Watergardens by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A formal water feature

 

A water feature adds tranquillity to a garden and here at Tim Brayford Landscapes we have experience of a wide range of imaginative uses. Construction of water features needs to be spot-on as water levels are very unforgiving and can show up any mistake. This makes preparation work for any potential pond very important and the use of a laser level is a normal part of our routine. Consideration needs to be given to what the client wants from the water feature, do you want the sound of falling water, to make a formal ‘statement’ or have a calm reflective surface?

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Water Spout Pool

One of our recent projects was a formal centrepiece fountain with a ‘catching’ surround pool but we also do garden ponds. Over the years we have constructed many ponds aimed at encouraging wildlife using skilful planting of native and non-native species to attract as wide a range of insect and bird life as possible. The marginal area for this type of pond requires careful planning too, possibly lining an area for bog plants to ensure that the whole thing sits at ease in the garden. Ponds for keeping fish have different requirements and we can install filtration and aerating equipment too.         

  

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bee attracted to wildlife pond

Water features are increasing in popularity. The sound of water is very soothing and many clients like to have a water feature near a seating area. We have built water-falls and streams that are   pump powered as well as water ‘spill-over’ rocks which need an underground reservoir.

Please visit our Tim Brayford Landscapes website or contact us by email info@timbrayford.co.uk or phone 07890 869918 to discuss how we can assist you with your landscape garden project.

British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction

Advertisements

Garden Gallery 10 from Tim Brayford Landscapes

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A bee feeding on a flowering currant

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring and summer flowers surround this ancient staddlestone

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A formal fountain pond set against a wooded background

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Snakeshead fritillary naturalised in grass

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A productive herb garden

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us info@timbrayford.co.uk or call 07890869918

Rewilding the Wildflower Meadow by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Wildflower Meadow

The Wildflower meadow

“This lucid fount, whose murmurs fill the mind

The verdant forests waving with the wind

The odours wafted from the mead, The flowers

In which the wild bee sits and sings for hours

These might the moodiest misanthrope employ

Make sound the sick, and turn distress to joy”

(Garcilaso de la Vega, 1501 – 1536)

 

For those fortunate enough to have sufficient space, be it an under used  pony paddock, hay field or even a larger sized lawn there is the opportunity of establishing a wildflower meadow.

Wild flower meadows were traditionally areas of unimproved grassland that were kept for hay making rather than being constantly grazed. In consequence these open sunny areas have played host to a broad range of grassland flora and fauna and are important feeding zones for Bees and other pollinators.

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Wildflowers attract wildlife

The pressure to raise agricultural production during the 20th century led to the loss of these biologically diverse areas as grassland was improved, fertiliser added and vigorous cultivated species such as Italian Ryegrass sown.  In the past 100 years up to 97% of these traditional hay meadows may have been lost.

With a growing realisation of the value of wildflower meadows a growing number of people have become enthusiastic about re-establishing them on land that they own and in some cases there is funding available through Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme, details of which may be obtained via their local offices.

But funding is only part of the challenge of establishing a new meadow, past agricultural practices which have been successful at raising yields of grass grown may be the exact opposite of what is now required.  Bold steps may have to be taken such as destruction of the existing sward by ploughing or with herbicides, fertility reduced by removing hay or silage several times in one growing season and sowing parasitic Yellow Rattle to weaken the grass further.

Meadow Cranesbill

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Meadow Cranesbill

It is only when conditions start to become unfavourable to grass growth that sowing of wildflower seeds  becomes advisable and even then do not expect instant results.

As these plants are of unimproved origin the seeds may not all germinate together and there may be some unwelcome intruders such as Ragwort, Nettles and Docks which will need attention.  Maintenance tasks will need to be attended to with a cycle of late summer hay cuts followed by light grazing of the aftermath and again as growth commences in the spring after the ground has been rolled or harrowed.

When your wildflower meadow has become established you will be able to enjoy the marvellous scents of the flowers and the sight and sound of the creatures that have come to live in the naturally bountiful grassland that you have created.

Wild Flower Meadow in May 1

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Wild Flower Meadow

 

Please visit our Tim Brayford Landscapes website or contact us by email info@timbrayford.co.uk or phone 07890 869918 to discuss how we can assist you with your landscape garden project.

 

Garden Gallery 9 from Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A partridge surveys the garden from his staddlestone perch

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A cowslip flowering in April

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Enjoy time spent in the garden with a sundial

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A delightful vegetable potager

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Ancient Yews link to the past

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us info@timbrayford.co.uk or call 07890869918


Chemical Free Weed Control by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Geotextiles are frequently used for weed control

Chemical Free Weed Control

Geotextile membranes were one of the great gardening innovations of the 20th century promoted as a chemical free low maintenance weed control solution, used in conjunction with decorative mulches such as bark flakes or gravel.

Generally unsuitable for use in an herbaceous border or where bulbs are planted membranes are primarily found for separation of gravel surfaces from the underlying soil and within mass plantings of shrubs and trees.

In the short term geotextiles can be highly effective at providing a low cost/low maintenance option for these areas but it would be a mistake to believe that they are maintenance free. Typically the kind of issues that may arise are birds disturbing decorative bark mulches thus exposing the underlying fabric and the effect of strong gusts of wind actually lifting the fabric away from where it has been placed.

This is far less of an issue where gravel mulches have been used but other problems can arise. Despite claims to the contrary by the manufacturers in our experience these membranes impede the exchange of air within the soil resulting in the ground becoming compacted, anaerobic, slimy and poorly drained with little beneficial earthworm activity apparent. This does not represent good growing conditions for healthy plants to thrive in.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Weedy & neglected, the plants have failed to thrive within this membraned border

In the longer term further negative impacts have become apparent. Whenever a mulch is used it will over a period of time trap wind-blown dusty soil particles and seeds, often those of the most vigorous invasive weeds such as bramble, nettle or couch grass. Under these circumstances ideal germination conditions may arise and these seedlings will soon anchor themselves to the membrane and worse still eventually root through it into the soil beneath.

Dealing with this kind of scenario, especially once the perennial weeds are well established negates any benefit derived from the use of the geotextile with the most likely solution being to grub everything out and replant afresh. A solution that appears to work best is to plant quite densely and to omit the membrane, using  a decently thick layer of composted bark instead.  This needs to be regularly inspected and topped up as necessary and any incipient weeds dealt with before they have become established.

Please visit our Tim Brayford Landscapes  website or contact us by email info@timbrayford.co.uk or phone 07890 869918 to discuss how we can assist you with your landscape garden project.

 

 

 

Garden Gallery 8 from Tim Brayford Landscapes

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A bumblebee visits a flowering geranium

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An informal garden pond plays host to aquatic wildlife

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The bright blossom of a spring flowering Camellia

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An outstanding garden retreat

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Scented sweet peas on a summer evening

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us info@timbrayford.co.uk or call 07890869918

Planting a garden by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Country Garden

Planting is a very personal thing and here at Tim Brayford Landscapes we understand this. One client will love a neat scheme of box topiary whereas another will long for a coloured tumble of cottage plants. A lot will depend on the amount of time a client has available to spend in their garden which is why initial discussions are so important.

We are experienced in all types of planting from semi-mature conifer gardens to neat, colourful beds in a courtyard garden. All require a lot of thought and careful planning to succeed. Plants have differing needs and consideration is given to soil type and location before suggestions are made.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Rose Garden

We have undertaken a large cottage garden with a formal paving structure which contained herbaceous perennials, roses and shrubs to great effect. A back garden which had structured shrub planting with bark chip underlay closer to the house and a more naturalised wild garden further back. This had native trees and was under-planted with clumps of spring bulbs and wild flowers.

Most recently we planted an extraordinarily steep terraced garden with shrubs and perennials which would give cover for most of the year therefore reducing the amount of mountaineering necessary!

Hedging is an emotive subject with neighbours but there are alternatives to the dreaded Leylandii. We have completed successful projects using several different types of hedging in estate situations as well as mixed native hedging for those in more rural or spacious locations.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring Flowers

Please visit our Tim Brayford Landscapes website or contact us by email info@timbrayford.co.uk or phone 07890 869918 to discuss how we can assist you with your landscape garden project.

British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction