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Put your thinking caps on for a Donegal garden


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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 2356
Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:37 am    Post subject: Put your thinking caps on for a Donegal garden Reply with quote

This is the design project I'm working on. I need to replace the steps and terrace that were built about 15 years ago. The terrace was never put to any real use and the building work wasn't up to much.

Following on from Kindred Spirit's suggestion, here are warts and all photos, taken last November, of the offending area. You will agree it's a mess!

While the budget for this job is not enormous, it is generous enough that I should have a really good result and can afford good materials, with care.

- I would like to incorporate some formal alpine beds into the scheme.
- I've also toyed with the idea of taking advantage of the change in levels using a water feature. Any power supply would need to be solar, for Eco reasons.
- I had also thought of using a single ramp instead of steps - there is just about enough length, with a bend or two, to achieve a wheelchair-friendly gradient.
- I'd like to get rid of or disguise the concrete slab that runs across in front of the house gable.
- Visually, I need to link the house level with its formal design to the lower lawn area which incorporates my mixed borders and 'wilder' areas.



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Looking NNW down the garden. The play area below the terrace will remain for a few years, to be replaced by shrubby, 'forest edge' planting.
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The bamboo hedge has passed its useby date and will go. A good drain is needed to take run-off from the drive.
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The retaining wall is not only badly built, it is ugly and not parallel to the gable of the house. I intend to correct this anomaly.
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This shows the levels. It's about 1.4m of a drop from the top of the steps, driveway level, to the lawn. The concrete plinth with tthe old shed will remain though access to it can change. It will be the site of a new open-sided storage shed (wood, barrow,
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View from upstairs window. Basically, the whole area except the play space but including some of the tarmac and concrete near the house can be incorporated.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no good whatsoever on flowers, I'm afraid, but the patch, as you say, lends itself nicely to a modest water feature.

I'm always a bit sceptical about solar energy as the panels themselves are quite expensive and may have a limited life span? Like Cork, Donegal has a good wind supply, often when we'd rather not have it, so you might explore that as an alternative (pump) power source to drive a waterfall which, in turn, provides a whole new range of plant life that thrives in that sort of environment.

Whether they can also provide a bit of evening lighting for those balmy evenings when you want to sit outside, I don't know, but the following Youtube site may feed your imagination, perhaps? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNt1OIbsc8Q.

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its hard to do it like this but for the lower section I would incorporate a small circular area going into lawn and putting a pond there something like this
http://patiodesigndepot.com/home-and-garden-courtyard-patio-design/steps-design-idea-outdoor-patio-ang-garden/
If you look at the first pic you could terrace that to use for Alpine planting, use the same stone work all around wheather gabions or stone walling, you have a good view over the town I would not block it but create a bit of mystery there so you can see but not everything, Also could you move the shed somewhere else. The idea of ramps is good, i would avoid decking as it is too slippy in ireland, These are first thoughts il think more about it.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moooove!
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your suggestion is out of the question, Tagrex. The mortgage is paid and the only way I'm going to go out of here is in a box (or willow pod!).
Seriously, thanks for the suggestions, folks, design is a lonely business sometimes and it's great to bounce ideas off people and get feedback.

Your point about the view is very relevant, Greengage. Almost the whole garden is visible from the top of the steps, very little is hidden. And some of the view of the town and the hills beyond is cluttered. I need to provide something to distract from the clutter and make a surprise factor for the garden below. But I don't want to go for the trellis, pergola or arbour cliches.

Anyway, all comments and thoughts are welcome. Blowin, I couldn't get that link to open - tried a few times.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha only joking as well you know.
I know you have put up the photos and explained what you desire but I, for one, still find it difficult to comprehend what it is you are trying to achieve. You know as you are obviously familiar with the place and its nuances and what has to stay, what has to go and those items in between that could go either way. I think that a sketch plan of what is there now and what you are currently thinking of would help and we could move on from there. Disabled ramps have to be 1:20.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had considered a ramp but went off the idea when I discovered it would need a run of 24 metres. There'd be no room for anything else. If I ever need a wheelchair I'll get a funicular installed!

Meanwhile, I'm mocking up a 1:50 card model of that part of the garden. I've done drawings till I'm blue in the face but it's hard to visualise in 3D and in context with the outdoor space. Something that looks the right size in a drawing might be totally wrong when it's seen against the hills etc. also.

What is there, physically, now, can short circuit idea generation. In a model I'm free to make it up. With a model I can 'draw' in 3D and check proportions with reference to the larger space, I hope.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohhhh good guy good guy good guy.
20 *1.4 = 28m not 24m.
Also there is a maximum length that one length of the ramp can be which I think is 12m but I would have to check. Then there has to be a level portion before the next ramp starts. Anyway, that is all irrelevant as you do not have to build to conform to regulations in a private garden. But they are a good yardstick as to what is acceptable.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Guy - If you browse 'Youtube wind pumps' I presume you'll find it. A chap has done his own pump and, although it's a bit of a bodge up, the bit about feeding your imagination was the main point. You may be able to do something more refined - with Lord Wexford's help, of course?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Wexford, hmmmm I Iike it. Heading down your way in approx. 3 weeks Blowin, any Barrys taaaaay on the boil?

GG. In order for a funicular to work you will need someone travelling in the opposite direction in order to counterbalance the units. Time for the thinking cap to be tightened!!!

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lads lads lads if yea want people to jump in with suggestions stick to the problems at hand otherwise you will get nothing done.
Avoid the seven deadly sins.
Over complication. (What stays what goes)
Wrong plant wrong place. ( No point in having berberis or overhanging plants beside clothes line or path.)
Impractical. ( Perfect grass under trees, Trying to grow plants no suitable to area)
Incompleteness. ( Design the whole garden as one dont do bits and pieces, changing the design over time)
Muddle and complication.
Mixed metaphors. ( Japanese theme, with gabions or modern water feature using granite fountain should use deer scarer or bamboo in water feature)
Size and shape. make sure you can manage it dont mix circles with squares)
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moderator Greengage now is it?
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No just trying to help and include everyone. -64
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 2356
Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, lads! (I'm assuming you're all lads; is that sexist of me?) I've been away for a few days in a place with s**t Internet coverage, so I'm only reading Friday's posts now.
As for my arithmetical faux pas, Tagrex, I think I mentioned before that I frequently mess numbers up - I can very easily do the sum right and write down the wrong answer. This did not endear me to the teachers of sums!
Funiculars - there's more than one way of skinning a cat: check out the funicular at Saltburn in England. I was on it often as a child.
Blowin, thanks for the hint. Now I'm back in the land of faster-than-snail, I'll google it.
Greengage, your comments re incompleteness and over complication are kinda relevant. When I first designed this part of the garden I didn't think through all the implications clearly. That's why I'm having to undo old work and start again. I never dealt effectively with the need to establish a strong visual connection between the two parts of the garden.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing!
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I mention Incompleteness in garden design, I believe the whole garden must be designed as a unit. You dont put in a new kitchen then decide to change the tiles or move the windows. let us know what you decide and we will agree or disagree with you. i remember once a chap painted his house purple he was told it looks terrible but he said he would be inside looking out not outside looking in. Laughing
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