Good Garden Design by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The result of good garden design

Garden Design

Having an overall design plan for your garden is a good idea. Why? Well because doing things piecemeal can lead to some very expensive mistakes. What is even more costly is having to do the same work twice due a lack of clear intentions and directions from the outset. At Tim Brayford Landscapes we can offer a range of garden design services from the initial consultation meeting, where we can use our years of experience to help you plan your garden, right through to full plans.

If your ideas for your garden are fairly straightforward then a verbal consultation may be all you need but many clients require a much more detailed plan. All our plans are hand-drawn. We feel that this gives much more scope for the plan to relate to the intricacies of the design. Computer generated plans can be somewhat bland.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The blank canvas!

We will measure the plot involved and discuss with the client what they need from the garden. If appropriate we will draw a draft plan, sometimes with two or three options and a view. When the client has made the final decision on their design, with advice from ourselves, then the plan is completed. If a detailed planting plan is needed then we can supply this too.

We do, of course, go on to implement many of the plans but some clients enjoy doing the work themselves. Please note that copyright of the plan remains with Tim Brayford Landscapes.

To learn more about what Tim Brayford Landscapes have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us info@timbrayford.co.uk or call 07890869918

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Growing a Wildflower Meadow by Tim Brayford Landscapes – Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Growing a Wildflower Meadow

 

In the days before improving grassland became the norm our meadows were a haven where wild flowers, herbs, insects and birds might be found. During the 20th century much of this was lost but the good news is that it is possible to restore things back to how they were, both on a large farm scale down to a corner of a small garden.

So how do you go about recreating one of these natural grassy miracles?

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Wild Flower Meadow

Start by assessing your site, what kind of soil are you on, is it sunny or shady, dry or wet and what is covering it at the moment and how fertile it is are all questions to ask.

The site must then be cleaned up and cleared, simply neglecting a patch of ground and leaving it to nature may not lead to the floriferous bounty that you are seeking, with just a few of the more vigorous species such as ragwort, dock, nettle and bramble along with cultivated ryegrasses becoming dominant instead.

Clearing may involve cutting down whatever vegetation is present, treatments with herbicides and in the case over fertile ground clearing off the top few inches of soil to reveal the less fertile ground underneath.

Once the ground is free of vigorous regrowth of unwanted species it is time to move on to establishing the new plants. The soil may be cultivated to form a seed bed and a number of options to reinstate with wildflowers are available.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Rotary Cultivating

The quickest and perhaps most successful way of doing this is by laying wildflower turf, although excellent value for money it is also the most expensive method. The turf may be laid all year round and will contain mixed varieties of flowers and non-competitive grass species.

Individual wildflower plugs are also available during the cooler months September – April . These are less expensive than wildflower turf and have the advantage that species selection may be tailored to individual areas within a plot. They may also be planted into existing areas of grass if the growth is weak*

For larger areas seeding presents the most affordable option, after the ground has been prepared the seed may broadcast onto it and ideally lightly rolled, late August and September are the best times to be doing this.

*Whether planting into existing grass or starting from scratch it is advisable to include some yellow rattle within those species to be planted,  it has a beneficial parasitic action on grasses making them less vigorous allowing other wildflowers too thrive.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Yellow rattle is an essential plant in a wildflower meadow

Once established take a hay cut around mid-late July, it is important to remove as much cut material away as possible to avoid increasing soil fertility but allowing some seed to set and fall to earth is beneficial, essential with the yellow rattle.

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.

 

 

Tree Guards and Plastic Pollution by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Tree Guards

Tree guards

The function of the tree guard is to help to protect the newly planted tree from damage by the grazing action of herbivorous animals and also by the careless use of strimmers. However after a few years when the trees have become well established these guards are superfluous and if not removed can damage the tree causing stunted growth.

All too frequently the guards have long been forgotten about. The manufacturers may have reassured you that over time their guards will flake into small inert particles but even this can be problematic. Unfortunately these small pieces of plastic may blow around in the wind and some might land in watercourses, eventually ending up in the sea contributing to world-wide oceanic plastic pollution.

Tim Brayford Landscapes -Plastic Pollution

There are alternatives to conventional plastic guards, of the more established products galvanised welded wire mesh has stood the test of time, however they are comparatively expensive and still need to be removed after the tree is established.
Amongst the latest products are those based around biodegradable natural resins and polymers, and those based on recycled paper such as the “Eco Ezee”. Until the use of these becomes more widespread it is not possible to see which of these will prove to be a better alternative to the older more conventional tree guards.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Environmentally friendly Eco Ezee Tree Guard

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

Rewilding the Wildlife Pond by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Wildlife Pond

The trouble with having a wildlife pond is that I supposedly ‘waste’ a great deal of time watching it. It is the most fascinating habitat in the whole garden. I have had mine for about five years now and the first inhabitants, pond skaters, arrived within an hour of it filling up. Since then we have had Damsel flies, Dragon flies, Water Boatmen and lots of other unidentified little bugs that skitter and wriggle about in its depths. The icing on the cake came last week when my 8 year old (another essential ingredient for ponds by the way!) dipped his net in and found a newt. That’s the thing about ponds, if you get it right you don’t have to stock it, it stocks itself.

So what makes a good wildlife pond? Firstly it must be deep enough in the middle for creatures to overwinter successfully, mine is about three feet deep with a shallower shelf around the edge. I used a butyl liner with the correct padding underneath, it pays to get this bit right as a hole in the liner is an expensive mistake to rectify. The edges have a gentle slope and because mine abuts the lawn I laid turf over the edge to hide the liner. I then did something that a lot of gardeners would hold their hands up in horror at, I chucked some clay soil (devoid of stones) into the bottom. Well, those newts have to have something to spuddle about in, don’t they?

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bee attracted to wildlife pond

Be choosy about the plants you want to have in your pond. I chose native plants as far as possible, although I did succumb to a small, white waterlily . My favourites are Watermint, Brooklime and Water Forget-me-not. Avoid really rampant growers such as the Bull rush and Canadian Pondweed in your pond as these will soon choke it. I made use of the wet clay soil behind my pond to plant yellow Iris as well as Purple Lythrum and Meadowsweet. I planted the pond lily in a pot but everything else I anchored under the turf edge or weighed them down in bunches on the shallow shelf to do their own thing.

You can get as artistic as you like with decorating the outer edges to attract residents and visitors. I chose a couple of semi-rotten large branches to drape over the back edge and dip right into the water and these have been a great hit with all types of birds as bathing and drinking perches. Insects love the flowering plants around the outside and in winter finches feast on the seed heads.

Damsel flies are attracted to the wildlife pond

My pond is never going to be the tidiest and, yes, I do get some duckweed and blanketweed (a revelation in itself when you see what takes up residence in it) but it most certainly is one of the busiest.

And don’t forget that essential item a Garden Seat!

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 17 from Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Culinary Sage

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Decking

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Natural stone paving & rustic sleeper walls

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Damsel flies enjoy marginal pond plants

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

Garden Gallery 16 from Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An apple tree in spring

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Late summer colour

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Raised herb & vegetable beds

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A July flowering clematis

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Late summer plums

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

Garden Gallery 13 from Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – An attractive summer border flanks natural stone paving

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Free range hens enliven this country garden

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Bluebells in springtime

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A cowslip in April

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Pots can be decorative even when empty

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