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Description of site:

The site was the garden ground to the rear of a detached house in a quiet street in a small estate in the town of Linlithgow. The garden had recently been affected by civil engineering works on adjoining land where a burn had been culverted. This work has raised the ground level of the garden at its far end (although the ground still falls away to this point) and had resulted in the removal of mature trees, adversely affecting the property's privacy. The total area of the site under consideration was approximately 540m2. The garden faces East to North-east.

Although a garden was present much of this had been destroyed by the works and the garden space could  virtually be treated as a blank canvass. The ground had a number of perennial weeds present including mare's tail which will be difficult to eradicate.

The clients have two children (aged 5 & 6 at the time of the brief). They enjoy gardening and pottering but have limited time to spend on this.

Client's brief:

The client wanted the creation of a useable space which has a feeling of privacy with areas for both children and adults. The garden will be used as a place to relax and escape with places for children to play, areas for entertaining and eating and generally space for pottering.

Planting to give year round interest was requested, softening boundaries and screening both visually and audibly. She wants some architectural planting and also a woodland area. Plants with heavy pollen were to be avoided as members of the family are prone to hay fever.

There were some existing features which can be used: birdbath and birdhouse, an arch, benches and children's play equipment. She said that she likes wood, slate, York flagstones and cobbles as materials.

A living willow play house and a small amphitheatre and stage for children's plays etc. were requested.


Current situation:

The hard landscape contract is complete and the majority of the planting carried out.



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Last modified:30th January 2011

Copyright Sam McGowan 2011