Tim Brayford Landscapes COVID Update 5.3.21

Its Full Steam Ahead for garden design and landscaping projects

With COVID restrictions now being phased out its now full steam ahead for our garden design and landscaping projects. We are looking forward to a brighter spring and summer!

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

Flowering Currant and Bee

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and follow up report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

 

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Gardens in Spring by Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes- Flowering Currants bloom earlier an the Spring

The Garden in Spring

“And so befel, whan comen was the tyme
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
With newe grene, of lusty Ver the pryme,
And swote smellen floures whyte and rede,
In sondry wyses shewed, as I rede,
The folk of Troye his observances olde,
Palladiones feste for to holde.
Geoffrey Chaucer

The lighter and warmer days of Spring is when the garden really seems to burst into life. As early flowering bulbs such as Snowdrops begin to fade they will soon be superseded by Daffodils, Narcissus, Bluebells and Tulips, to name but a few.

As the ground begins to warm and dry it is the ideal time to plant container grown trees, shrubs and herbaceous, the task will be made all the easier if much of the preparatory work has already been done in the preceding Autumn and Winter.

At this time some may be tempted to plant bare rooted specimens but late plantings of these often result in a failure to thrive and it may be better to wait for the dormant season to return again towards the end of the year.

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Bluebells in springtime

Around Easter time many people will venture out to a garden centre and stock up with whatever happens to be in bloom, shrubs such as Flowering Currant, Forsythia and Pieris seem to be particular favourites along with herbaceous like Aquilegia, Dicentra and Epimedium.

The results of this may be seen for years to come when their gardens produce a brilliant floral display for a few weeks in the Spring and regrettably little else during the rest of the year. If prior consideration is given to drawing up a more balanced planting plan that spreads the flowering season then this hazard may be avoided altogether.

Now is the time to turn your attention to the lawn. Take a light cut as soon as conditions are favourable, a dry day is best, with your mower on its highest setting. Rake up fallen leaves and spilled clippings removing moss with a spring-tined rake as necessary. Brush away worm casts and lightly roll. As the weather continues to warm up apply a combined weed and feed treatment. If any areas appear to be a bit thin scatter some good quality lawn seed and consider new turf for larger patches of bare lawn.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Late flowering Apple blossom

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Improving a Garden in Winter by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A snowy Garden

“O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth.”
–  John Davies, 1570-1626,  Ode to the West Wind

The garden in winter can seem to be a bit of a quiet place with not much appearing to be  going on, but with a little forethought and careful planning it can become quite busy.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Winter flowering Snowdrops

Winter flowering shrubs such as Winter Jasmine and Mahonia Japonica provide seasonal blooms, Daphne mezereum Rubrum is particularly fragrant. The evergreen leaves of Viburnum Tinus and Ilex aquifolium Golden van Tol provide some structure along with the vivid orange red berries found on Pyracantha hybrida Mohave or even the bright turquoise blue berries found on Viburnum Davidii. Colourful stems may be found on Dogwoods such as Cornus Alba Sibirica Westonbirt and Willows such as Salix Alba vitellina, both of which may be cut back to create fresh shoots in the spring.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Vivid Dogwoods

Hardy Cyclamen are early bloomers and Snowdrops will soon be making their presence known. In milder areas early Daffodils such as February Gold are harbingers of the approaching spring , whilst in the herbaceous border the Christmas Rose Helleborus Niger is an early flowerer.

A good starting point is to observe your garden on a reasonably bright winter’s day, walk around it and see if the general structure or any vistas may be improved, don’t forget to take into account what may be seen from indoors as well.

Wintery weather brings wild birds like these Pheasants into the garden

Do not be afraid to replace ailing plants or those that have become too vigorous and any that have otherwise disappointed you. Look out for carelessly discarded litter and items such as garden furniture that have decayed past the point of usefulness and now just look plain ugly. It is all too easy to overlook these sort of things and spoil the appearance of an otherwise beautiful garden.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Frosty Fern

Make an action plan for what you are seeking to achieve in your garden, it can be very useful to record you observations in a notebook for future reference, especially if you intend to spread your improvements over several seasons. When this is done you will be best placed to proceed to putting your plans into action.

For more advice and stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Improving a Garden in Winter by Award Winning Designer Tim Brayford

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A snowy Garden

“O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth.”
–  John Davies, 1570-1626,  Ode to the West Wind

The garden in winter can seem to be a bit of a quiet place with not much appearing to be  going on, but with a little forethought and careful planning it can become quite busy.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Winter flowering Snowdrops

Winter flowering shrubs such as Winter Jasmine and Mahonia Japonica provide seasonal blooms, Daphne mezereum Rubrum is particularly fragrant. The evergreen leaves of Viburnum Tinus and Ilex aquifolium Golden van Tol provide some structure along with the vivid orange red berries found on Pyracantha hybrida Mohave or even the bright turquoise blue berries found on Viburnum Davidii. Colourful stems may be found on Dogwoods such as Cornus Alba Sibirica Westonbirt and Willows such as Salix Alba vitellina, both of which may be cut back to create fresh shoots in the spring.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Vivid Dogwoods

Hardy Cyclamen are early bloomers and Snowdrops will soon be making their presence known. In milder areas early Daffodils such as February Gold are harbingers of the approaching spring , whilst in the herbaceous border the Christmas Rose Helleborus Niger is an early flowerer.

A good starting point is to observe your garden on a reasonably bright winter’s day, walk around it and see if the general structure or any vistas may be improved, don’t forget to take into account what may be seen from indoors as well.

Wintery weather brings wild birds like these Pheasants into the garden

Do not be afraid to replace ailing plants or those that have become too vigorous and any that have otherwise disappointed you. Look out for carelessly discarded litter and items such as garden furniture that have decayed past the point of usefulness and now just look plain ugly. It is all too easy to overlook these sort of things and spoil the appearance of an otherwise beautiful garden.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Frosty Fern

Make an action plan for what you are seeking to achieve in your garden, it can be very useful to record you observations in a notebook for future reference, especially if you intend to spread your improvements over several seasons. When this is done you will be best placed to proceed to putting your plans into action.

For more advice and stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

The Wilder look by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Wilder Look 

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

Meadow Cranesbill

A stumpery

Spindle berries

Midsummer meadow flowers

Woodland and Bluebells

Leave some wood to decay for fungus to grow on

Yellow rattle is an essential plant in a wildflower meadow

Damselflies are attracted to pond side plants

Fritillaria naturalised into a boggy pond margin

Wild Cowslip

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Attracting birds and other wildlife by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Blue Tits are a popular garden bird

The presence of wild birds are one of the things that many people enjoy about their gardens but what do these birds like and how can they be encouraged?
Feeding birds is a good start, especially during the colder late autumn to early spring months, October to April. Place a bird table where it can easily be observed, ideally close to a thick hedge or some dense shrubs. This will help small birds to evade the predatory patrols of a marauding sparrowhawk, expect a few casualties though as the hawk needs to feed as well.
Choose a variety of foods such as seeds and nuts and fatty strips of bacon or fat balls as these will help to feed a broad range of birds. Putting the food out in the morning and during the early afternoon will allow plenty of time for it to be cleared up, spilled feedstuffs left on the ground after dark will encourage rats so is best avoided. Cease feeding during the spring as nature comes back to life, the natural foods that a good garden habitat will now provide is far preferable for the birds and their young.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Sparrowhawks feed opportunistically around bird tables

Birds and other wildlife thrive in a litter free and slightly untidy garden. Variety is they key, areas of mown and unmown grass with an array of meadow flowers and clovers will be attractive to grazers, seed eaters and insectivorous birds which will feed on the invertebrates to be found there. Mixed borders of nectar rich herbaceous and flowering shrubs will attract a multitude of insect life too, whilst the damper environment of a decaying log pile will provide a home for creatures such as toads and woodlice.

Tim Brayford Landscapes- Hawthorn Hedges feed many birds

Thick native hedging like Hawthorn will provide both dense nesting cover for many birds and autumn berries for migrants such as fieldfares to feast on. Nest boxes of different designs and sizes are available to suit both small birds even for the larger species such as Barn Owls, as a rule of thumb sight these out of direct sunlight and away from prevailing winds.
Don’t forget about water, a regularly filled birdbath is good but a wildlife pond is even better. Insects such as midges, dragon and damsel flies will feed birds such as swallows and swifts, whilst surrounding vegetation can provide nesting cover for aquatic birds like moorhens.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A large skipper butterfly feeding on geranium “Wargrave’s Pink

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Garden Design and Landscaping FAQs – by Award Winning Designer Tim Brayford

A country garden designed & built by Tim Brayford Landscapes on the Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes FAQs

I’d like to have my garden designed, how do I go about this?

 Please contact us to arrange for a consultation. This exchange of ideas will be the foundation on which your new garden will be created. Our follow up recommendation reports are very popular and may be augmented by design plans where desired.

I’m very interested in having you design and build a garden for me, where can I see examples of what you have done in the past?

Please visit both the portfolio and testimonial pages of our website www.timbrayford.co.uk to view some of our past projects and hear what our very many satisfied clients have had to say.

When is the best time to have a garden designed and landscaped?

The consultation and design stages of the project may be done at any time. Although gardens can also be landscaped at any time of year more can be done when the days are longer and the weather is good. Rain and mud creates mess and will slow the work down. Planting can be done at any time of year but autumn, winter and spring are better for getting them established.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A garden in spring

How much will having my garden landscaped cost?

Once we have met you and discussed your requirements we will be better placed to supply free estimates for the garden construction works

Can any size of garden benefit from being designed?

Yes. The point of good garden design is to make the most of the space you have available and ensure that the garden and house sit comfortably together. That’s what we set out to do, so you can get on with enjoying your garden.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A large skipper butterfly feeding on geranium “Wargrave’s Pink

Can we have a garden that is child, pet and wildlife friendly?

A garden which is designed to withstand a little wear and tear is great for children, pets and wildlife. If need be these wilder areas can be separated off by hedging or fencing from the more orderly parts of the garden.

Do we have to have all of the landscaping done at once?

The design work usually encompasses the entire garden but if you just want part of your garden to be landscaped then that is no problem at all. Likewise it is possible to do the upgrade over several seasons if this is preferred.

Do you guarantee the plants that you put in?

If you select our aftercare service we will replace any new plants that fail within the first 6 month after planting.

Do you take the rubbish away when you landscape a garden?

All unwanted wastes are disposed of via a properly licensed waste carrier, unless we inform you otherwise this has been included in our price.

Aftercare

Many of our clients decide to keep us on after their project to ensure their garden receives the very best of care. We can also supply a maintenance schedule to assist clients who would enjoy taking care of their garden themselves.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

A Cottage Garden near Godshill, Isle of Wight by Garden Designer Tim Brayford

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Herbaceous Border

A Cottage Garden in Godshill, I.W.

 

How do you make a cottage garden easier to look after and prettier too?

When our client needed to cut down on heavy work in the garden of her thatched cottage near Godshill she decided to seek professional help. She had initially bought the 17th century stone cottage as a weekend retreat from a high powered job in London and her recent retirement now allowed her to spend more time in the garden there.

A great deal of attention was paid to planning the project with positive exchanges of ideas between ourselves and our client, these discussions are of vital importance to achieve a successful outcome. Amongst the challenges that we faced was to add features that instantly looked old to blend in seamlessly with their surroundings.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Newly laid paving and bricks

 

We were tasked with remodelling the driveway, we replaced an area of lawn with decorative pebbles which were retained by a low brick wall. A low maintenance flower bed was planted around an antique bird bath, it was adjacent to a window so both birds and blooms could be enjoyed from indoors as well as out.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A large skipper butterfly feeding on geranium “Wargrave’s Pink

Ancient flagstones were recycled to construct new access paths around the cottage whilst further away brick paths edged the lawn, leading through to the orchard. It’s so important to make the correct choices with these kinds of materials, many modern bricks are far too regular and uniformly coloured for this kind of location but we found some that looked hand made with an irregular finish and colour variations.

Our client was delighted :- “ Tim’s advice was excellent, he is very helpful and knowledgeable . What he has done is nicely in keeping with what was here already”

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Artificial Lawns by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Artificial lawns are becoming more popular

The sight of pristine, green artificial grass is becoming a familiar sight, especially in domestic gardens but what are the benefits and are there any downsides?

What is it made from?

Artificial grass is made principally from a mix of plastics – polypropylene, polyurethane and polyethylene.

How is it laid?

The topsoil has to be removed and replaced with a compacted limestone base which is then covered by a weed suppressing membrane. If there are no firm edges to work to these must be installed. The limestone is then blinded in with sharp sand. The artificial turf is then laid on top of this, trimmed off and kiln dried sand brushed onto the surface.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Artificial turf laying diagram

Where can it be used to best effect?

Anywhere that it may be too challenging to grow natural grass such as roof gardens, balconies, over existing areas of concrete and environmentally difficult areas such as ground periodically flooded by sea water or in very dense shade.

Does it need mowing or watering?

The freedom from the twin chores of mowing and watering are amongst the greatest advantages that it has over natural grass.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – No need to mow, just sweep instead

How long does artificial grass last?

If neglected both natural and artificial grass will deteriorate very quickly, looked after artificial grass has an expected life of around 15 years, natural grass can last considerably longer.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A well tended natural grass lawn

Can it damage the environment?

Whereas natural grass assists in carbon capture the same cannot be said of artificial grass. Fossil fuels are used to make it, and at the end of its life it is yet another non-biodegradable plastic to dispose of.

Is it wildlife friendly?

The removal of existing topsoil and grass removes the habitat of creatures such as butterflies, bees, worms and garden birds and replacement with artificial turf creates a barren area for wildlife

Is it maintenance free?

No, unlike natural grass where mowing removes much of the debris that falls onto it, to maintain artificial grass in pristine condition you have to wash and brush it much as you would with a well soiled indoor carpet.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Old neglected weedy artificial grass

Do weeds and moss grow on artificial grass?

Yes, to prevent weeds or moss forming you will have to use garden pesticides, physical removal by scarification may cause more damage instead.

Can embers from a BBQ damage artificial grass?

Natural grass is a wonderful thing, if hot embers burn the leaves it will soon regenerate, unlike artificial grass which will be permanently damaged.

Can artificial grass be damaged by wild animals?

In gardens that have existing problems from badgers or moles digging it is possible that they will also dig up any artificial grass as well.

Laying artificial grass is currently a fast growing sector of the landscaping industry, the short term impacts are aesthetically pleasing and initially it is both durable and relatively maintenance free. However it is far more expensive to install than natural lawn turf, does not regenerate and apparently has negative impacts to both wildlife and the environment.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 6 by Isle of Wight Garden Designer Tim Brayford

Around The Garden 1 

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

A lovely rose clad arch

A cosy arbour seat

A charming swing seat

An Ivy clad archway

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918