Ivydene Gardens Garden Design:
Detailed Design

gardenwall poppy pictureIf the general shape of your design looks right, you can move to the detailed design. The hard landscaping, followed by the soft landscaping and ending with the sowing or laying of the lawns should be the order of construction of a garden. After all, you would hardly lay your carpet and put up the pictures before plastering the walls inside.

Hard Landscaping Details

Some of the hard landscaping links the house to different areas in the garden. Individual layers of your design should show each of the following, so that lengths, areas and volumes of material can be calculated and costed:—

  • Irrigation system (part of this can be laid under the paths and patios). (See Case 5 Terraced House Back Garden for Wildlife)
  • Drainage system (required for damp or swampy areas).
  • Paths, patios, steps
  • Walls and fences
  • Lawns (use a ‘mowing strip’ of concrete pavers between the lawn and beds to prevent the grass invading the bed. Use simple shape for lawn to make mowing easier)
  • Pond (See Case 8 Creation of Pond)
  • Pergola, trellis, arbour
  • Greenhouse
  • Shed
  • Electrical system (use Armalite cable for garden lighting)
  • Entrance drive (See Case 3 Drive Foundations in Clay)
  • Coal/wood store
  • Built-in barbecue
  • Sandpit or swings
  • Garage
  • Croquet lawn
  • Children’s playhouse
  • Tennis court
  • Conservatory

There is a huge choice of materials for most of these features, and they are likely to prove expensive. It is a completely false economy to cut down on the preparation and foundations, however tempting it might be. There are standard formulas and British Standards for calculating most needs, and they really will give a better long term result.

Soft Landscaping Details

This is the bit you will most likely want done first, because it is like choosing paint or carpets, rather more immediate than the foundations. Of course it is important to establish personal preferences, but the raw materials have the most influence over what is included. There is not much point in planting rhododendrons on pure chalk or tender plants in a frost hollow — they are just not suited to their environment, and you will be wasting time and money.

Case 4b Garden Plant Plan shows which plants were used in my soft landscaping design for each use required by the clients.


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Example of Detailed Design for my New Garage

The new garage separates the vegetable garden from the back garden.

I dug the foundations for my new garage and put the topsoil in one section of the back garden, the concrete in a mound and the subsoil sand in 2 more of the back garden in 2000. The concrete foundations and floor were installed by bricklayers. A bricklayer built the walls, the door manufacturers installed the doors and I then installed the:-

ridgeplate and 72 rafters,
a skylight and side windows,
roofing felt, battens and kent peg clay tiles,
weatherboarded the outside walls and painted them, the windows and the doors,
electrical system of a circuit breaker board with lighting, power sockets and hot water system, plumbing system of toilet, basin, guttering, downpipes, drains to cesspit for the toilet with access manholes at each turn, drain for roof water to soakaway with access manholes at each turn of direction,

by myself.

I bought second-hand scaffolding and boards. I erected the scaffolding inside the garage to install the wallplates and the joists. I created the following scaffolding plan so that all of my scaffolding could be installed outside the garage walls, so that I could install the rafters from it .



I created the following plan to calculate the amount of ironmongery required for the installation of the joists:-



I created the following plan to calculate the timber and ironmongery required for the roof structure using the book "Site Carpentry and Joinery" from the Practical Projects section of my Library:-



The Common Rafters were each 38mm x 150mm and were installed as a pair and then bolted together because there was too much weight for handling one piece of timber of 76mm x 150mm x 5000mm for those going over the log area. Dragon Beams were installed at each of the corners to prevent the hip ridges from sliding off the walls. All the timber used was stored on scaffolding above ground level with every piece separated from another and it was exposed to the weather for up to 5 months, whilst I constructed the roof between doing days of work for my clients of Ivydene Horticultural Services. If the timber had been put together, then it could have warped, split and bent.

The drain pipe taking the rainwater from the entire roof was installed in a trench alongside the vegetable garden hedge, surrounded by pea-shingle which itself was enveloped by Plantex. The end of the pipe closest to the soakaway had a rightangle bend put on it facing up so that the water would have to fill the pipe before it could overflow into the soakaway. Slits were cut in that pipe alongside the hedge at the halfway height position to allow the water to drain out to water the hedge. The drain pipe was laid with a 1 in 40 slope to guarantee that water would flow down it.

Garage Roof Structure

View from Vegetable Garden Area




"U-Roof, founded in 2008, has developed a new method of roof construction using a u-shaped, cold-rolled, galvanized steel profile section which enables any structure to be fitted together in a fraction of the time of traditional timber frames and it's already being enthusiastically received by builders, self build enthusiasts and specifiers across a wide range of market sectors." as reported by DesignBuyBuild February e-Newsletter.


Other examples of my work are shown in the Case Studies.

Site design and content copyright ©December 2006. Page structure amended October 2012. Chris Garnons-Williams.

DISCLAIMER: Links to external sites are provided as a courtesy to visitors. Ivydene Horticultural Services are not responsible for the content and/or quality of external web sites linked from this site.  


Rhododendron macabeanum


Garden Design Pages

Site Map
Before You Start
Designing for a Purpose
Site Survey
The Design Itself
Broad Design
Low Maintenance Style
Cottage Garden Style
Wildlife Garden Style
Japanese Garden Style
Hard and Soft Landscaping
Detailed Design *
The Soil
Changing the Microclimate
Plant Selection
The Colour Wheel
Plant Quantities
Companion Planting
Bibliography and further Design Concepts



See Explanation of Structure of this Website with User Guidelines to aid your use of this website.

Case Studies
Companion Planting
Garden Construction

Garden Design *
...RHS Mixed Borders
......Bedding Plants
......Her Perennials

......Other Plants

Garden Maintenance
Offbeat Glossary
Tool Shed
Useful Data

Topic - Plant Photo Galleries
Colour Wheel


Your chosen Garden Style then changes your Plant Selection Process

Garden Style
...Infill Plants
...12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
12 Foliage Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index
...Cultivation, Position, Use Index
...Shape, Form

Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Evergreen Perennial
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Tree

Herbaceous Perennial
...P -Herbaceous
...RHS Wisley

...Flower Shape

Odds and Sods

Soft Fruit
Top Fruit
Wild Flower

Topic - Wildlife on Plant Photo Gallery