When we first arrived at this house in Colchester we were met by a free for all living nightmare of a front garden. The picture you can see below was taken after a days work clearing the property, I just wished we had taken a picture before we started because you could not even see the house or driveway and that is why we had trouble finding the property!
After meeting Peter the owner of this property the first words he uttered after introductions were “what can you do to this tip of a front garden?” Now usually our clients have some idea of what they would like and make suggestions that we can work on, but with Peter he just had no idea what he wanted.
Ok, I can tell you now that I had to put the old thinking cap on to try and come up with some great ideas.
We stood in that front garden talking and then came the break through when Peter said “I want something simple and easy to maintain”. They were the keywords I was looking for and in kicked the old grey cells to work their magic.
I had spotted a cherry tree that had been damaged or cut down at some time to just above ground level that caused several main branches to sprout up instead of having one large trunk. “This was sometimes done deliberately to achieve this effect”.
I said to Peter “how would a Japanese style garden appeal to you?” His reply was “Do you know, that didn’t even cross my mind”.
I then carried on to explain what we could do: by making the drive a kerb edged stone driveway and giving a bold contrast with a Japanese style garden area and a path going around the cherry tree, would lend itself perfectly to the design we wanted to create. This area would be edged with grass with a larger area in front of the front wall. Also the drive entrance was lacking appeal so we suggested leading walls with pillars to define it.
As you can see Peter awarded us the job after we submitted our quotation. He was so delighted after seeing the clearance work as seen on the above photograph that he too could start to imagine what the end result was going to look like.
I will say that although we carried out the usual safety checks of looking for services and cables we were very lucky not to have caused a gas leak or even worse. Why you might ask?
The reason was very simple, due to some irresponsible workmen. They had buried the main gas pipe to the house, a modern polyethylene plastic type which means it was laid recently only three inches (or 75mm for the younger generation) below the soil!!
Yes completely unbelievable in this age of health and safety but that is often what you find these days.
We did have to get that sorted out but lucky enough there was enough slack on the pipe that we could re-bury it to the required depth of eighteen inches (450mm) below ground level with warning marking tape above it after digging a new trench.
Moral of the story “you can never be to careful”.
The photographs below and above shows you the finished project and what a difference! We ended up carrying out several different projects over the years for Peter, including re-styling the rear garden, replacing paving, making a new patio area, building a pergola and extending the garage area just to name some of the work we carried out.
I am sure we would still be carrying out work for Peter today if it had not been for a very unfortunate accident sadly he had while on holiday in Italy, that caused his death a few weeks later.
Peter became a well respected friend of the family and not just a client over the years and we dedicate this page in his memory.