Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Steeply sloping garden in Gerrards Cross - Update 2

Work has started again on the Gerrards Cross garden after being temporarily interrupted by the snow - mortar and freezing conditions are not compatible. Although the site still looks a bit of a mess the bones of the new garden are beginning to emerge.

The lowest level a paved courtyard terrace is now taking shape. The blockwork walls are almost complete and ready for their scratch coat of render. The sub-base for the paving is down and the footings for the steps up to the upper levels are being poured.

There is still an element of danger as you can see from the precipitous angle of the digger - rather him than me!

We are in the process of deciding what to do about the left-hand boundary fence which belongs to the neighbour. There are a couple of options. We can replace the fence in its current location (tricky due to level changes on the other side of the fence). We can construct a new fence adjoining the existing fence which won't look so elegant, but avoids costly re-building of existing and sound retaining walls.

The chaps from Manor Landscapes are doing a fabulous job in this tricky site. Here's Chris, my 'Mr December' :)

I've designed the route up the garden as three linked shallow ramps with railway sleeper retaining walls. The reason for using railway sleepers for the upper terraces of this garden is simply down to cost. Building walls out of blockwork or bricks is expensive. If I had specified blockwork and render for all the retaining walls it would have pushed the construction costs way over budget. Because sleepers do not need a footing, are much quicker to put up and cheper to buy than hard materials they are a highly cost effective way to create retaining walls. If you use new sleepers and make sure they are neatly finished they can look good in a contemporary scheme. In every garden build there will be compromises, I felt this was one which had to be made and would not ruin the overall aesthetic of the new garden.

If you need help desgining your garden email me or visit my Web site for all other contact details.

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