one of the boundary walls had reached demolition point, so it was replaced before we began work. This provided the ideal opportunity to create coherence in materials by matching design elements to the remaining boundary wall and we recycled the bricks into the raised beds and water feature. This required a fair amount of work in cleaning up the bricks - we also had to bring in some top-ups from the London Reclaim Brick Merchants - but it was worth it for the sense of age and history they add to the design.
Precise planting is absolutely necessary to make a formal garden design work.
Of course, a formal feel is more easily imposed on a regular-shaped plot - think Roman piazzas or Hampton Court’s Privy Garden.
Here, the hardwood screen not only hides the play area and storage shed but squares off the space in a backdrop to the pleached hornbeams, which in combination with box hedging, standard bay trees and Quercus Ilex add the backbone of formal planting. This needs to be placed precisely for the effect to work as planned, otherwise the eye is drawn to the one trunk that’s not quite in line.
Finally, underpinning the design are the foundations that make it work - the sump for the water feature, hidden beneath the polished pebbles, is reinforced to avoid it being damaged when people walk over it; the hard-landscaped areas drain into plant border and through the polished pebbles.
Polished pebbles create contrast with the sawn paving, as well as areas for rain to drain away.
And what about that rainwater draining off the extension? Hidden pipework takes the run-off along the east boundary and into a soak-away beneath the children’s trampoline, which was placed on artificial turf. This was to ensure the soak-away was away from the footings of the old wall, where it could have eventually made it unstable. It took careful planning and installation.
Also demanding a lot of planning, discussion, collaboration and co-operation was the fact that we had to build the deck before the light well was put down into the new cellar. As we explained in The Secret to a BALI Award-Winning Garden Design, communication is key to making sure a project runs smoothly, especially when you’re sharing the space with other contractors.
Strong horizontals slow the eye as you look down the garden, drawing attention away from the narrowing shape.
Thanks to preparation, communication and our team of skilled landscapers, the build was not only completed within the course of two months - August to September 2012 - but also gave us a BALI National Landscape Award Winner in 2013.
If you’re a garden designer and would like to discuss how we can help you with your next project, or if you have a garden would like more information on how we at Landscaping Solutions can help you with its design and landscaping, contact us on 0208 2412402 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again, with the nights drawing in, December fast approaching and the anticipation mounting it can mean only one thing...no not Christmas, the BALI National Landscape Awards 2018.
Recognised throughout the industry as one of the biggest landscaping events of the year the 42nd BALI National Landscape Awards will pay tribute to BALI members who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill within the landscaping and design sector.
As BALI members and winners of this years Domestic Garden Construction Between £100k - £250k category the Landscaping Solutions team will of course be in attendance.
This will be our fifth BALI award to date and, as always, it stands as a great testament to the hard work, craftsmanship and enthusiasm of all our staff. Two of those five award have been of ‘Principal’ status which is awarded to the best garden in its respective category. We are hoping that this year will be three out of five. Fingers crossed.
Situated in the London Borough of Barnet our award winning garden was designed by Jilayne Rickards Garden Design. Jilayne’s commitment and attention to details is of the highest order and we look forward to bringing more of her contemporary garden designs to life in coming years.
As part of the initial brief for this particular design the client had requested a usable family space with a unifying architectural theme and colour scheme. In addition they wanted year round interest in the planting, to hear the sound of running water and to have interesting textures, shapes and heights be incorporated in to the planting.
Modern hard landscaping features, privacy screens, overhead patio shades, a built-in barbecue and fireplace and a bespoke water feature are just some of the many features we installed to meet the clients needs.
In the early stages of the design process the client had also expressed the importance of ensuring the finished garden had a ‘unique’ and personal feel, requesting personalised elements be included in the scheme.
With this in mind a number of bespoke Cor-Ten features were commissioned and installed through the rear garden. A bespoke mounting method had to be devised to allow for their installation.
From these bespoke installations, through to restricted site access and unfavourable ground conditions it is fair to say the project was not without its challenges. Luckily we don’t shy away from challenges at Landscaping Solutions and so with good communication, meticulous planning and hard work we were able to transform the garden in to a clean and clear functional space that satisfied all of the clients requirements.
With the hard work done, We are certainly looking forward to celebrating with fellow BALI members at the awards ceremony in December and as always, it is an honour to have our achievements recognised by the industry's number one trade association and our peers.
The competition in each category is fierce so we would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the other category winners on a job well done.
As you would expect, the majority of people go to great lengths when sprucing up their homes in the hope of making a sale. In the past gardens would foolishly be overlooked in this process, their potential undervalued by homeowners and prospective buyers alike.
But times have changed. Almost 40% of Brits now spend more time in their gardens compared to five years ago.
Over the years homeowners have begun to take more and more pride in the layout and landscaping of their gardens, with buyers also following suit, putting the same emphasis on the garden as they do other rooms when viewing a property. The garden is becoming an integral consideration in the house buying process.
A huge part of selling a house is standing out from the crowd. Large or small, the condition and appearance of a property’s garden is going to play a part in successfully achieving that.
First impressions count and in many cases the garden is the first thing a person sees when arriving at your property. A badly maintained garden could be enough to put off a potential buyer before they even set foot inside.
Research recently conducted by property buying website “Sell House Fast” surveyed estate agents, garden designers, landscape gardeners, property professionals and consultants. The results found that a well-maintained garden can add up to 20% to the value of your property. Based on the current UK average for property prices that’s £60,000, and up to £90,000 for properties in London.
We’re not necessarily talking about acres of land either. The majority of the estate agents surveyed agreed that even a small garden or courtyard, if well crafted, would certainly be worth more than a similar property on the same street where nothing had been done.
In a separate survey conducted by estate agent Foxtons it was also found that 72% of their clients said they would pay more for a home with a garden.
What is certain from all this is that a well-maintained outdoor space is more in demand then ever before and if you are thinking of selling up in the near future, your garden could easily be the deal breaker.
If you have found this article interesting you may also enjoy one of our previous articles; The Importance Of Good Garden Design And Landscaping.
Whether you’re planning a complex landscaping project or a simple revamp of your current planting scheme, the careful design and construction of a garden will quickly turn an underused space in to one you can be proud of, resulting in years of enjoyment, enhancing the overall appearance of your property and often adding to its market value.
With this in mind using an experienced and professional Garden Designer is the most effective way of getting the most out of your garden, ensuring you achieve its full potential and create something that will look good for years to come.
At the earliest stage possible, careful consideration should be given to what it is you want to achieve with your garden and the general theme you would like it to follow. Your Designer will then interpret these ideas and create a design that suits your lifestyle and requirements, often exceeding your expectations.
Over the years Landscaping Solutions has provided services for Garden Designers on countless projects, working directly with a number of professional Garden Designers, bringing garden designs to life and forming strong working relationships along the way.
We are strong believers that word of mouth is the best advertisement and as a team, continually strive to provide high quality, competitively priced solutions for both designers and clients. We are quick to turn around clear, detailed costs and specifications and exacting in our execution.
We approach all of our projects with a clear understanding of the pressures associated with restricted access, lack of space, and client relations.
We can help out with site surveys, building details and associated technical difficulties, source and specify bespoke products and services and offer quality maintenance and aftercare services. Our aim is to provide peace of mind to both designer and client that all our work will be completed on time and on budget, resulting in a finished product and service we can all be proud of.