SAM McGOWAN - GARDEN DESIGN IN SCOTLAND        
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Oakbank
Lanfine
Nine Mile Burn
Uplawmoor

BeforeCurrent

Description of site:

The site is an area of ground recently cleared of trees lying somewhat to the West and North-west of the main house. During discussion on site this was extended to include part of the adjoining stream valley to allow a vista to be opened up connecting the house to the site and making use of the remains of the path network to give a physical connection between the two. The main site is a hillock and is more or less at a similar level to the house with a steep-sided valley in between. It is surrounded by mature trees and has a tarmac road along one side which is a public right of way. The total area of the site under consideration was approximately 5000m2  with an additional area across the valley.

The house was constructed in the late 18th century and is of some historical significance. The landscape was laid out in two phases in the 18th and 19th centuries. The client provided more detailed historical information at a later time.

The area was mainly in mulched (tree remains mulched by machine) soil with some random saplings. Grass seed had been put down in October of the previous year. Germination of this was only just apparent in patches and it is likely that the soil is on the acid side (witness the number of Rhododendrons in the vicinity) and was being robbed of Nitrogen because of the wood content of the mulch. Further soil investigation would therefore be required. As evidenced by the recent problems of windblow there is some exposure to wind - probably North-easterlies given the local topography.

Client's brief:

The client wanted to create a garden area which is of year-round interest and colour and easily maintained, to be looked at both from the area of the house and close up. It has to be in sympathy with the existing surrounding landscape and will therefore have to have an element of historicity. It has to be approached from the house side only with the public kept out (a combination of deer fencing (and deer) and hidden barbed-wire fencing was discussed as a part of this prohibition) although the open aspect recently achieved should be maintained.

The client wanted to include the siting of a small temple as part of the design

Further briefing will be required as the project progresses.

Current situation:

Tree felling has been carried out to create a vista across the valley from the house and clearance of existing paths carried out.  A new path has been constructed to link existing paths to the meadow and steps are under construction.   Some planting (of Rhododendrons and Hydrangeas) has been completed on the valley sides, some planting of moisture-loving plants has been carried along the sides of the burn and the meadow has started to establish.  The temple has been built and fencing and thicket-planting installed along the public path.  Further areas of planting are being carried out elsewhere in the estate.

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Last modified:30th January 2011

Copyright Sam McGowan 2011