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    Case Study – Blueberry Road, Bowdon

    The finished patio and landscaped garden

    The finished patio and landscaped garden

    The Bowdon project was installed in March of this year. We originally posted a time-lapse video of the landscaping that we did, and whilst we were there we also installed pattern imprinted concrete both at the front and rear of the property.

    The size of the project was immense, measuring a vast 300m2 area. The colour varied from the back, which was laid with cream, to the front, which was laid in Classic Grey. The pattern also varied from the front to the back. For the landscaping part of the job, the turf was laid with decorative stone borders. A pond was also built in the corner for the customer, who is an avid fish lover.

    Too see the full case study of this installation click here.

    Chelsea Awards

    The Plant of the Centenary, 'Rozanne' Geranium

    The Plant of the Centenary, the 'Rozanne' Geranium

    If you read our preview of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, you will no doubt be eagerly wanting to know the results. Some of the main awards were the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ being named as Plant of the Centenary, and the Trailfinders Australian Garden, built by Phillip Johnson Landscapes, being awarded Best Show Garden.

    The Plant of the Centenary is a special award this year to commemorate Chelsea’s 100th year. The ‘Rozanne’ was named after its discoverer, Mrs Rozanne Waterer, who found the strange looking geranium at the bottom of her garden in the small village of Kilve in Somerset in 1989. It is thought that it is a naturally occurring hybrid, which grows taller and has larger flowers than most other geraniums.

    The Best Show Garden, Trailfinders Australian Garden

    The Best Show Garden, Trailfinders Australian Garden

    The Trailfinders Australian Garden is an attempt at “capturing a small snippet of the beauty of the Australian country”. It uses native Australian plants, from lush ferns to bright kangaroo paws and bottle trees, and includes a waterfall and billabong. You can see a short video showing the garden, along with a chat with the designer Philip Johnson, by clicking here.

    You can see all the awards, along with lots of images and videos, at the show’s website.

    Chelsea Flower Show 2013

    Chelsea Flower Show 2013

    The Homebase garden

    The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show 2013 starts tomorrow, which marks the 100th anniversary of the event. It lasts for 4 days, between 21st and 25th of May, and promises to be the best ever to celebrate its centenary.

    One of the main attractions this year is an installation called ‘The Rush Of Nature’, which is a collaboration with renowned British artist Marc Quinn. This is the first time in the show’s history that the RHS has worked with an artist on an exhibit. The installation is a closely guarded secret, and will be kept under wraps until tomorrows opening. It will then be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in aid of the RHS Chelsea Centenary Appeal, with the funds used to create an apprentice scheme.

    Of course the event wouldn’t be the same without the traditional show gardens, which this year include ‘Windows Through Time’, a celebration of 100 years of Chelsea garden design, and ‘After The Fire’, a garden based on regeneration after forest fires. The Great Pavillion will display a mixture of exciting new plants and flowers, alongside favourites from 1913. As always there will be lots of awards given out, including Best Garden, Best Product and the big special award for Plant of the Centenary.

    You can visit the Chelsea Flower Show 2013 website by clicking here.

    Environmentally Friendly Parking

    Any area that is frequently used to park vehicles will probably require surface reinforcement. Without it the ground will quickly become boggy, rutted and unsightly, with little chance of sustaining healthy grass growth.  The usual materials used to reinforce the ground – concrete, tarmac and block paving, are usually impermeable or semi-permeable, which can create problems when it comes to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

    The grass Ecoblock looks almost natural

    The grass Ecoblock looks almost natural

    One solution to this problem is to Ecoblock. The Ecoblock porous paving systems provide effective grass protection and gravel retention and have been designed for long term use in a wide range of load bearing applications. It is available for use with both grass and gravel, and offer many advantages over traditional surfaces. They are manufactured from fully UV stabilised, 100% recycled, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is chemically inert and can be located in the ground without long term damage to the surrounding soils. Ecoblock systems are also fade resistant, providing longer-lasting, aesthetically pleasing solutions.

    The grass version is lawnmower friendly, and both the grass and gravel types are easy to install and require low maintenance. You can find out more about them at Buildbase Civils & Lintels.

    Build Yourself A Barbecue – Part 3

    You may or may not want to use the next layer of bricks for your charcoal tray, depending on your height and what feels comfortable for you.  The tray is usually placed between five and eight bricks high.  Wherever you do decide to place it, build up to this height using the same method as before.  For the section the tray will rest on, you want to turn the bricks along the edges side-on to create a ledge for the tray.  Create a flush edge by using a half brick at the outer edge.  After another three or four layers add another layer of side-on bricks to support the grill tray.

    To give a more professional finish on the exterior of the barbecue, take a length of hosepipe and draw it along each of the joints.  Create a neat edge by adding a final course of brick setts around the main barbecue section then, when this is finished, check all the levels again.  Finally cement the paving slab on top of the other section if you have built this.

    There it is, your finished barbecue.  Now all you have to do is invite some friends over and get cooking.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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