‘How to build your design’ Specifications, Bill of Quantities Costings Scheduling & Project Management

Hi, I am giving this workshop with Colm Doyle on Saturday the 2nd March, 2013 if you would like to attend, please book via the GLDA website:  Payable to the GLDA (Book here)"Two experienced designers and project managers show how to draw up a contract document including contract conditions, specifications and schedules of quantity to allow for tendering and project managing the construction of all aspects of a design including hard and soft landscape work.They will show how to manage the construction of garden...

Read More

Coppicing trees in the garden and coppice woodlands

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="615"] Mature coppice in Herefordshire[/caption] Whilst I was working with the BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) a number of years ago (quite a number actually!), I completed a super training course in woodland crafts at the Greenwood Trust in Ironbridge, Shropshire.  Since then, I am in the habit of advocating coppicing not only as a useful and productive way of managing woodlands (of all sizes) but also as a method for controlling the size of trees  in small gardens, especially where space is at a premium but the...

Read More

Give the gift of a garden this Christmas!

I know I have said this before, but I have to remind you that if you are thinking of getting your garden re-designed then now is a great time of year to set the wheels in motion. This is often a garden designer’s down-time: when the weather is poor, it’s time to be at the desk putting together plans for next year’s new gardens.  So take this opportunity to get your designer working for you. They too want to get the plans agreed with you, as early as possible, so that...

Read More

Design inspiration, on an Olympic scale!

Garden designers are always looking for design inspiration for their next project.  Most design ideas are stimulated by something a designer will have seen or experienced whether directly related to garden design or not. Another thing that garden designers ought to be doing is keeping on top of developments in the overall profession of garden design.  This can be done by reading garden design books and journals or spending time browsing relevant websites.  Otherwise, visiting constructed garden projects, whether public spaces, private gardens or indeed showgardens, is always a great way of...

Read More

Tim to open the northwest’s gardening extravaganza!

[caption id="attachment_2799" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Tim and Diarmuid Gavin open the northwest garden show in 2011[/caption] I'm heading up to the northwest again this weekend to visit the wonderful and vibrant North West Garden Show that is held in Castlefinn, Donegal (and I have to say that this is one of Ireland’s most dynamic communities - it is fantastic what they pull together each year mainly through the work of a dedicated hardcore of volunteers). [caption id="attachment_2800" align="aligncenter" width="504"] It's not all about plants at the garden show![/caption] This will be the third year...

Read More

Garden design live (2)

[caption id="attachment_1968" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Setting out the garden design[/caption] So, you saw the design plan in my previous post of the 17th May.  Now here we are on site doin' a bit of hard work!  In the above pic. you can see the new shape of the lawn is nicely defined and in the foreground the sub-base for the new area of paving has been laid.  We have also started to clear back existing overgrown shrubs and prepare the soil for the new planting. [caption id="attachment_1969" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Laying out the new...

Read More

Ecological gardens

For landscape architects and garden designers alike, there is a contemporary approach to planting design that seeks to mimic or at least draw inspiration from the dynamics and make-up of natural plant communities. [caption id="attachment_1952" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Mount Usher gardens, Co. Wicklow planted to William Robinson's naturalistic style[/caption] In garden design, this approach is purported to have originated (at least in part) with William Robinson's naturalistic approach to planting design in the late nineteenth century.  Landscape architects will attribute its flowering to a more diverse set of roots.  Nonetheless, whatever are its...

Read More

Plant power!

Here's a few pics to show the impact that a relatively simple planting design can have on the appearance of a building. Before: During: After: The three multi-stemmed trees are Betula pendula multi-stems, height range 5-5.5m.  These were planted as root-balled specimens.   Being on the nothern side of the building the groundcover plants include those tolerant of shade.  The soil is also somewhat wet.  Plants selected included, amongst others: Alchemilla mollis, Astilbe, Bergenia cordifolia, Helleborus orientalis and Caltha palustris with a selection of  Ferns, grasses including Luzula sylvatica with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Tradescantia ‘Red...

Read More

Garden design clinics

'Clinic' - there's that medical overtone again in regard to garden design advice that I am not sure about; but anyway, that aside, the GLDA are hosting some garden design advice days as part of the Bloom fringe over the coming weeks.  Press release, as follows: "Good news for gardeners in Dublin, Kildare, Limerick and Cork: free design advice from experienced garden designers is being given at selected garden centres who are holding design clinics as part of a new initiative called Bloom Fringe. ‘The Chelsea Fringe is an enormous event across...

Read More

Garden design tip 2: paving

If you are contemplating a garden makeover this spring one of the main items of work could be the renewal of your existing paving or indeed, if you have a new garden design, introducing some paving where none existed before (hope that doesn't sound too obvious!).  Thankfully, there is an enormous range of paving materials available to the contemporary garden designer.  In addition to the huge choice of “ready-to-use” concrete paving manufactured by Irish paving suppliers, imported natural stone has become widely available.  This means that an almost bewildering variety...

Read More