This week I’ve had a great time landscaping with the boys on a garden project in Stoke Bishop in Bristol. Our customer just moved into the house with his family 6 weeks ago and was keen to initially alter the garden so that his two young boys have space to play football.
This garden was created in the 90’s and was quite heavy with large shrubs and a pond in the far corner. So, our first task was to take out a truck load full of shrubs to open up the garden.
The pond flowed via a pump that ran through a raised brick planter in the corner, where a big clump of Bamboo was housed. We started work on this area by removing the chunks of slate that lined the edge of the pond, as well as draining it and removing some beautiful water lilies.
Whilst the boys worked on the pond and shrubs I pruned the roses surrounding the conservatory and dug up other plants to save to put into pots. Along with a couple of evergreen shrubs that I planted in pots we also dug up a lovely Acer which was perfect for a planter.
We removed a fair amount of rubble from the garden whilst we were working so we used this to begin filling the pond cavity. Along with this we also added smashed up paving from another job that we are working on which was just up the road. Good landscaping planning in action!
The bamboo raised planter had been created with double bricks and took a lot of force to smash it up with a sledgehammer and breaker bar. Once the wall was down the boys started on the removal of the bamboo. One thing that I have learnt over the years about bamboo is that you need to think very carefully about where you want it in your garden, how long you might want it there and if it might ever need to move or remove it.
The previous home owner had planted the bamboo within bricks, which went quite far down into the ground to stop the roots from running through the garden. This of course is a good idea, however the huge mass of bamboo meant it was not easy to get out. I absolutely love bamboo and would definitely plant it in my own garden. If you are planting, research and think hard about where you want it and the size that it will reach. Bamboo is for life, not just for Christmas!
We used turf scalpings from other jobs to add to the pond cavity as well as a couple of tonnes of top soil from Bowland Stone, our supplier in Bristol. We graded and levelled the ground as well as moving a Viburnum into the corner where the bamboo had been.
During this project we had uncovered a large circular drain area right in the middle of the garden. The previous owner had not told the new owner about it and after some investigating it turned out to be an old soak away. As this is going to need reinforcing at a later stage we worked around it for the time being, whilst the owner decides the safest way to conceal it.
The weather has been on and off ish this week, the ground was fairly damp but not too bad whilst doing the majority of landscaping. By Thursday afternoon we had fully prepared the ground ready for turfing the following day. I arrived first thing Friday morning with 63 rolls of turf from our supplier Craig West Turf, based in Avonmouth.
Light rain fell for most of the day which made it quite hard going, but as we had already prepared the ground it wasn’t too bad. Our customer wanted us to turf half of the garden whilst the situation with the soak away was worked on, as this will affect their plans for an house extension. We will be back in the future to do the work on the soak away which will include further landscaping work on the majority of the garden. Our customer hopes to raise the level of the lawn and have a raised bed retaining wall around the edge of the patio. I think this would work really well and am excited about coming back in the future.
Come back and check out our blog next time to see other projects that we are working on. Let us help you find the magic in your garden!