Design and landscaping the garden of an Edwardian property in Terenure

Design and landscaping the garden of an Edwardian property in Terenure

Before - overgrown, oversized and out of control planting

Before - a cluttered entrance

If I am honest, landscaping front gardens is always of particular interest to me. Why you may wonder is the difference between landscaping a front or rear garden? Well there are several reasons but two in particular are worth noting. Landscaping front gardens is often less vulnerable to poor weather but perhaps the key point is that working in front gardens is like being on stage and being much more visible, the work and progress always attracts interest from curious neighbours, interested passersby etc.

In ways it is an opportunity to also display your talents and a very effective way of engaging with prospective customers. So it was with great interest and excitement we started our latest project which involving the renovation of both Front and Rear gardens to a stunning and very well preserved 100 year old property in Terenure.

Sadly the gardens had become very overgrown and over-run and the new owners were anxious to restore a new look which would transform both gardens, be easily maintained and most importantly be sympathetic to the original style and elegance of this impressive Edwardian red bricked fronted bay windowed period house.

The front area featured a railed garden of modest size with an attractive tiled path with concrete rope edging bordering both sides of the entrance path leading to a stunning porch and entrance doorway.

This was a wonderful opportunity to design and landscape a garden which would reflect the architectural style and crafted ethos richly evident throughout this property. An invaluable part of my initial design discussions with the client included a tour of the immediate neighbourhood to explore and see examples of other gardens. Although there are some very fine examples featuring the more formal and structured gardens, there were many examples in which the gardens were a big disappointment often featuring an ad hoc array of plants or worse inappropriate overcrowding bamboo and trees, whilst others appeared to have simply made a decision to have no garden, removed all plant material and replaced it with a bland wall to wall area of nothing except brightly coloured pebbles or chipping stones.

Why would anyone spoil the front of any property by removing the garden area entirely? It is difficult to understand why any owner of a beautiful period house would be willing to do nothing but enhance the unique look and period beauty?

Having established and agreed the design the immediate task was to clear the site of all existing material during which we had discovered the presence of several roots from a bamboo plant which had spread from a neighbouring  garden. Given the size of the gardens, relative proximity and the vigorous spreading nature of Bamboo Pseudosassa, we cautioned the client that it would not be feasible or advisable to proceed with the construction of a new garden without first tackling the bamboo issue. The client fortunately accepted our advice which was to build a physical barrier between the adjoining gardens, by building a wall with 4” concrete solid blocks extending almost 1.0m deep and extending along the full boundary.

Once site clearance was complete, the bamboo barrier wall was constructed. The original but broken concrete path around the Bay window was replaced by a grey sandstone path and grey sandstone setts were also used to construct and delineate the planted borders and central area of decorative stone.

Ahead of the planting phase, much of the original soil was excavated and replaced with fresh screened topsoil, nourished with chicken manure fertiliser and a generous top dressing of bark mulch providing a nice top finish. (Tip: before applying bark mulch, generously wet the soil and planted area first, then add mulch, this way the mulch will be more effective in trapping the water and retaining more water in the ground and reduce any loss due to evaporation).

I am very happy with the final results, the design featured an unfussy layout with simple lines of natural stone to define access and planted areas. The generous and lush vibrancy of the green foliage with delicate hints of crimsons and pinks contract beautifully with the muted tone of the ocean blue decorative stones. The garden is easy on the eye, easy to maintain and is a fitting complimenting beautifully the stunning look and tones of this very elegant property.

After - Twin borders of buxus and fuschsia plants - colour, shape and interest

Linear layout compliments the formal aspects and optimises the space

If you have any queries, or would like to arrange a site meeting to discuss any garden design or landscaping project you may be considering, contact Owen on 087-2306 128 or by e-mail at:

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