|This is a long narrow garden in the Dublin suburbs and a major renovation and extension to the house meant that the garden needed to be radically redesigned. The decision to strip away the old garden and the subsequent use of broad curves in the new layout, gives rise to the title for this design of "Clean Sweep".
Hardwood decking provides a smooth link between the house and the large circular sun deck and a crescent shaped water feature adds the excitement of sparkling water with its simple babbling cascade. Just above the curving pond wall is what I call the "conversation lawn" This small lay-by is intended as a quiet place in the dappled shade of the lilac (about the only thing to survive the clean sweep). Separating this lawn from the upper garden is the curved hedge-screen, i.e. thirteen vertical timber posts of varying height and interplanted with- Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy'. The pressure treated timber posts, painted light grey, start behind the curving pond wall and the first is 0.7m high, the second 0.9m and so on, increasing by 0.2m up to the eighth post, which is 2.1m high. The remaining four are all 2.1m in height. I predict that it will take three to four years for the box to grow to the required height and my plan is for it to follow the curve up from the first post behind the wall to the eighth, and then sweep down again to a height of 0.7m when it reaches the last post.
Originally the clients wanted the garden house to be screened behind trellising or a wall, but I thought this too heavy a solution and instead my solution was to paint it slate grey and softly screen it with four large Phyllostachys aurea. The dark paint reduces the visual impact of the structure and a small semicircular deck gives easy access to the garden house as well as a pleasing spot to sit and soak up late evening sunshine. There is a storeroom for bicycles behind the garden house and the long garden path is ramped to facilitate wheeled access. A lawn next to this deck is used as a play space and to help maximise this space, hedging on the northeast of the garden was halved and on the southeast side it was completely removed - a new timber fence, again painted slate grey was put in its place and screened with a bamboo hedge.
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