Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Turfing’

Have you got long shingle driveways or pathways on your land?

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Gardenproud have just invested in a new piece of equipment for those long shingle pathways.

A number of our clients have long shingle pathways and driveways which need regular maintenance.

Todate the only way of handling this has been to have a number of gardeners armed with rakes and shovels working their way down the pathways. This can be a long labourious task and can obviously be expensive.

Well we now have a rather simple looking machine that attaches to our 3 point hitch on the rear of our tractor. It’s called a land leveller – some describe it as a land plane. This is lowered behind the tractor and dragged behind the machine.

The land leveller cuts into the pathway and lifts the loose shingle, depositing back on the pathway and creating a clean level surface. Surface weeds are also loosened so that they can more easily be disposed of. The device is also useful if you are planning on topping up the shingle.

Gardenproud decided to start with a land leveller that was 48” wide, this means that both smaller pathways and wider driveway expanses can be attacked with one machine.

Tim Sykes comments, “ the jury is out on whether we need a bigger machine, but we are hoping that the impact of this versus the rake is so significant that maintenance turn-around on pathways will be much improved.”

“The leveller also doubles up as a useful tool (in combination with a rotovator) for levelling large expanses of soil for laying new lawns. It is also a clever device for lifting surface rocks and stones. So I can see this coming in useful on the next big turfing project we take on,” comments Tim.

If you have any pathways or driveways with loose shingle or gravel that need attention contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820.

From dangerous bog to running water

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

A client recently asked us to apply our minds to how we could enhance a water feature in his garden and create a safer, more beautiful running stream.

The stream had silted up over the years and this silt had become weed infested and reacted like quick sand when you tried to walk anywhere near it.

Similarly the banks of the stream looked uninteresting and deserved attention. Part of the historical problem here had been that the steepness had made it almost impossible to maintain and had resulted in one or two gardeners slipping back into the muddy abyss below!

Everybody agreed that it was a potentially rather attractive feature of the garden, but it deserved some attention.

The Gardenproud team came up with a plan that dredged the stream, created a permanent liner for the new stream with improvements to the rock waterfalls, recycled the silt as a soil improver along the banks, and incorporated a new maintenance pathway and rockery along the once steep upper bank.

First step was to clear the site of weeds and plants that might get damaged by the works. Then the digger came in!

This dredged the silt and took the stream surface down to a more solid base. Then Gardenproud laid a tough PVC membraine along the entire run of the stream ( some 50m) factoring in the different levels created by a series of shallow waterfalls. This was affixed one side to the supports for a new timber and bark pathway and on the other to a treated timber framework that was pegged into the ground.

Pebbles were laid along the surface of the new stream, and the Rock surfaces of the waterfalls were relaid and improved.

Some VERY large rocks were sourced and these were very kindly moved into the rear garden by a very friendly farmer. We then had the task of lifting these into their new positions on the steep upper bank. One rather heavy specimen didn’t quite make it but looks fine in it’s new resting place!

Rocks in place and the digger and other machinery could be taken off site. Next step was to get the pathways in and repair, rotovate, grade and reshape lawned areas adjoining the new beds and the stream. A rather large quantity of turf was needed! So this involved a large lorry, a large rotovator and a lot of barrowing.

The finished result is looking really good. Nice safe bark pathways, clear running water, a rockery, new upper and lower banks ready to plant and a newly landscaped and laid lawn area.

The client wanted to add a few very important comments to our blog post……….

“The stream has been a worry to me for the last ten years or so. When the first of our eight grandchildren was able to walk freely and enjoy a degree of independence (from adults that is) in this large garden I was greatly relieved. Ideas in the past have been considered and discarded, but it was when I made contact with Tim on another problem I was having to address (too many mature trees blocking the sunlight), that we discussed the stream and surrounding area and how to address the risks. Tim came up with an exciting plan, at a reasonable cost, given the difficulties in accessing the site with heavy equipment and the site being some way from the house and the road. Years of leaf mould were removed from the stream to be used on the bed prior to planting and the base made secure. The whole exercise took about four weeks, but it was four weeks well spent. All the boys who did the heavy work should be complimented on their commitment and enterprise. It was at times a dirty job but now the structural work has been completed, my wife and I are delighted with the result. The exciting part is still to come of course – deciding on the planting – but by the Summer of 2013, I shall be proud to show visitors what can be achieved with a little vision, and a whole lot of hard work and enterprise. It was a garden for children; it is now a safe garden for children, who will always be made welcome. My thanks to Tim, George and Daniel and ‘the boys’ for an excellent job completed in the right spirit.”

David Burton, Beechwood House (September 2012)

So next step is a planting plan for the rockery and lower beds.

For further information about our experience or help with water features call Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.