General Landscaping – Gloucester Road Kensington London W8
Designer: Julian Sandell
Kensington, London, W8
“When searching for a landscape gardener there was a lot to consider in finding the right company for the project. Our period property garden was overgrown and under-loved, we desperately needed someone to inject some life back into it, so it could be used to its full potential.
We received a few quotes from various companies, but Abstract Landscapes were our first choice by a long stretch. Julian is knowledgeable, friendly and more importantly, honest. The quote came back quickly, incorporating all that I’d asked for and at the most competitive price. These details combined with his enthusiasm and great communication skills allowed for the whole process to be easier than I could have imagined.
The work commenced quickly and the garden was transformed in 7 days – from a muddy, over grown mess to a beautiful space that can be used to its full potential.
With little direction, we trusted Julian to create something simplistic and modern and he and the team did a fantastic job. The final result is better than I could’ve imagined, delivered on time and within budget, perfection!”
- General Garden Clearance
- Removal Of large Dead Tree
- 35m2 Of Old Town Paving
- New Low Maintenance Planting
The General Landscaping Project
The garden of this mews property in South West Kensington was crying out for some attention, having been left to grow unchecked for a number of years, resulting in what was a once open and airy garden, turned to a dark corridor of over grown climbers and Ivies.
A large dead Sycamore, which had become entombed in the same rampant Ivy was not only starving the garden of light but had also become a serious hazard, needing only a good storm to bring it down with potentially disastrous consequences.
The property itself was rented out to a young family with four children, who needed a usable outside space. The landlord had replaced the lawn a year ago, but with the limited light and every bit of moisture being sucked out of the ground by the Ivy, plus the heavy footfall it experienced, the new turf never stood a chance. When we arrived there was just a strip of dirt, which depending on the weather conditions would be either a mud bath or dust bowl. There was also an unusual hexagonal oak pergola/seating area in the far left hand corner of the lawn, which looked like it had come from a monastic cloister, which again was cloaked in Ivy.
The basic brief was to fell the dead tree, cut back the overgrown climbers, saving what we could and remove the Ivy. We would then install new planting, from a mix of low maintenance architectural evergreens, flowering perennials and new flowering climbers. And finally, we were to lay down new paving across the lower terrace where the lawn had once been.
There was some existing cream concrete flagstone paving, used to step up from the kitchen onto the lower terrace, where the lawn had been and then again on another flight of steps up to the smaller upper terrace at the back of the garden. Because the landlord didn’t wish to replace all of the paving, we had to find a new surface that would blend in as best as possible. A cream composite paving was selected, which was a perfect match for colour with the appearance of a weathered natural limestone, which was fairly similar in texture to the existing flags.
Removing the tree was straight forward enough, but the climbers had been so neglected that whilst there were some beautiful flowering species in the resulting tangle, including two or three species of Clematis, jasmine and honeysuckle, once cut down to a manageable height, only twisted trunks were left. Unfortunately, the only option was to dig them out and start again.
The lawn had quite a severe slop towards the house, so we excavated down, to reduce the fall to a more sensible 1cm per meter. The paving was laid in a stretcher course from left to right, to increase the apparent width of the garden and was pointed with a semi dry mix of silver sand and cement.
Finally, new trellis panels were installed along the right hand wall, followed by the new plants. A selection of Jasmines, Clematis, Passion flowers and Wisterias where placed against the trellis at the back of the beds, whilst Phormiums and Crocosmias made up the mid ground, with lots of lavenders and rosemary running along the front of the bed.
The final result was a complete transformation. The garden is now flooded with light, further reflected by the cream paving and it feels almost three times the size compared to the dark cutting we found on our initial visit. The paving and new planting coupled with the existing pergola has helped it take on an almost Mediterranean feel. But more importantly, the family who live here now have a clean tidy area, which can be used all year round to play or just simply relax at the end of a busy week.