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General Landscaping Catford, London SE6 - Abstract Landscapes Ltd

A Garden in Catford, London SE6

Caroline and Neale - "We’ll be sure to use Julian and his team again and would strongly recommend them to our friends and family."

Image of Catford Garden

General Landscaping Project – Catford London SE6

Designer: Julian Sandell

Client Testimonial

Caroline and Neale

Catford, London SE6

“We were looking to have our garden completely redesigned and we found Julian’s company after some research on the internet. He came round and talked us through what we were after; guiding us in the direction we wanted to go without telling us what we should have. He drew up a draft of what the garden would look like once finished and happily adapted these plans when we changed our minds on how big a redesign we were after. Throughout the project he gave options with pros and cons, so we could make informed decisions and was extremely flexible whenever we changed our minds on something. Julian was clear on any cost implications of changes and always stuck to the quotes he provided.

Julian and his team were courteous and caused the least amount of hassle and mess as they could – not easy given the layout of our house. Other than a couple of minor niggles which Julian promptly returned to look at, we were overjoyed with the instant transformation. It has given us the entertaining area we wanted along with the colour and foliage that only an expert’s knowledge could have provided us. Julian even went out of his way to take us (as non-car owners) to a garden centre to give us an idea of what would look good in the space he was about to create.

So, should we move elsewhere and the garden needs doing, we’ll be sure to use Julian and his team again and would strongly recommend them to our friends and family.”

Project Specification

  • 21.5m Of 5ft Larch Lap Panel Fencing & Trellis
  • 9.5m Of 6ft Trellis
  • 3.6m of Trellis screening
  • 12 m2 Of Planter Benches Constructed From Smooth Profile Decking Boards
  • 25 m2 Of New Paving
  • 5 Lamp Lighting System (Stainless Steel units)
  • New Planting
  • 46m2 Of New Lawn

The General Landscaping Project

The brief from this young professional couple was to open out the messy, overgrown and somewhat claustrophobic garden in their recently acquired property. We were to create a terrace with built in seating for entertaining and dining at the sunny far end of the garden that would be linked to the house with a new lawn. Provide new fencing along the right hand side of the garden and install new trellising along the left, which would cover the old fence and create some much needed privacy once new climbing plants establish. A small new shed was required to replace the vast pink one, which dominated the rear of the garden and new trees were to be planted in front of the new fence to provide the terrace with some privacy from the neighbouring roof terrace.

Initially, there was a good couple of days clearance required. A line of 8ft Leylandii had to be removed from the left hand boundary, whilst a 20 footer had to be removed from the left. In addition, the centre of the garden was almost completely closed by an arched pergola, entombed in Honeysuckle and Clematis. The previously mentioned shed occupied almost one third of what is a fairly large garden at 125m2 and so this had to be broken down and cut into small panels to be removed through the house to the waiting skip. By the time the concrete shed base was removed, as well as most of the old concrete crazy paving adjacent to the house and the old lawn, we had nearly filled two skips.

Once the clearance was complete we were able to install the new structures, starting with the fencing. For anyone looking to redesign their own garden, this is always the starting point. By defining the boundaries, you define the internal space that is available to be developed and this will then allow you to accurately determine volumes distances and proportions. A simple larch-lap panel fence was constructed along the right hand boundary and the trellis panels were secured to the existing left hand fence.

A large L shaped planter bench was constructed from smooth profile decking boards, to define the rear and left hand edge of the dining terrace. This provided both informal seating and three positions for new planting, which would include deciduous and evergreen climbers, architectural evergreens and flowering perennials. A trellis fence was then placed behind the planter bench where it ran across the garden, which would provide screening for the new shed once positioned.

Low voltage, warm glow LED lighting units were recessed into the rear surface of the planter bench to up-light the trellising, and matching stainless steel spots were allocated in the planting positions to illuminate the architectural plants.

Sawn beige sandstone with a smooth honed surface was selected for the terrace. This gives a light contemporary feel to the area and is lovely under barefoot compared to a classic riven stone, with its uneven surface. Once sealed, the paving was laid to a brick bond in 600mm x 600mm sizes across the width of the garden, which helped to broaden the appearance of the garden, and a white pointing compound was gunned into the narrow 5mm joints, to achieve the sleek modern look the clients wished for.

Finally a new, perfectly level lawn links the terraced area to the paving at the back of the house. With the addition of three specimen Japanese maples planted along the right hand boundary, in conjunction with the existing Acacia and Photinia trees, a delicate fluttering screen is provided to help shield the view from the neighbours’ roof terrace.

As you can see from the final pictures above, compared with the “before” pictures detailed below, this clean and simple approach has both unified and expanded what is now a much larger garden and gave it a gentle modern feel. The dining terrace has plenty of room for a table and chairs, or can be cleared for larger gatherings and barbecues where the planter benches will provide plenty of seating. The lighting of the trellis and planting defines the area, whilst at the same time provides a warm overall ambiance from its reflected light, and the Acers planted along the lawn provide delicate cover and ever changing colour as the seasons progress.

About the Author

Julian SandellJulian is passionate about creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces for clients to enjoy with family and friends and is actively involved with each project, from the initial consultation and design phase, through project management and construction to the final planting and landscape maintenance. From inspiration to installation, Julian and his team will guide you through the process, creating a garden that reflects you, your home and your lifestyle. Follow Julian on Facebook, Twitter and Google+!View all posts by Julian Sandell