Case Studies

We have given below a selection of our own case studies. These will give you the opportunity to view detailed information of projects completed for a selection of our clients, outlining the original brief, together with our design solution and images of the finished works. Click on any of the images to enlarge them and take a closer look!

Sloping Garden

Sloping Garden before

Our clients approached us with a sizable problem! Their house was built on the edge of a very high, steep drop to the valley below and their existing garden was at an angle of almost 45 degrees!

Sloping Garden after

They had a beautiful view from the back of the house but were sadly unable to enjoy this space because the existing paving was crumbling and falling away. The entire area needed shoring up and extending into a useable space for them to enjoy. The first phase of the project was to tackle the highest level and  Nigel worked with Bob, our client to develop a series of plans with a materials specification suitable for the height and span of the area.

The existing paving was demolished and new retaining walls constructed to hold back several tonnes of soil bank! The steelwork then went in to support the deck which was constructed out over the slope to enhance the feeling of space and elevation. Natural sandstone paving was laid to compliment the colour of the brick used in the house, and to provide a contrast to the smooth finish of the treated decking boards.

The finished job was spectacular and at last the family had an outdoor space that was both useable, and beautiful. They are just awaiting the delivery of their new hot tub to finish things off!

Restoration Project

Restoration Project before

In this case our clients had been lovingly restoring a beautiful 1960′s bungalow set in a secluded, elevated position. Work had continued on the house but the garden had suffered somewhat from the disruption. Our clients wanted to restore the garden to a space that was both beautiful and practical for the needs of themselves, their growing family and their beloved dog! Our brief was to design a garden with a good deal of paving, providing for a secluded seating area to enjoy evening entertaining.

Restoration Project before
The side gardens needed to provide a pretty, relaxing area for them to enjoy a morning coffee within relative privacy, but making the most of the slightly elevated position. Our clients were concerned that the front entrance to the house should be finished in keeping with the standard of the build and this needed to be enhanced and provide a balance with the upstairs extension. The front steps needed to become a statement which lifted the entire frontage and set off the rest of the gardens.

Planting was required to be low maintenance but they were desperate for some colour .

Restoration Project after
There was a particular problem area at the foot of the high hedge surrounding the back of the property. As this was immediately next to the main paved area it was essential for this backdrop to be stunning. We designed a corner pool constructed of natural sandstone, with a sandstone waterfall.

Restoration Project After

There were large sandstone rocks amongst the hedging and our clients were keen to use these again as they suited the age and setting of the property. Sandstone was therefore a perfect choice of material for the walling and we re-used the stones to create a natural rock garden running the entire length of the wall, underneath the hedge. The planting provided evergreen colour and foliage was particularly important using shrubs such as Lucothoe Scarletta in amongst Heuchara and tiny Gentia, with the mighty Phormium Sundower to provide the vertical accent. Grasses and herbs such as bay and lavender provide fragrance and form.

The decking captures the morning sun and needed to be screened from the road, but not overshadowed therefore the handrail enhances the deck, planted behind with Betula Pendula ‘Silver Shadow’ to cast a graceful suggestion of shade and privacy. Further down the garden the clients requested additional privacy and this was achieved by planting a dense evergreen yew hedge Taxus Baccata. The yew was a favourite of our client and the deep dark green offered a contrast to the surrounding Leylandii.

The front driveway had never been completed and we therefore laid additional block paviors leading up to the raised, curved terrace at the far side. The terrace was paved with sandstone to continue the theme from the rear of the garden and the circular raised bed balanced the scheme, providing height and colour to enhance the entire frontage.

Updated Space

Updated Space before
This garden had been partially landscaped in the past but was only really being partly used owing to the steeply sloping lawn. Our customers felt that the entire space need to be updated and were hoping to bring more of the garden into a usable space that they could enjoy all year long.

Updated Space after
Due to the steep slope of the lawn we wanted to maximise the level ground available on the top tier. Our design was therefore carefully developed to extend this area using a wide softwood decking. The seating area on the terrace was extended and updated by laying Indian Sandstone flags, edged with matching setts. This created planting pockets to add interest and form, without adding too much maintenance. The design was geared around a space for relaxation and entertaining for adults. With the youngest member of the family long since grown up and fled the nest it was now time for Mum and Dad! A formal pool was created, falling over two levels with a ‘waterfall’ lined with copper. This was planted with Iris to soften the effect with marginal planting alongside the pathway connecting the deck to the terrace.

Wide wooden steps lead down to the lawn which was enhanced by the addition of feature trees along the perimeter, also adding privacy to the decked area.

Updated Space after
Updated Space after
There was a ‘forgotten corner’ shaded by a huge Leylandii hedge which grew immediately next to the new deck. The solution was to grade the soil into a gentle bank and plant with shade- loving Rhododendron and Azalea, ferns were also planted to suggest a woodland theme. An area that was never previously used can now be enjoyed with splashes of brightly coloured flowers from early spring.

The final view from the Living Room was transformed. In the foreground, fragrant lilac Lavender spread through the golden gravel against the yellow pop-poms of Santolina. During the long summer months these borders were accented by large leaved Hosta, leading the eye to the marginal planting of deep red Lobelia and bright yellow Iris. The decked pathway links the two areas of the garden together. The entire area is now expansive, warm and inviting.

Sensational Summerhouse

Sensational Summerhouse before
Any building within a garden can offer a whole new aspect to the entire space. Conservatories are hugely popular and rightly so, what could be nicer than enjoying early spring sunshine through the warm glass? These buildings effectively merge the home and garden into one space, bringing the outdoors inside. Summerhouses are also becoming very popular, due to the fact that they stand alone they can therefore be sited anywhere within your garden. This allows you to enjoy a particular aspect, or look upon a favourite view that is quite separate to your house.

In this case our client had fallen in love with a very attractive summerhouse that she had seen in a local garden centre. She asked our advice regarding her choice and for guidance with shape and colour. Her dream was to re-design her entire back garden to compliment her new summerhouse and we were lucky enough to be chosen to help with this process.

Our brief was to add a softness of colour and movement throughout the space. Our client wanted to be able to view the entire garden from the summerhouse, and enjoy colour all year round. The rear garden was elevated from the house, divided by a low breeze-block wall, and mainly laid to lawn with a large existing greenhouse. The area immediately next to the house was finished in concrete and we were asked to recommend a material that would ‘lift’ this area by providing colour and texture. The wall was sturdy and well built but ideally would have matched the house, and the entrance to the upper lawn was un-inspiring. The property had a very pleasant rural aspect and the garden was a peaceful space which leant itself beautifully to the new summerhouse. We therefore had the ‘building blocks’ to create the ideal outdoor space for our client and her little dog Bramble.

Sensational Summerhouse after
A suggestion of movement throughout the garden was created by basing the design on a circular motion, with a central circular lawn and the summerhouse located to the far side, offset to the house. A paved patio area immediately in front offered a warm and practical surface for seating during the summer months. Identical Indian sandstone was used to create the path which was softened by random paving within golden gravel. The retaining wall was clad with brick to match the house and wide sandstone steps were built to enhance the approach. Matching sandstone provided much-needed colour to the patio next to the house, with planting pockets within to soften the overall effect.

Planting was carefully chosen to provide colour all year round. Fragrance was important and a number of herbaceous plants were included to offer a suggestion of a ‘cottage garden’ with height and colour provided by traditional favourite such as Lupinus and Campanula. Lavendula lined the pathways interspaced with Aster and Hebe Red Edge. A beautiful Magnolia Stallata heralds the entrance and Pieris Forest Flame encourages the eye to glance further into the garden.

Weak winter sunshine provided the perfect opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea in the summerhouse and look out onto the finished garden. The gravel area in front of the patio softens the overall effect and offers a perfect environment for the vertical accents of Sissyrinchium Striatum and Pervoskia Blue Spire to burst forth during the spring and summer. Proportion is a vital consideration when designing a garden and during the cold winter months the hard landscaping should come into its own offering continued interest. It was very rewarding to create such a pleasant vista to compliment the summerhouse, which incidentally we recommended to be finished in ‘Lichen’, a soft grey/green echoed throughout the planting.

A Family Affair

Family Affair before
This project was particularly exciting because we were asked to re-design the entire grounds, including the large driveway and front and rear gardens. Set within an attractive rural village this home needed to work for our clients on a number of different levels. The entrance drive was large, and the front of the property impressive but the concrete driveway somewhat detracted from this. The house itself was beautifully maintained and simply needed gardens which would enhance this, without creating too much work. The children also needed space to enjoy and the large lawns were to be retained for the most part, but there was little colour. Our clients wanted somewhere to entertain friends and family that offered a touch of class, whilst remaining child-friendly.

The design for the entire grounds was considered as a whole, with the driveway dominating the space so it was vital to ensure that proportion was absolutely right. A sweeping curve up to the front door adds a air of elegance to the scheme and after close liason with our client, the product chosen to build the driveway was a tumbled block pavior. The soft blue/grey of the  blocks provides perfect contrast to the house and is sympathetic to the rural setting.

Family Affair after
One of the main features of the rear garden is a large circular cedar decking. The quality cedar hardwood provided longevity and a beautiful hardwood finish which will ‘silver’ over time and improve with maturity. The interlocking circles echo the overall circular theme and provide a sense of adherence. A natural slate water feature was included which complimented the grey hues of the driveway and provided a gentle cascade of water, completely child-friendly.

Our clients were hoping to provide a sense of height in the garden, but did not wish to change levels over the lawned area so this was achieved with a large raised border along the rear fence. This was retained with new, solid oak sleepers laid upright, with a rise and fall designed to give a sense of movement through the garden.

Family affair after
The planting throughout the garden was chosen to provide vibrant colour, particularly during the autumn months when orange, red and yellow tones add fabulous warmth to the garden. The stunning Liquidambar Styraciflua tree underplanted with Euphorbia Griffithii Fireglow and Mahonia Charity contrasts with the Artemesia Powis Castle and the deep evergreen leaves of the ‘ Strawberry Tree, (Arbutus Unedo). Vertical accents were dramatically provided during the summer months by Verbena Bonariensis, and still earlier by Allium Globemaster, purple bulbs which nod above the water feature.

The large back lawn was retained to allow the children plenty of space for their new climbing frame, but the heavy oak sleepers retaining the back border were tough enough to withstand even the most adventurous of climbers! A wooden pergola provided cohesion between the front and rear gardens and afforded a measure of privacy in addition to providing a backdrop of brilliant scarlet Parthenossissus entwined with Jasminum and Clematis.

Overall, the finished project allowed for the family to enjoy the entire grounds whilst still retaining the important practical considerations, in addition to the aesthetic.