Sam McGowan, Scottish garden designer
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Description of site:

The site is the garden ground to the rear of a detached house in a quiet cul-de-sac in the town of Bearsden North of Glasgow. The site rises away from the house and is partly retained by a brick wall. The total area of the site under consideration is approximately 900m2.

The area had been landscaped in the past but planting was poorly designed and there were problems with drainage and soil erosion, particularly in the areas close to the upper lawn. Weeds were a serious problem with Mare's Tail and Reeds in evidence. There are paved areas close to the house which the client was happy with and a small paved circle to the rear of the garage which he wished to make better use of. A stepped path led up to the upper lawn area which was difficult to navigate with a lawnmower. The client has two children aged 4 and 6.

There are good views out to the South from the top of the slope.

Client's brief:

The client wanted to create a useable space which has a feeling of privacy with plenty of year-round colour and is easily maintained. He wanted lots of greenery with some flowering plants and a variety of forms. He likes 'spiky plants'. In particular he wanted to see nice planting from the conservatory. He wanted to turn the paved circle to the rear of the garage into a private space surrounded by a structure and/or plants, perhaps even a small gazebo. He expressed an interest in a brick path leading to the upper level.

He wanted to keep the lawns but greatly improved in quality. In general he has fairly traditional taste and likes the cottage garden effect.

Current situation:

Main earthworks and drainage have been carried out and levels altered.  A new ramped path has been installed with stone walls used for retention in this area.  The area behind the garage has been improved using a trellis-infilled pergola round a widened paved circle.  Planting is now complete.

Detail of area behind garage


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Last modified: 3 April 2008

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