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Description of site:

The site is the garden ground to the rear of a detached bungalow in the grounds of Myrtle Park House in the small town of Cove on the Southern shores of Loch Long. The site rises from the house to the base of an old sea cliff which lies within the boundary. Part of the cliff is climbable, giving the possibility of views out over the loch and the Clyde estuary, and there are interesting plants growing in cracks and crevices in the rock. There is an interesting natural grotto at the base of the cliff with a depression within it which fills with water draining from the rock and holds out the opportunity of development as a unique feature. The total area of the site under consideration is approximately 450m2, , although part of this had already been laid out as garden

The area away from the house was mainly in grass with some mature tress and a few shrubs. The boundary at the top end of the site is fairly open giving neighbours views in to both garden and house. The view from the house was dominated by the cliff and the trees which grow on it. Soil is poor and thin and there were problems with drainage. The stability of the rock on the cliff face is questionable although no major landslips have occurred in the years that the clients have been in residence.

Client's brief:

The clients wanted ideas in the first instance. They were interested in exploiting the opportunities provided by the cliff and its grotto. They wanted a stream or something similar perhaps linking in some way to the small pond already existing in the part of the garden they have developed themselves and love the sound of water. They wanted the rear garden to have feeling of unity rather the disconnected feel that it had. They wanted some form of terracing and to make use of the existing landscape to create the feeling of a woodland walk. They actively seek to encourage wildlife.

They like arbours and similar features and wanted different places to sit. Features like small sculpture were not out of the question and they are interested in lighting. They donít want lawn in this area but were not averse to meadow.

Current situation:

 Two large conifers were felled bringing more light into the area at the base of the cliff.  Two ponds with a connecting stream were installed and the excavated soil used to shape the land round them to make it appear a natural water feature linked to the naturally occurring pond at the base of the cliff.  Drainage was installed and planting was carried out by the clients over an eighteen month period.  This has established well and the garden is starting to mature..


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Last modified:30th January 2011

Copyright Sam McGowan 2011