Check out our latest project a basic brindle block paving driveway in High Wycombe. In recent years it seems there has become quite a negative attitude towards this staple method of paving our driveways. The thing is there is no real alternative yet that has come along to take its place. However there is a very good reason why our old friend the block paver has lasted the test of time for Buckinghamshire and Britain's driveways as a whole.
The first thing is it makes use of flexible paving methods meaning the compacted sharp sand layer allows for very small moment and give which would crack mortar based paving or crazy paving. The block pavers can take the weight of a car and spread it evenly along the sand bonded surface.
Even though block paving is made with concrete aggregates and colour dyes it does have some eco friendly credentials. The small gaps in the block surface let some rain water run off drain back into the ground reducing storm water run off and clay shrinkage.
Over all you can't deny traditional block paving still have its place in our modern landscaping and driveways. It looks good, is affordable and has some ecological credentials also.
If you are interested in a new driveway or creating a new landscaping scheme contact Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners today.
Most of the time it is hard to explain to potential new clients that if you have a very low budget labour costs can make hiring professional landscapers and garden builders a non starter.
But when Mr & Mrs Horley from Great Missenden called us with a vision and plan of what they wanted we arranged a consultation.
Their vision was to create a garden completely from waste including old wooden pallets and broken stone into a modern but quirky eco / wildlife garden. The only real materials bought was concrete for the path way and some native and ecological planting. The design was put together buy Sustainable & Ecological landscape company Ecospaces.
The original concept was to create a journey to the long narrow plot which meanders through various habitats and wildlife features. Even though the materials budget for the project was £1000 pounds the finished product is nothing less than remarkable! Wildlife and eco gardens are not always every ones ideal garden with a conception that they look untidy but designed and built correctly great landscaped gardens suitable for wildlife are achievable!
Some images of the completed project can be found below!
Some of the new wildlife to the garden recorded have been: Hedgehogs, Frogs, Newts, Foxes, Dormice, Dragonflies, Great Stag Beatle, Woodpeckers, Squirrels, Blue Tits and Sparrows!
If you have a garden project that needs building or help with a design whether a wildlife garden or new patio please do not hesitate to call Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners today.
New landscaped garden in Amersham including a new lawn with mowing edge. Video from start to finish!
Check out our video below of our new landscaped garden in Amersham, Buckinghamshire including paving and a new garden lawn!
A very common theme in landscaping projects is the need to tackle all your gardens issues at once instead of in stages. It is tempting to do things in small sections to try to mitigate cost and effort but usually with landscapes and landscapes everything is interrelated.
When Ann from High Wycombe called Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners earlier in the year due to a soggy lawn she knew she wanted the perfect lawn but also a new pathway and steps. Quite quickly we realised the reason her lawn was so boggy was a funnel effect from the surrounding higher gardens. We decided to tackle all the drainage and landscaping issues all at once by installing a new drainage cage soak away with an outlet to a drainage grate along the house to solve her rising damp problem in the house.
The new drainage cage is assisted by a new lawn with a free draining sharp sand layer under the topsoil to allow water to drain to the system effectively. The new lawn now retains moisture to grow well but does not allow excess water to sit on the surface reducing muddiness and the onset of mosses.
The drainage system has an overflow outlet under a new Ashdown brick path with basket weave bond pattern for a very effective route through the garden with a high grip in wet weather. The overflow is plumbed into the storm water drain but is doubted it will ever need to as the drainage cage holds a cubic metre of storm water. The new drainage grate along the house prevents storm water from causing damp in the houses structure through the external walls a true example of how landscaping can benefit most aspects of a properties longevity and functions.
As usual with most garden landscaping solutions are found by assessing the garden holistically with drainage, hard surfaces, soft landscaping, topography and soil type all contributing to various landscape and building factors. If you are planning anew landscaping project and are based in Buckinghamshire including High Wycombe, Aylesbury or Amersham do not hesitate to contact Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners today.
New Landscaped Front Garden Tegula, block paving front driveway, Construction process video, Denham, South Buckinghamshire.
Please check out our video of the construction process of this new driveway in South Buckinghamshire. If you need any landscape construction, garden building, patio laying, driveways, planting or brick work please do not hesitate to contact Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners today.
Check out our new landscaping scheme in High Wycombe. Here we have used Brazilian Black Slate to create box steps which used to be a compacted mass of gravel used as a driveway. Our company, Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners
undertakes all types of landscaping including driveways, patios and planting schemes.
Sometimes its hard work trying to formulate a garden design proposal that caters for all the members of the family.
It is fair to say a garden lawn always has its part especially when the homeowner has young children. Not only does lawn have practical uses a nice lawn is ingrained in the British conscious with it also being a safe bet for resale. But with such a dominant expansive landscape feature how do you integrate a more varied interesting garden landscaping scheme.
In this garden design for our clients in High Wycombe a lawn was important but I really pushed to meet the extra expectations of the clients including edible planting, a modern outside room with fire pit, woodland wildlife play area, screening, a garden kitchen and a garden gym with nature roof. I designed in a circulatory pathway which the children could use for bikes and buggies to create a journey. The path links the various landscape elements allowing for nature discovery, vibrant planting and interacting with the outside world.
Please stay tuned for the construction of the garden in April we will be filming a video during the process for you to view viewing our video blog.
If you are interested in our landscape services be it a design or just need a general landscape gardener please do not hesitate to contact Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners via our contact page.
No garden theme lends itself to the maintenance theme more than a Mediterranean garden.
Using gravels and simplistic forms a truly satisfying garden can be created reminiscing of holidays abroad. The gravels and stone work of Mediterranean style gardens allow for heat traps enhancing micro climates within the garden allowing you to grow ever more adventurous plants. Olive trees, Grape vines and rustic stone work with aromatic herbs can give your garden the warmth of a summers day feel even in the depths of winter.
Nothing can beat the enjoyment of experiencing wildlife within the garden. There are numerous examples of effective wildlife gardens suitable for Buckinghamshire but there are some fundamentals which are effective. Plan a place to sit and watch wildlife, this could be from the house or a patio. Wildlife ponds, wild meadows, native planting schemes bird boxes and insect hotels and log piles can all be great features in the wildlife garden.
With their clean lines and smooth textures and bold lines modern garden styles are a great way to integrate internal and external spaces. Bold planting schemes with organic shapes can be used to wow guests and inject artistry into a garden space. The clean effect of the modern garden style means it is a favourable theme for low maintenance gardens with a careful choice of materials and planting modern gardens can create a big architectural statement.
With good planning and knowledge of horticulture you can plan a garden which flowers every month of the year. For long season flowering and scent you can plant more traditional rose gardens or opt for a wildflower meadow instead of lawn. Bulbs can be planted for early spring colour and perennial flowers can be used to inject seasonal interest and variety into the garden.
Kitchen gardens have become ever more popular over recent years with people more concerned about where their food comes from. More traditional type allotment gardens can be planned into a more designed space with raised timber beds giving the vegetable gardener an easier workable plot. Herb gardens can be positioned outside kitchen doors and fruit trees can create miniature orchards which are both beautiful and productive.
Woodland gardens are a great way to make use of shady areas or gardens with already mature trees. Some prefer the screening and greenery woodland gardens give and there are many things you can do to make a woodland garden a truly rewarding space. Bark mulching can create cost effective surfacing solutions providing cool shaded areas in summer to sit and socialise. Shade loving woodland plants can create a beautiful planting zone which is also good for wildlife
Water can create drama and life within a garden with the ability to create a true focal point. Water gardens can be formal or naturalistic or both! Fountains and waterfalls can create sound as well as aerate water for brightly coloured fish such as coy. A series of linked ponds can also be extremely beneficial for wildlife with wetland plants injecting colour and movement.
Good examples of courtyard gardens can be seen across the world from England to Italy to Morocco. Courtyard gardens are a true testament to the ability to create a good garden space within an urban setting. Potted plants can be used to fill awkward corners as well as allow more exotic planting which can be over wintered inside. The confinement of court yards there is a large opportunity to have outside heating effectively creating an outside room in your garden. Fountains, lighting and wall art can all add to the drama of courtyard gardens.
Tropical gardens are so effective especially in urban gardens where you can make use of microclimates. The bold forms created by tropical planting can give a garden an edge and a much more low maintenance regime than classic shrub plantings. Cool corners with ferns and palms can provide the ultimate garden hide away with bright flowering plants giving the feel of a tropical paradise. Tropical looking plants from China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand can tolerate much colder temperatures giving the possibility of adventurous tropical planting schemes.
Sensory gardens are a great way to experience outside space. Using garden design to stimulate sound, smell, touch as well as visual senses sensory gardens at value to many venues. Schools charities, office and restaurant spaces all benefit from sensory gardens maximising the excitement of the garden experience. Some of the features of sensory gardens are water features, brightly flowering, scented plants, wind chimes for sound and varying textures for touch.
If you would like more information on the garden styles displayed in this post contact Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners. Based in Amersham we cover much of Buckinghamshire including High Wycombe and Aylesbury.
Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners favourite paving choices & the difference between driveways and patios.
When deciding to go ahead with a new patio or driveway the choice of paving types out there can be mind boggling at the best of times. Whether its paving slabs or block paving the question is which is best for which scenario and what is the best value for money? Although these questions can raise some complex scenarios we have broken down the fundamentals for you here.
There are two fundamental differences between patios and driveways many people do not know about. These are flexible and rigid construction. Block paving represents flexible construction allowing very small amounts of movement within the surface to accommodate extreme loads such as that of cars. This is why most driveways are built with a build up of at least 150mm mot compacted type 1 and a 50mm layer of compacted sharp sand. The sharp sand allows for tiny amounts of movement from vehicular traffic and is the typical build up of block paving driveways.
Mortar or concrete based laying methods are the most robust building method by far however to ensure no cracking appears under extreme loads such as cars an exceptionally deep excavation with reinforced concrete would be the only way to ensure no cracking. This is why typical driveways are laid with block paving and patios are laid using the rigid construction method with a 40mm consistent mortar bed.
In Buckinghamshire and the Chiltern areas much of the bed rock is of solid chalk bed rock which can be extremely robust. I have seen block built sheds laid directly onto chalk and are still standing 50 years later. Even though chalk is much more robust as a base for driveways and patios than sandy or clay soils the correct construction type for the correct situation is very important. I am sure we have seen the sink holes which have swallowed up whole driveways in recent times including the one in High Wycombe where a whole car disappeared into the ground. There is no way you can reinforce a patio or driveway for such movement but it goes to show how chalk and calcareous bedrocks are prone to disintegration by ground water movement.
Patios should be laid on a consistent layer of mortar on at least 100mm of compacted type 1 and suits most situations where traffic is people. I personally find the best option on the market today is Indian sandstone paving. Firstly I would like to mention natural stone is always best. Reconstituted concrete cast slabs with aggregate and dye will always eventually fade as the dye inside will be bleached from the suns uv rays. Acidity in the rain will always eventually eat into the wearing surface of reconstituted slabs allowing algae to get in and give a dirty look. Indian sandstone usually comes in the usual buff and grey colours which complement the colour of our homes and is always affordable at about £30 per square metre. The colours do not fade with age so I always recommend Indian sandstone as the best affordable paving patio option.
When it comes to block paving I have to say I think the red and purple ‘brindle option is always the best for two reasons. Firstly the colouration usually compliments the home normally matching the roofing in colour. The second is the brindle colouration is best to hide the stains created by dripping oil from motor cars. With block paving (being also pre cast concrete with colour dyes) the same rules applies to paving, the sun will eventually fade the colour. Examples of colour faded drives are so common just walk up any street in suburban Buckinghamshire. This is why I always recommend paying £5.00 more a metre and going for the grey cobble effect tegula blocks. The grey tones are already the faded concrete colour so fading is not an issue and I feel they have a much more refined aesthetic fitting modern housing styles and more traditional cottage styles.
If you need help planning a new driveway or patio do not hesitate to contact Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners for a no obligation consultation.
Check out this new garden landscaping project another great garden by Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners