Description of site:
The site is the garden ground to the front and rear of a recently-built detached house in a rural situation to the South of the village of Howgate in Midlothian. The site is in an exposed situation particularly to the East and South where it is bounded by an open field.
The front garden had been turfed by the builders and has timber pallisade fence (of a moderate height) on two sides and a new stock-proof fence on the third. Some of the client's land lies outside the fence which has been splayed for visibility as the drive enters a moderately busy main road. The land slopes up to the road boundary.
The rear garden slopes generally down to the West away from the house. This slope becomes fairly steep some 20 metres away from the house with a burn and woodland on adjoining property at the bottom of the slope. This steeper area was a weedy field with mainly creeping buttercup and other perennial weeds and little or no grass and was badly rutted with a great deal of debris scattered across its surface. The site was bounded by a fairly dilapidated post and wire fence on the South boundary to the rear with some Hawthorn and other scrubby trees growing through it and timber rail fence between the garden and the neighbour's garden to the North. The main entrance drive is shared and gives access to the rear of both properties so the garden was open along the boundary with this drive. There was a gravel drive leading in a semi circle from the shared drive to the garage with no turning area. The LPG tank and the pump for the septic tank had been screened by timber fences which are somewhat obtrusive. There was a patch of wet ground on the slope above these which will had to be investigated.
There are some good views out to the East and South and a good view of the nearby woodland from the top of the slope to the rear of the property.
The client has 2 teenage children still living at home and 1 young grandchild. He also has 2 dogs.
The clients had some fairly definite ideas of things that they wanted. These were:
Give privacy from the road at the rear of the house (there was some discussion about increasing the fence height)
Provide shelter and privacy from the adjoining field at the rear
Provide a patio at the front of the house and pave along the rear
Construct a turning area for the garage and widen the driveway
Install a summerhouse in an open sunny spot at the top of the slope to the front
Provide a seating area close to the summerhouse
Install a barrier (wall or fence) between the garden and the shared drive (including vehicle gates) to keep the dogs in
Renew the dilapidated fences
Screen the pump (for the septic tank) and the LPG tank with planting
Clean up and landscape the slope leading down to the burn
The hard landscape contract is complete and virtually all planting has been carried out.
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