New Resin Bound Permeable Driveway in Great Dunmow

This project was to transform a tired and dilapidated old tarmac drive into a fresh and modern front garden.

The old driveway was removed, grass taken up and the wall dismantled, This made way for a new contemporary retaining wall, a large driveway and parking area and low maintenance zones filled with decorative stone chippings.

The clever part of this installation is the technology within the driveway itself with a resin bound ‘SUDS’ compliant permeable surface.

SUDS is a sustainable urban drainage system, a series of methods for dealing with drainage in a sustainable manner. In this case a soak away was constructed beneath the permeable surface which allows any surface water to drain away without impacting on the already overworked man made drains. The water through the soak away will simply filter down naturally until it joins the body of ‘ground water’ at the water table. This will ease pressure on the mains drainage and help to reduce flooding.

Clearly this is an excellent solution for driveway construction with an environmental benefit – and we think it looks pretty good too!!

Artificial Lawn in Billericay, Essex

Our customer Louise has a Welsh Collie and a smallish garden in Billericay, Essex.

This very energetic dog that loves to dig had destroyed the old lawn. Mud in the house was a real problem and the garden looked a mess.

Replacing the old lawn with deluxe hard wearing artificial turf (suitable for dogs and children) was the right answer for her. Both Louise and the dog seem delighted!

Installation of a Classic Pergola in Epping, Essex

Classic Pergola Build and Installation in Epping, Essex

Whilst we enjoy every one of our projects, it is always nice to be invited to do something ‘special’. A pergola on stone columns by Redwood Stone, with shaped Oak frame to cap, and set on antiqued York Stone ticks all the boxes. The columns are uplit at night for a special view, summer or winter, from the family’s living room and is guaranteed to give many years of pleasure

The old wooden pergola was dismantled and removed and all the old paving lifted. It was then replaced with the York stone and the new handmade pergola erected in it’s place.

Rear Garden Landscaping Project in Essex

The Client wanted to revamp their well established garden and to give it a new, fresh look.

The old lawn was taken up and replaced with Rolawn Medallion Turf, a product which has won may awards for it’s consistent quality.

A new path to the summer house was laid using ‘Golden Amber Gravel’. This is a product made from crushed limestone which has been watered and then consolidated, producing a finish that is very slightly ‘gravelled’ but with a firm surface and it is free draining.

Metal edging was installed along the edges of the lawn to give clear definition and a sharp mowing edge. The project resulted in a smart and slightly contemporary feel to the mature and establised garden, with which the Client’s were really pleased.

Garden for a Modern Property in the Essex Countryside

Work in Progress!

This lovely modern property set in the heart of the Essex countryside, has the most beautiful outlook, but the garden closest to the house was looking old and tired.

After much deliberation – and even more samples! – this client chose one of our favourite contemporary paving products – pale sawn sandstone.

With lights by Hunza, and painted contemporary panelling by The Garden Trellis Company, a beautiful space for relaxation and entertainment has been created which will give pleasure for many years to come.

Final pictures to be published soon ….

Front & Rear Garden Makeover for a Large Urban Property in Billericay

This striking property in Billericay, Essex was let down badly by poor past garden design choices and low-quality finishing products.

Our client really liked the design ideas that would link the garden style to the house interior, giving a feeling of extending the living space.

The paved area invites you into the large garden, providing a wonderful entertainment space. This is all softened by complementary planters and looks simply stunning at night through the careful selection of light effects by Hunza of New Zealand.

The sawn pale buff sandstone was pointed with Mapei for guaranteed durability and consistency of shade. It was then dressed with Lithofin stainstop for protection and ease of maintenance. This was a tough choice but has led to a very happy Client.

Large Contemporary Deck Project in Stock, Essex

This Client had inherited an old deck in their garden in Stock, Essex which had clearly had its day! The deck had started to rot and become very unsafe with holes appearing and there was the serious possibility of somebody falling through the rotten timber.

The old deck was replaced with a new hardwood deck in Ipe with a glass and steel balustrade. The modern look was enhanced with hidden fixings giving a clean, contemporary finish.

Redesign of a Pretty Courtyard Garden in Dunmow, Essex

The Clients had a small courtyard garden in Dunmow, Essex directly off the kitchen. The brief was to create an area for entertaining which was contemporary but also functional.

We developed a design which was uncluttered but yet which still allowed for soft planting, a trickling water feature and room for the household bins!

The paving was travertine with small setts to give definition and the planting was into raised oak beds as well as clearly defined ground level beds to give movement and softness without encroaching into the tight space. The fencing was Quercus fencing in natural Oak, giving a solid boundary from the neighbouring garden, yet with a natural, organic feel.

A lovely job and some very satisfied customers!

Suburban Back Garden Project in Shenfield, Essex

This was a project to transform a tired suburban back garden in Shenfield, Essex into a smart, more private entertaining area.

This was achieved by replacing and enhancing the terrace area, replacing the old lawn with new turf, installing a ‘hedge in the sky’ using clear stem Photinia and building a new paddlestone water feature, complimented by a beautiful new planting scheme. There is also an area for a hot tub and a small vegetable garden in raised beds behind a contemporary trellis screen.

The garden is now a beautiful outside area for our Client’s to relax in and entertain friends and family.

Semi-mature tree planting in Fyfield

Our Client had cleared the site for a new build ‘eco’ property.

We planted two new semi-mature trees, an Oak and a Beech. Both trees were container grown and from a trusted supplier. The trees were planted – after a considerable amount of tricky manouvering – and then supported by an underground ‘guying’ system.

The trees were planted in December 2011 and have stood up very well to the gales over the Christmas period.

Countryside – Ponds & Streams in Fryening

A rather unsightly dry drainage ditch was resdesigned as a stream.

The channel was resculpted and lined with Bentomat, dressed with rocks and pebbles.

With faster and slower moving sections, and with later planting, the feature made for an attractive area to walk, as well as one that quickly attracted wildlife.

Driven by two powerful pumps the water is recirculated via concealed pipework.

Countryside – Events for local communities in Fryerning

Pictures from two of our recent events for local communities in Fryerning, Essex:

  • A team of volunteers preparing for their community ‘In Bloom’ competition
  • A group organised by local Young Farmers

In both, you can see Jim, our Master Hedgelayer, explaining the history of the craft and techniques, displaying his very traditional toolkit, and then coaching volunteers to ‘have a go’ for themselves

Always well received and helping us all to ensure that these crafts continue to live on.

Jim is taking on another apprentice this winter in the hope of transferring his skills to another young enthusiast.

Countryside – Trees, Coppicing and Ponds in Suffolk

Restoring a natural pond tin Suffolk that has lacked attention for many years can be quite a challenge.

As the pictures show, here we were dealing with fallen trees, others that had rooted in the floor of the pond, some that had been stretching for light and needed coppicing.

The winch on the trusty Land Rover was used for winching out the fallen trees – the rest was just a lot of highly enjoyable hard graft!

With the margins cleared and habitat piles left in situ, the pond is now accessible to the local wildlife and will not only be an attractive feature for the landowner, but a perfect habitat for a range of invertebrates, mammals and wildfowl.

Medium Sized Garden for a Suburban Home in Buckhurst Hill

The garden in Buckhurst Hill presented significant level challenges in design and implementation.

To maximise the usable space, demanded retaining walls and significant changes to the old landscape.

With our usual high standards of preparation, the new planting and lawn became established very quickly and, we feel sure, will give many years of pleasure.

“It’s absolutely great – hope you’ll come back in a year or two and see how it’s going.”

A Small Formal Garden for a Barn Conversion in Greensted

The design for this small garden in Greensted contains many elements which include:

A terrace in Walnut Travertine, low-level walling, a new lawn, planting beds, an arbour seat, hand-painted trellis and lighting.

A less exciting, mostly grassed area was quickly transformed into one of far greater interest, with space for entertainment.

Not everything goes right and, after the first winter, some of the travertine suffered from frost damage. All was replaced at no cost to the client.

Japanese Water Feature in Brentwood, Essex

An elevated gazebo, with the garden falling away naturally below, lent itself well to the construction of this water feature in Brentwood, Essex.

Having agreed the design with the client, the site was excavated until, after regular reviews we were all satisfied with the overall shapes formed.

The pools were then lined with Bentomat and dressed in slate, with a large drop from pool one to pool two.

Planting completed the picture and the client has since added some Japanese artefacts for effect. The water is recirculated frequently, passing through a combined physical and UV filter for water clarity.

Gardens Surrounding a Barn Conversion in Furneux Pelham, Herts

This very attractive barn conversion in Furneux Pelham, Hertfordshire had not been landscaped and was almost a blank canvas.

Change of ownership also meant changing needs from the garden, alongside the construction of a new swimming pool.

A ‘front garden’ previously used for parking, albeit small, was simply converted to a pretty outlook from the main front picture window, using small sandstone setts for curved pathways.

The back garden was partially paved in sandstone and the grass area was interspersed with planting zones for interest. This garden was then screened with hand-painted trellis work by The Garden Trellis Company, complemented by a matching gate. This separated the garden from the pool area.

The pool surround was paved in a mix of Ivory and Walnut Travertine and, with a combination of brick walling, planting and additional trellis work became a secluded area for leisure activities

Low level lighting provided a finishing touch along with a small Herb area with wooden obelisks as a focal point.

New Planting for a Listed Village Property in Fyfield

All hard landscaping having been completed by others, we were invited to develop planting schemes for both the front and rear gardens for this recently restored village house.

After detailed discussions with our clients, we developed a ‘Country Garden’ planting scheme in Fyfield, with all beds prepared to a good depth with added soil improver, the garden and its new lawns have really taken off and will give delight throughout the year.

To ease maintenance, we included bed edging in mild steel and an irrigation system augmented by our complimentary on-line maintenance plan.

Occasional low-level lighting was the finishing touch.

“We are both simply thrilled – and never believed it could look quite so amazing so quickly.”

View the design drawing for this project in detail here

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Formal Gardens for a Large Palladian Property in Great Cranfield

The Project Managers for this newly built property in Great Cranfield, invited us to tender for implementing the formal gardens designed by others.

Starting from a blank canvas, the landscape required major sculpting to meet the design requirements.

The main components of the design included a Rose Garden with herringbone brickwork paths, a mirror image Kitchen Garden containing a centrepiece made by Room in the Garden, a Courtyard part laid in reclaimed granite road setts, a Main Terrace in York Stone, the main Formal Lawn and a Croquet Lawn. All finished with semi mature planting. Linking paths were surfaced in crushed limestone and edged in mild steel.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking, from which you will see that there were some weather challenges! In the early stages, when we saw a hard hat on the ground, we wondered if there might be a man under it!

Sensory Garden and Outdoor Classroom for a School in Leytonstone

A school in Leytonstone had received special designation and funding and wanted to encourage a wide age range of their pupils to become more interested and involved in plants and wildlife – in fact, nature generally.

We were asked to design a facility suitable for all children, capable of accommodating those who may have physical disabilities, that might be used as an outdoor classroom and for project-based nature study.

A sensory garden, set in elevated beds for ease of maintenance by the able-bodied and ease of viewing for others, separated taste, touch, sound and smell. All-weather paths were constructed for ease of access and the ‘sound’ garden area incorporated a solar-powered water feature.

A natural pond with a dipping platform and planted attracts a range of wildlife and marginal hedges were laid by our Master Hedgelayer so that students could be informed on this ancient craft and its purpose.

Habitat piles to attract invertebrates were left for future exploration, along with insect observatories

The project was completed by the construction of an outdoor classroom set in a small clearing, comprising a horseshoe of green oak benches.

We are pleased to say that the ‘wildlife garden’ has continued to develop and is now used by other local schools by arrangement. We were invited to attend a presentation made by the original school’s pupils to teaching staff from elsewhere, the former working hard to sell the benefits of their very own ‘slice of nature’. Very exciting!

Formal Water Gardens for an Old Rectory in Marks Hall, Essex

This beautiful property, set in some 16 acres of Essex Countryside in Marks Hall, Essex is owned by very keen gardeners.

Immediately behind the property an Italian style garden had fallen into serious disrepair and, having agreed a revamped design and having chosen materials, we set about restoration and reconstruction, linked to a newly paved terrace in York Stone.

A pool fountain, lighting and new, structured planting, provide an attractive outlook from the house.

With this project underway, we were asked to design a Monet Style water garden in a sloping meadow of about one-third of an acre.

As the pictures show, two elliptical ponds were constructed, the first cascading into the second followed by a long water staircase finishing in a moat surrounding a summerhouse. The water is recirculated by two concealed powerful pumps and occasional underwater lighting makes for a most attractive after dark feature all year round.

A Woodland Garden in Stock, Essex

Clients had acquired additional land at the foot of their garden in Stock, Essex, which was quite heavily wooded with largely self-sown trees.

It was hard to use and enjoy and all that they could foresee was a lot of labour in clearing up leaf litter each autumn.

We were commissioned to develop ideas and a design which was speedily approved. With budget agreed, we were off!

Poor trees were thinned, allowing for more light for attractive underplanting – and more all year round interest. Paths were constructed in free draining crushed limestone, which snaked their way through the trees, making for an interesting woodland walk and a sense of adventure for grandchildren.

The transition from the more formal garden to the woodland was then completed with a circular paved seating area and marginal planting

Occasional low level lighting added a magical touch and customers were now able to fully enjoy their new acquisition.

“It’s just lovely. The grandchildren are going to have a whale of a time.”

View the design drawings for this project in detail here

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Gardens, Gates & Driveway for a Georgian Style Farmhouse

A recently restored beautiful property in Fyfield, Essex, now needed attention to the garden.

Interesting challenges were presented by a badly silted and unsightly ancient moat, a collapsed terrace and a poor asymmetrical driveway, but working with clients on design and security requirements, work was soon underway.

The moat was cleaned by specialists using vacuum powered equipment and slurry tankers, following which new bridge plinths were constructed to later receive a hand made oak bridge. Banks were regraded and turfed and marginal planting introduced as the finishing touch.

The old terrace was removed and new foundations incorporating steel road matting gave a stable base to receive an antiqued sandstone. Occasional low level lighting creates an attractive environment for the evening.

An area for dining is set apart by a partial screen in hand made English Wirework. Galvanised and acid etched for longevity and appearance. Stylish pots by Italian Terrace and Pots and Pithoi await planting out by the clients.

The old driveway was removed, reshaped and drained and was dressed with a finish in Midnight Limestone Setts. Brick piers and automated hardwood gates give the property new ‘kerb appeal’ together with the comfort of greater security.

“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. It’s absolutely glorious and we’re so thrilled with it all.”

View the design drawings for this project in detail here

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A Small Town House Garden in Grays, Essex

This project in Grays, Essex perhaps shows best two things:

Just how many of a clients dreams can be fitted into a space than is only 6 metres by 3 metres
That even when everything has to be barrowed or carried through the lounge and kitchen, our answer is still ‘yes, it can be done’!
As usual, we started with a set of design meetings and once a final agreement was reached on content and budget, we set to work.

The photos probably show best all the elements included in such a small space and, some 10 days later, we had delivered an area transformed from a dull weed patch to something which we hope continues to give great pleasure.

“Thank you so much. It’s just what we wanted and can’t quite believe how you’ve managed to squeeze everything in.”

An Island Garden for a Moated Property in Ramsden Heath, Essex

Our clients had embarked upon a major Grade 1 property restoration project for a moated home set in some 16 acres of countryside in Ramsden Heath, Essex.

The moat had also been classified as an Ancient Monument by English Heritage and was in need of serious restoration, not holding water in the summer months, heavily silted, with overgrown banks and trees, and shrubs growing though its floor.

We were invited to prioritise the design of the ‘island’ on which the house stands. This ‘garden’ was in poor condition in every respect, but did include a swimming pool which, once restored, would become a major feature for family leisure.

Several design meetings led to approval and agreement to a garden budget and we set to work around the builders, preparing the ground to receive its new surfaces and plants. The clients chose an antiqued Indian Sandstone for the paths and terrace and Ivory Travertine for the pool surround, both of which complemented the age of the property whilst keeping costs to a sensible level. We recommended hand painted trellis panels to screen the pool area made by The Garden Trellis Company, which blends in so well with the setting.

Once complete, low level lighting and semi-automated irrigation was installed – the latter to ease maintenance and ensure development and protection of the plant investment.

A proposal then needed to be developed for English Heritage, so that approval could be obtained and a licence granted for the restoration of the moat.

Our proposal was well received and, working alongside archaeologists and an ecological company who had secured a ‘newt licence’, the moat was cleaned, lined with Bentomat (volcanic clay matting) dressed with clay based soil, filled and planted. Newts have returned in far larger number this season – so they approve!

The addition of a filtration and pumping system keeps the water clear and the finishing touch of a hand made ‘Monet Style’ oak bridge has transformed a very unattractive and quite smelly blot into a feature which provides all year round interest and an attractive boundary to a lovely garden. For safety, and to preserve the views, the client chose traditional steel estate fencing, made to order by one of our regular suppliers.

With building and garden work complete, we were then instructed to resurface driveways and courtyard and install automated gates for both aesthetics and security.

“We simply love our new garden. Please feel free to bring any prospective client to have a walkabout and to admire your team’s handiwork.”

View the design drawing for this project in detail here

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Medium Sized Gardens for a Barn Conversion in Fyfield, Essex

Our private clients had purchased a beautiful barn conversion in Fyfield, Essex, but were disappointed with the basic garden.

What had been planted by developers was failing as the ground had been prepared poorly and the layout did not meet their requirements.

We were invited to develop a design which was approved and which, led by discussions, included:

  • A garden fairy water feature
  • A cantilevered deck suspended over the moat bordering part of the garden
  • A woven living willow Wendy house for their 3 year old daughter
  • Low level lighting

A low maintenance planting scheme, incorporating an evergreen backbone, all year round interest, espalier fruit trees and a herb garden.

Our clients have since moved on and we are very pleased to have been invited to design the gardens at their new home.

“We were so pleased with this garden, we’ve decided to invite you back to design the gardens for our new home.”