Home Up Services Current projects Past projects Site map



Nine Mile Burn


Description of site:

The garden ground and fields surrounding a grade 2 listed building (former manse) in rural Aberdeenshire close to a river.  At the start of the project, the house was about to be extended.

Client's brief:

The clients wished to create a “hidey-hole in the country” and were not looking for too much formality. Privacy was of prime importance and the solving of the problem of the nearby road would have to play a major part in the design. The clients intend to maintain the garden themselves and therefore ease of maintenance would be of major importance. They felt there is too much ‘formal’ lawn at present and would be quite happy to see areas of grass which is cut only once or twice a year, probably by tractor-mounted mower (access points for such a machine would therefore have to be considered). The idea of having areas of the garden which are semi-wild was discussed and seemed to find favour.

The realignment of the drive was desirable both from a safety aspect and to give a proper feeling of arrival. This driveway would have to be suitable for trucks such as those delivering fuel and removing sludge from the septic tank.

They would like to place some sort of garden building and an associated seating area at a point close to what is the south east corner of the existing garden. This would be to make best use of amount of sunlight that reaches this particular place.

The neighbouring landlord is happy to carry out tree-thinning and tree-planting in line with the requirements of their garden, subject, of course, to discussion and agreement.

Certain specific requests were made:

bullet1 An area for soft fruit and a small vegetable patch.
bullet2 An area for washing lines
bullet3 A barbecue and eating area beside the French windows of the new extension
bullet4 The wrought iron gate presently sited between house and garage to be used
bullet5 Secluded spots within the overall garden
bullet6 The possibility of a ha-ha. This would only be required if part of the pasture continued to be occupied by livestock. The important factor was to permit open views to the river and it was realised that earth-moving might well be necessary to achieve this.

Current situation:

For a full description of this project, including the current situation, see the Diary of a design project

Paving detail

Return to home page


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site or alternatively go to my blog.
Last modified:30th January 2011

Copyright Sam McGowan 2011