AliG

Hello again - work has finally started

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18 minutes ago, AliG said:

Can take a parcel 200x330x200 so you don't need to answer the door for lots of smallish Amazon parcels.

 

 

As opposed to them lobbing them in the back garden whether you are there or not a la Hermes? ;)

 

 

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Oh my.  I have just read this thread start to finish.  What a beautiful beautiful house.  The stairs are stunning.

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Lovely job.

 

I just happened to glance in the mirror; I have gone slightly green.

 

The language ... esp. the heavy eaves, and window / door proportions and placing eg heavy chimneys, mullions and windows continued to the roofline: for me that look is Lutyens or Arts/Crafts inspired .. looking at places like Deanery Garden or Fig Tree Court. The marker is heavyset vertical proportions but still an emphasis on the horizontal as the frame.

 

I am sure that someone can identify parallel comparators in Scotland sure that. William Kerr and The Gean? 

 

I would be interested to hear a bit more about your inspirations.

 

What is your landscaping scheme? To me a key element is how you are going to handle those large pieces of blank wall next to the front door, and on the face of the garage. Not having features on the wall there, to me it needs a concept or something to root them into the plot. I would look to something quite architectural as the core, to provide a counterpoint to the smooth texture of the walls.

 

Good job.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand
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PS 

I would be thinking about things like spreading Junipers that will be 20ft wide and up to about 5 ft high, in 12-15 years, and a huge bank of different-coloured Pyracantha in front of the garage (heaven for birds). This is Landscape Design not gardening - go to town on it.

 

F

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Maybe a dry slope with a chair lift? :)

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@Ferdinand it is indeed supposed to be a modern take on the arts and crafts style. I think when I first considered building a house, my assumption was that it would be quite modern, but that just did not seem to fit this area. The architect came up with the idea of modern arts and crafts and I think he has done a great job.

 

We are in the Colinton area of Edinburgh where there are many original arts and crafts houses. Many of the houses in the area were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer who past a proponent of the style. I think there is a picture of one of his houses in Edinburgh airport. Here is an article on his work.

 

https://canmore.org.uk/gallery/976581

 

The original house that we knocked down before building this one was in exactly the same colour scheme of white black and red, there was no original intention to copy this scheme, but it just seemed correct as we worked on the design. If you look back at page one you will see pictures of it, it probably would have seemed more arts and crafts originally but had been destroyed by having a UPVC conservatory added, various flat roofed extensions and the elimination of the second chimney and symmetry. I doubt this kind of butchering would be allowed today, but it allowed me to knock down the house.

 

You are right about the blank wall in front of the garage, we did consider making it a more rustic stone, but it is hard to do well and I am not that big a fan. In the end we decided to that there will be a straight hedge along that wall, maybe 3 or 4 feet high to break up the height. Partly it is caused by the shape of the site, it slopes from back to front, the back of he house is dug in around 600mm below the garden and that corner being so far ahead of the rest of the house had to be built up slightly. I am also considering planting a cherry tree in the centre of that steep area in front of the garage. The original plot had two beautiful cherry tress on it, these were the only trees we had to remove as they were very close to the original house. TBH I am not much of a gardener and want something simple and easy to look after. We might put some kind of topiaries next to the front door. We did consider having planters built in around the front, but my wife was quite against it as they will only look good if well looked after. In the end we decided to take the resin right hard up against the house to not have any small areas for weeds to gather.

 

The whole plot is surrounded by mature tress and hedges, it is one of the reasons that we bought it. The building work has taken its toll though, some of the hedges have gone brown at the bottom and I think will eventually need to be replanted. As there is so much planting around the edges, we are planting grass over the rest of the site between the house and the trees. I haven't  taken many pictures of the garden as it is such a mess at the moment. There is also a very long retaining wall at the back of the house due to the slope. It is going to be finished in render the same as the house with a sandstone top, we created a semi circle at the end of the house where the wall will become a natural seat. This is the only large job left. One tip if you are buying a plot is this change in levels is very expensive in terms of the requirements to move earth and build retaining walls. It has added quite considerable costs.

 

We are also going to put in a sliding gate powder coated to match the aluminium on the house. A lot fo the houses nearby have wooden infill gates, but I think it is quite unfriendly to close yourself off in this way, it is the only point at which people can see into the site and you will be able to see right across the garden from there.

 

 

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Just saw mention of Pyracantha, had to look it up. Might consider it, it does look nice.

 

At the moment the plan is to plant cherry laurel which is evergreen and reasonably fast growing, I did at one point consider mixed hedging with some colour mixed in, part of it is not wanting to wait too long for it to mature. There was a hedge along the front of the site that we took out, most hedges in the area are either box, cherry laurel or western red cedar. This was a quite stringy hedge, I couldn't figure out what it was, and looked awful in the winter. I am not a big fan of deciduous plants in Scotland when they spend a lot of the year looking half dead, especially for hedges.

 

My idea for the cherry tree is similar to the juniper, the original cherry trees were wider than they were tall. I do love a cherry tree in blossom.

 

We did consider getting a landscape designer, but one of the issues is that we just are not big gardeners and I don't want it to end up looking scruffy.

 

Some areas will be planted with meadow matt rather than grass, the gardeners wanted to do it in this area, but I just couldn't bring myself to have the first area people see looking what might appear to be not looked after.

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Cherry?

 

I've an unkempt cherry tree here that's lifting cast in situ patio slabs! If you keep them trimmed does that stop the roots spreading too?

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As mentioned I am no gardener, but I think cherry tree roots grow very close to the surface so would indeed lift a patio. We have a couple of apple trees at the back and when we started to level off the garden we couldn't go any further as the roots were barely below the surface.

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27 minutes ago, AliG said:

As mentioned I am no gardener, but I think cherry tree roots grow very close to the surface so would indeed lift a patio. We have a couple of apple trees at the back and when we started to level off the garden we couldn't go any further as the roots were barely below the surface.

 

Ah! So it's a surface thing. I was more worried about it threatening your garage walls / foundations.

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1 hour ago, AliG said:

 I am not a big fan of deciduous plants in Scotland when they spend a lot of the year looking half dead, especially for hedges.

 

Me too. Every plant I have put in here has been evergreen apart from a handful of bedding plants for pots to provide a bit extra summer colour that get replaced each year anyway. I asked for advice on a screening hedge on here as next door had planted around 100 cherry laurels and all but a handful have died as it's just too windy for them here on the coast. One of the suggestions was Griselinia. I had never heard of it but it's thrived well here so far. I bought a mix of variegated and non variegated and the variegated variety breaks up the monotony of a wall of green. 

 

https://www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/griselinia_littoralis.html

 

Other than that some of the plants that I've been able to just shove in and leave have included Ceanothus, numerous different types of Hebe, Cordyline, Phormium, dwarf conifers, Italian Cyprus and Bay. Euonymus and Spotted Laurel should have been good too but they didn't grow / survive here. Where you are should be ok though I imagine. The staff at a proper garden centre generally offer good advice if you tell them the type of plants you would like (my remit was evergreen, low maintenance and suitable for a coastal location). The lady I spoke to told me what ones to go for and what to avoid.

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