As snug as a bug in a brand new bug house!

Whilst viewing a number of proposed projects for the National Trust  I took this photo of the new bug house and thought I would share it with you!  Whether the size is appropriate for every garden the sentiment must be right. We endeavour to keep our gardens trimmed and neat often at the expense of habitats that all those friendly good for the gardens bugs would have over-wintered. Here is a have your cake and eat it solution!

Bug House - November 2013 (1)

As a company that suffers more than most due to weather conditions, I have to report – at risk of tempting fate – the weather has been rather kind to us of late and as such projects have progressed with unexpected ease compared to some previous years!

One small project Grosvenor Landscape Technologies have recently completed was on behalf of Nymans gardens – a National Trust site in Handcross West Sussex. Our landscaping services were engaged to extend the paving in a courtyard to the rear of the ruins which would allow visitors to access a small tower in one corner without having to walk accross the grass.

At first glance this may appear relatively straight forward, however, the location dictates that the new work must blend in closely to the existing. Unusually for Yorkstone the existing work incorporated smaller size slabs with grey / buff colours. Additionally the original pointed joints were almost completely disintergrated and have over years of footfall slowly filled with a mixture of soil and shingle from which grows dwarf grasses all adding to the timeworn look of the courtyard.

Yorkstone - December 2013 (2)               Yorkstone - December 2013 (3)

Yorkstone is the name given to a variety of Sandstone that was originally from Yorkshire quarries and has been the used in the construction and landscaping industries since medieval times. It is not only aesthetically pleasing with colours ranging from dark greys to lighter buffs but is also hard wearing and extremely durable. It is still being quarried and is available new  prices often cheaper than that of good quality reclaimed stones! At the cheaper end is Yorkstone crazy paving whilst the highest prices are paid for reclaimed slabs of consistent thickness with a smooth surface. Another feature of reclaimed stone is that unlike all its’ modern look-a-likes the slabs are completely random in size.

To meet the requirements required much searching beyond our usual suppliers but bore fruit when a supplier in Chiddingfold appeared to have the best matching sample. Viewing confirmed this and work commenced. Because of the extra footfall compared to that of a domestic patio, we decided to increase the depth of sub-base by 25mm and to also incresed the depth of the concrete mortar bed similarly. Also due to the nature of the pointing being porous the fear is that water can creep under the slabs collect in small voids. If this were to freeze, this could loosen the slab from its’ bed. The landscaping team therefore pointed the bootom 10mm of the slabs to seal them against this water ingress. Finally a little trial and error with mixes of soil and shingle was carried out before finally filling the joints. Once a little vegetation established in the joints, the straightness of the joint lines

The photographs show the finished work which I think you will agree matches in very well!

If you are considering a landscaping project for 2014 please view our website or please contact Martin Blake on 07932 081889 / 01444 400139.