Through Spring into Summer we have been reconstructing a Glasgow private garden within-it-self, by that I mean we have created a new garden out of the old one. Stone Wood Water Light has carried a tag line ” New from Old gardens” since being established in 1998. In 2015 after 17 years this ethos and sustainable approach to garden design and construction came of age.
This Before photo shows a long narrow Glasgow back garden with a constant slope away from the property. A newly updated and extended kitchen stands half a metre above existing garden level. Client wanted to have a sustainable garden that their young family could enjoy using a lot more on good days as well as the not so good days…..access through the garden was needed daily and all were keen on a sustainable nature friendly garden that was reasonably easy to maintain but was wild and naturalised on the edges. It also needed to be a good place for adults and children alike…. not too much then haha.
The client liked our idea to re-work and re-use all the existing materials and plants in a new practical and aesthetic way. This we proceeded to do and therefore required no skips and the most basic of materials brought in….. Sand, cement,green waste compost, some dense block and turf…. suitable hardcore was found under the existing soil etc a bit of knowledgeable swapping and intuitive construction methods was required, with the results proving to be very effective!
Comparing the before and after photos you will begin to notice that many elements of the first garden are still where they were, in particular the mature existing planting. This has been augmented by introducing new plants chosen for their benefits whether herbal, medicinal or ecological etc as in keeping with a forest garden design approach. This planting wraps around a new hard landscape comprised of the existing paving re-used in a very creative and attractive way.Costing less than removing existing old paving and installing same basic paving as new, this paving is a long way from basic and as good as any bespoke high end paving – think polished concrete kitchen work tops and this is the garden equivalent.
The new kitchen being half a metre above garden level required a creative way to connect house and garden. Here we have three large circular steps that can double as mini patios for a quick nip out with coffee and paper should a mass exodus to the large main patio not be required. These ‘mini patios’ are each planted up with herbs useful in the kitchen given their sunny location.
All the childrens main outdoor toys have also been retained within the garden in various locations including the wendy house which lives behind the Pieris Japonica and in front of the large picture window in the kitchen. Great location but a bit of a plastic eyesore for being the first thing you can see from the kitchen…..
…. Early on in the site preparation various plants were lifted and put aside including a bunch of Kaffir lillies that were looking great except for the couch grass growing all over it…they were too good to throw away but too contaminated to re-use in garden responsibly….they remained all throughout the project ( often getting in the way and moved) until the patience paid off and they formed an important part of the ‘green roof’ for the wendy house which can be seen behind the pieris in the above photo….the lillies have a second chance to play their part in the garden.