Saturday, 24 March 2018

Garden and Landscape Design In Derbyshire

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Check out our award winning projects on the website by clicking this link

International award winning landscape design project by David Keegan Garden Design in Derbyshire

Featured in this picture an international and national award winning garden design project in Derbyshire.

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Greenfield Saddleworth landscape design project

Garden Design News 


I have just received word that this project I designed a couple of years ago is to be featured in an upcoming international book  on Landscape Design. The book is to be published a little later this year and I will post a blog when it comes out. In the meantime here's  a recap on the project:

Greenfield Garden Design Project By David Keegan Garden Design


Redesigned front garden area Greenfield garden design project David Keegan Garden Design



Project
Greenfield Saddleworth Garden.

Hardiness Zone
The plot is located in UK hardiness zone 8
Site conditions
An overgrown and somewhat dated gardens both front and back. 2 lots of steps leading to the front entrance neither of which were well constructed or inviting. Also a steep slope to the rear garden area presented a winter hazard. The back garden was somewhat run down but some very nice riven York stone slabs. Although the garden seemed to contain a very large lawn this was not in fact part of the property, but strangely enough was on loan from a property developer. In actuality the garden boundary was just to the rear of wood store area. No clearly defined boundary to the area where climbing frame was located.

Before pics; a few views of the gardens when I first visited 




















Client’s needs
The clients desired a space that had a more grown up feel and one that was more usable and acted as an extension to the home. They also wanted some form of terrace, seating area, to replace the climbing from as this spot in the garden was ideal to catch the early evening sunshine. A new wood store was also on the brief along with a new fence and gate of some description to replace the trellis fence and gate that separated the front and back garden areas.  They wanted some form of usable social area close to the new contemporary glass extension they had recently had installed. The front needed to be simplified with the entryway and steps redesigned to make more easily and safety usable. They were not sure if they wanted to keep a lawn in the front garden. The clients also wanted some element of art in the space but were open to how this might be interpreted whether through a water feature or a focal piece.

And some pictures of the garden once redesigned 

Landscape design project following redesign 

New sating and dining platform joins the inner kitchen levels for a seamless connection between garden and home.

Summer colour in raised beds in the redesigned gardens 


Design intent
From the outset my feeling were that the rear garden area lacked any sense of colour and as such was not an inviting proposition. Equally the step down from the door to outside level made the space feel that bit more awkward and detached. By designing in a deck to run level with the internal floor level I intended to make the space more accessible and the addition of raised beds allowed me to introduce colour and intimacy by making the area around the house feel more connected to the living space. The irregular hit and miss screen to the side allowed privacy without making the space feel cut off or closed in. The introduction of hazel hurdle fencing to parts of the boundary further softens and gives the gardens a more authentic and natural feel that is in keeping with its location. I also wanted to find a way to connect the side area and gate to the steps up to what was a studio. I had in mind some form of ornate iron work as this would also answer the need for a sculptural element to the garden. This was the interpretation of sculpture is integrated into the scheme as opposed to merely sitting in it, offering function form and style.
I commissioned a sculpture artisanal blacksmith I had worked with on previous projects (David Freedman) to turn the idea to a usable and functional form. The use of Asplenium leaf as panel motif was to my mind a master stroke on his part, forming the back drop to the fern/woodland garden created to the side area, between rear and front gardens.
Wanting to create a series of themes for the various spaces and seeing that the front area was never used other than to mow the patch of grass I felt this was an opportunity to create a space that paid some small homage to the langue of the local landscape in the High Peaks whilst also making it more inviting.. The concept, to create a dwarf pine dry river bed garden to include a small terrace for a table and chairs. A new lollipop boundary fence was installed and painted in a pale apple green and fore planted with Photinia Red robin to add year round colour. A variety of dwarf pines and silver foliaged plants add form colour and contour. An old chimney pot from the house was salvaged and used as a focal Point. The clients were at first sceptical of this concept not knowing how it would look but in its completion love it. On a clear sunny day it enjoys views of the peaks.

Project description
Distinctly themed garden areas that draw the user and the eyes into the space. Natural stone walls with stone copings create and intimate dining space and connect the house to the gardens. A new boundary fence demarcates the gardens and offers more privacy. Acers, alliums, lavenders roses’ and sage add colour and scent acting as a colourful backdrop to the extension whilst also adding interest and invite to the path from the front garden. Low level ferns campanula and woodland plants add low level interest to the newly formed steps and raised bed while also lightening the area from its previous overgrown state. A newly designed wood store with cedar shingle roof along with the hazel hurdle fence add to the naturalistic aesthetic whilst the sculpture fence and gate add year round interest and sense of playful spontaneity to the space.
A front dry river bed garden planted with a variety of dwarf pines, and framed with Photinia, somehow make this area feel rooted into the wider landscape seeming as it does to breach the boundary between the two.

Bespoke garden gate inspired by the leaves of Harts Tongue fern

New raised bed and garden screen



Environmental responsibility
All existing stone was integrated into the design and reused with wall stone and copings sourced from a local stone yard. Hazel hurdle was also sourced from local supplier. American yellow pines was used for all timber work offering as it does the most sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods or tantalised softwoods.
Designer’s role
To liaise with clients thought design process and to liaise with and commission sculpture. Liaise with landscapers and clients throughout the instillation of the project and to source supply and plant plans as per plant lists and schedules.

You can contact David Keegan Garden Design directly by clicking this link 



Tuesday, 20 March 2018


Time to redesign


Looking for inspiration for your garden for 2018 ? Now is the time to plan if you want to enjoy the garden during this coming summer. Why not check out my award winning garden design projects on my website. The featured picture is from one of my garden design projects in Lancashire which won the Northern Design Award for Best Landscape Design in 2016!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Award Winning Garden Designer; David Keegan Shares His Top 5 tips for creating a wildflower meadow.

A Garden Designers Top Five Tips
To Creating A Wildflower Meadow, Or Lawn......


It seems that wildflower meadows  are fast becoming the latest trend in garden and landscape design whatever the size of garden, or grounds, that might be on offer. In fact, I decided to write this piece following a recent request for the incorporation of a wildflower area in what is little more than a postage stamp size garden for a client who hates maintenance. 



Bolton Landscape Design Project  Before 
And in the beginning it may look like this. 


So, top tip number .....................................................................................................................................

1: Wildflower meadows, or gardens, are reasonably high maintenance and require patience, along with a regimented  regular intervention if they are to have any chance  of success...........................

..................................................................... assuming you have made it past Top Tip 1 onto number,

2: Wildflower meadows, lawns, gardens, is a bit of a generic catch all term, hence before you even consider installing one, crucially, you need to understand the conditions of your site. Firstly most important of all the condition of the soil, successful wildflower cultivation needs a poor soil. Rule of thumb, the poorer the better. If your soil is rich you may have to ditch. The alternative is  to strip out the good stuff and import a lot of sterile, make sure the pockets are as deep as the desire........

........................................and lets say you've made it past tip 2 and are still as keen as ever tip number 

3: Believe it or not there is no single seed mix when it comes to wildflower cultivation, there are instead many different mixes depending on the site conditions you have, for example is the ground generally wet even in summer, or is it, constantly wet in winter drying out to cracked earth in summer, is it in shade, or part shade, full sun, acid, or alkaline? The answers to all of these questions will be equally important in ascertaining the correct mix to max your particulars, which in turn increases your chances of success.............................................................................................................

......................................if you are still with me, and smiling by this stage, you really are keen, onto tip

4: Site preparation is paramount, assuming you are not going to need to strip out tons of topsoil to replace with barren soil, the quickest and most efficient way to prepare the ground in preparation for wildflower seed sowing is (unfortunately) to spray the ground with a systemic weedkiller, then leave the area for at least two weeks, when you will return to remove all the dead vegetation. Once cleared you should  scratch the surface layer, tools for this will be dependent on the size and nature of the plot, this will give the seeds a better chance of germination. Leave the site again for a couple of weeks to see if any further weed germination takes place and once again, spray, leave, remove............

.........................................................................................................................................At last you have reached stage 5 and therefore are committed, or ready to be, depends on your state of mind  onto tip 

5: Having worked out your square meters you will by now also now also know what type of mix you need, the weight of seed needed for the area will be determined by this mix and can be purchased from a large number of specialist companies, but choose carefully, as many are not as good as they might seem. Seed should ideally then be sown at the end of summer, or failing that, early spring. Once sown get ready for at least the next five years of work in order to create a successful wildflower meadow.

I did say  top 5 tips, didn't I? Well here's an added bonus, if all of the above five top tips prove a little too much call in a landscape garden designer to sort it all out for you, you can, if you wish click this link for more info and direct contact with one 

Year 2 if you are lucky it may start to look like this:

View of wildflower meadow year 2 Bolton landscape design project

Copyright David Keegan Garden Design & Landscape Consultancy 2018  © 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Past and Present A series of blog posts on some of our previous garden designs Post 1 Chester Cheshire

Look Back Series Picture 1

Beginning of a series of pictures from past & present garden design projects some award winning some not but all equally important to me as a garden designer Picture 1 a garden design project in Chester and winner of numerous awards. The is a picture of one in a series of five garden rooms in this project. This is the sculpture garden and was inspired by the E.N.O. English National Opera Production of Handel's comic Opera Xerxes. In flower Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' add drama and line the curving paths across a water rill to sculpture plinths. To find out more about David Keegan garden Design and landscape Consultancy or to contact us click this link

The Sculpture Garden in Chester, Cheshire, North West, UK.by David Keegan Garden Design 

David Keegan garden design wins award in international landscape design awards in the USA.

International Landscape Design Awards 2018 Delighted to have received the new that I have been awarded Silver in  the International Lan...