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Landscape design for a new build


The client brief was to prepare a landscape design for a new build house in Cults, Aberdeen. This project was undertaken thirty years ago but has been added to the portfolio because it was an unusual challenge. Unfortunately the photographs are not as clear as more recent ones as they were pre-digital.

The property sat on a third of an acre plot and the L shaped building had garden on three sides. The back of the house had only a path behind it backing onto a wall and the side of the neighbouring house. 

There was a driveway and garden area at the front of the property then a wall with a gate leading to the front door and the other garden areas. 


The plan for the landscape design for a new build garden is agreed

After discussions with the client it was agreed that the landscape design for a new build garden would be to divide the garden into different zones.


The lower area of the garden - as left by the builders.

The clients had moved into the new house however the builders hadn’t clear the site so the first job was to clear away the rubble and discover the quality of the topsoil. We were delighted to find that the soil was a very good quality loam, and on further investigation discovered that the house had been built on the site of a walled garden belonging to a large house nearby.


A woodland retreat.

The lower area of the garden was overshadowed by mature trees in neighbouring gardens and we agreed that it would be good to capitalise on this and make the lower area into a woodland garden. Steps were built going down to a stone circle and a bird bath was placed in the centre. Ferns and shade loving plants were planted in this area.


Still clearing up to do before the pond can be dug.

The level area near the house was in no better shape than the rest of the garden and rubble and concrete had to be dug up to clear the site. 

Within sight of the windows of the house we were asked to design a small pond and this was positioned in a sheltered location with the side of the garage wall behind it. 


A tranquil pond.

 The soil from digging the pond was used to create a rockery around the pond.  A pump and  small fountain was installed.


The area around the pond becoming more mature.

The pond had three levels of depth and pond plants were put in place at different depths. 


Water loving plants are added.

A lawn was laid on the level areas above the woodland area, round the side of the house and beside the pond.


A seat with a view for evening sunshine.


At the far side of the house the ground rose up a datum level of 1 metre from the house. It was overlooked on the other side by neighbouring houses. A wide set of steps was built which led to a paved area and garden seat. From this viewpoint you could see across to the hills. This area got the late afternoon and evening sun. Screen planting was put in place to block the view from the neighbouring garden. 5 fruit trees were also planted on the right had side of the path.


A tranquil view from the patio in  front of the house.

At the centre of the L shape of the house we designed a raised paved patio area. The front door, kitchen door, patio doors from one sitting room and patio doors from the dining room all led out onto this area. The patio had full sun all day. Steps were built leading down from the patio to the main garden.

Tubs of annuals were used to add colour to this area. 

A border bed was built beside the house just inside the exit gate and climbers planted which grew very successfully in the sheltered location.

This landscape design for a new build garden worked out very successfully. The hard paving was contracted out, the pond and rockery built by the client, and a planting plan was designed by us after discussion with the client. We ordered the plants on behalf of the clients from Ben Reid Nursery and the clients undertook the actual planting as they were excited at the prospect of building their own garden. 


The photographs were taken over a period of two years from initial work to a level of maturity.


Take a look at redesigning an overgrown garden for more ideas.

Or return to Landscape garden design portfolio for other examples of garden design.

For more information contact us:

email: lifestylegardendesign@mail.com

Telephone: 07768 586383

2/1 West Grange Gardens, Edinburgh, EH9 2JB

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