Long Narrow Sloping City Garden.
Contemporary sustainable design:
Story – This garden project began in Glasgow in early Spring. It was to turn out to be a garden design and build that brought all that we have learned in modern sustainable design and construction methods, together. No skips or diggers were needed in this project as very little was to leave the site, but instead was re-used. This included hardcore and sand both found 12″ below the surface. The paving has also been re-used in a very modern and sustainable way, and has been given a contemporary polished finish.
The soil from various areas being constructed has been retained and improved with ‘green waste’ compost and the rockier soils have been used with excavated hardcore to create a solid base and growing medium for the three small patio steps that are also herb beds for the kitchen.
The three steps are a great way to connect the new open kitchen with the garden even though it sits half a metre higher than garden level. Decking was dismissed as it can be too slippy for main access to the garden, round steps allowed for interesting shapes and minimal contact with the building and it’s ‘damp course’. A metal grate allows soild access whilst keeping air ventilating between house and landscaping. The three ‘mini patios’ descend down to the main patio area and wrap around the circular lawn. A selection of fruit bushes/cordons also add potential produce for the kitchen, along with the numerous herbs.
From the main patio and main path continues down towards the garage area and further drying area, as well as a ‘ secret’ path through the woodland area along monkey bars to a swing/play area. Keeping all the the existing play items and creating play areas was a strong part of the brief and was achieved with even the wendy house finding a new home. This location was right in front of the kitchen’s picture window and posed a problem with the primary colours of the plastic frame catching the eye when viewing the garden from inside. This was resolved by also allowing the re-use of the final un-used parts of the original garden – 5 clumps of garden plants such as Schizostylis, wild strawberries and daylilly, that were all infested with couch grass. I had moved them around for 2 months never decided to throw them away despite how often they were in the way…. my instinct was to keep them and so an opportunity arose to use the ‘natural’ green roof construction properties of the wendy house ( plastic and ridged). There was nothing to lose and with a quick wooden frame to contain them, there were in place like a form of plant alcatraz. After 3 months the lillies were doing great and the couch grass had retreated somewhat so looks promising as a feature of the new garden (see last pic).
The whole project was conducted in a very open way thanks to the shared trust of the client, this allowed for decisions to be made as the project went along, such as the green roof for the kids wendy house. This overall approach has resulted in a garden space that looks mature after only 3 months and from feedback, has changed how the clients live day to day as a family – a lot of it now outdoors.