SAM McGOWAN - GARDEN DESIGN IN SCOTLAND        
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Loch Fyne
Aberlady

 BeforeCurrent

Description of the site:

The site is the garden ground surrounding a stone-built cottage style house close to the shore of Loch Fyne towards the head of the Loch. The site is fairly level to the front of the house and sits some 2 metres above a nearby road. To the East of the house was an area of parking with a drive linking to a garage and down to the road. To the rear of the house the site rises fairly steeply through a walled garden to neighbouring fields and thence to nearby hills. A line of medium sized conifers blocked the view to these from the house but it was proposed that these be removed. There are good views out down the Loch from the top of the walled garden and these should be made use of.  A level gravelled area to the rear of the house was separated from the walled garden by a stone-built retaining wall. Part of this was in danger of collapse and would have to be rebuilt. A strip of land to the East of the walled garden was to be rented from the neighbouring landowner and would be fenced in. A gate in this fence will allow access via the field to the top of the property.

There was some fairly mature planting: shrubs to the West of the gable of the house, conifers along the side of the drive and some moderate sized trees (Blackthorn and Lilac) close to the West boundary were to be kept although perhaps pruned; but old diseased fruit trees and shrubs close to the drive were be removed. A small burn dissects the site close to the entrance passing under the drive by means of a culvert.

 

Clients’ brief:

The clients had already commissioned a design for the walled garden to the rear of the property and this would form the basis for the design in this area (albeit with some changes e.g. to the area of paving and the summerhouse initially proposed). The vegetable beds which form a central feature of this area would be used by local organic vegetable growers and so care will have to be taken with pesticides to ensure that the land remains classified as organic (this is no longer the case and changes to the brief for this area have been agreed). They had also instructed a stone mason to construct a dry stane wall on the boundary facing the road to alleviate noise and to cut out the sight of the road itself but the way in which this fittted to the entrance gate (to be moved closer to the burn) formed part of the brief. In the area close to this new wall they wanted a garden reminiscent of Derek Jarman's seaside garden making use of gravel and cobbles whereas to the rear they wanted more of a cottage garden feel with grasses and herbaceous plants. In general terms the clients were looking for a contemporary garden (although not urban chic) but one which fits into the context of the location using indigenous plants like Birch (which they are fond of) and materials and plants which blend with the surroundings. They had prepared 'mood boards'  and supplied copies of these and their list of desired items.

Current situation:

 The stone boundary wall has been built and some planting carried out beside the drive.  Earthworks are complete in the rear garden, paths laid out and some turf laid.  Erection of a sculptural stone pillar commissioned by the clients and the associated planting has been carried out at the top of the rear garden slope and further planting will be carried out in the rear garden in the next 12 months.

    

 

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Last modified:30th January 2011

Copyright Sam McGowan 2011