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
The term ‘edible gardens’ has always seemed some farfetched unpractical notion of garden planting, however the scope of choice of unusual edibles always surprises clients. Most of the time it is an educational journey into discovering new uses for existing plants and the discovery of new tastes and textures within the garden flower borders.
Some of the statistics on global food shortages are rarely conceived by world populations. The growths of human populations are rising at a rate unrivalled at any point in history which is dependent on a delicate system of fossil fuel energy, biodiversity destruction and soil degradation. A general model for a sustainable human existence on earth is; one man farming an acre of land organically and eating a vegetarian diet. This can sustain himself and a family of four that is with all the knowledge of preserving, storing, crop rotations and organic principles annually.
By Eating meat depending on what animals the less sustainable being beef and better sources coming from pigeons, rabbit and chicken eating meat is far less sustainable requiring on average five times as much land to produce a reoccurring food source.
The question is can the suburban and rural gardens of Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties put a local end to local food insecurity, possibly depending how much time you have and land you have access to. One thing is for sure learning about the issues of feeding the planet and the amazement of how much food can be grown in a small area introduces edible planting as a new, exciting, interactive garden element.
Perennial vegetables are quite underused in many gardens in my opinion. Some of our common perennial vegetables (come up every year) are very beautiful and can be used in planting schemes such as rhubarb, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus and strawberries. Many herbs are also perennial and can easily incorporate into many landscaping projects. Mediterranean herbs such as Oregano, Thyme, Fennel, Sage and rosemary can be planted into dry gardens of rockeries and dry stone walled raised beds.
There are many shrubs that can be grown across the UK that may surprise you such as the Sichuan pepper and the American Paw Paw. There are many beautiful of these many from Russia and China. There are literally hundreds of edible shrubs with varying fruits and uses a full list can be accessed at Agro forestry UK or a planting design consultation from Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners with expert Paulo.
Fruit and nut trees can add a larder of extra food stuffs for the edible garden especially nut trees which are a good source of omega 3 and carbohydrate which store very well. Some of the species include; sweet chestnut, bladdernut, walnuts, pistachios and almonds the latter of which need more sheltered positions. Fruit trees can be grown in orchards or incorporated into forest gardens in each case try to allow and open canopy so edibles can be grown at ground level. This forest type of edible forest garden can create beautiful gardens which increase wildlife. If you are interested on food systems which integrate with natural ecology you can research Permaculture at length on the internet and there are many books on the subject.
If you are thinking of planning a edible planting scheme or forest garden into your landscaped garden scheme please do not hesitate to contact Buckinghamshire landscape gardens for consultation or a detailed planting design plan.
One thing I always try to encourage with clients is to break up the rigidity of our everyday square and rectangular environments. Mrs Cambell in Chalfont wanted something unusual that maximised the garden space. At first she was sceptical of the spatial arrangement curves would bring however the organic lines create a great patio with small retaining walls defining curvatious beds which will house a planting space capitalising on the movement of the scheme.
Most of the time our clients want a new garden design but I always try to sketch out easy options on site on the first visit. This means we can concentrate the cost on details and fine finishing's for the final garden. Most of our landscape gardens across Buckinghamshire and the Chiltern region are unusual with our landscapers tailor making gardens to our clients landscaping needs.
Please feel free to comment on any of our landscape projects or make contact for a free consultation with landscape architect Paulo.