Archive | May, 2012

Landscaping with coppice chestnut

The chestnut coppice in Hereford

The chestnut coppice

We use a lot of chestnut in our landscaping work as it is a very durable timber. Herefordshire has vast amount of chestnut coppice, these woodlands provide a sustainable supply of timber and support the local economy.

I took the photo above at a coppice yesterday, we are using the posts for a chunky post and rail fence as part of a garden design. You can see the regrowth from last years trees in the background.

Coppice chestnut is ideal for use in our garden design, playgrounds and landscaping work.



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Cleft chestnut fence

A few weeks ago we were worried about the mud, now its sweltering. We are currently working on a section of cleft chestnut post and rail fence just outside Hereford.

The idea is to use this lovely looking fencing to create a feature of the gateway into the property. Chestnut is a very durable timber, lasting longer than oak when in the ground, we plan to plant honey suckle to grow over the fence which is shaded by a hornbeam.

I’ll add some photos when we are finished.

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Photo in the Guardian

I’ve just been told of an article that appeared in Fridays edition of the Guardian newspaper. The journalist is looking into the philosophy of Steiner education and whether there is likely to be a growing trend towards this more creative type of learning environment.

I was very pleased to see the photographer who visited had a good eye for high quality landscaping, they use a picture of the courtyard and water feature that Copper Beech Garden Design built as part of our contract at the school.

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Landscaping in the Peak district

I have just returned from a bus-man’s holiday in the Peak district where I spend two days helping my mother in-law with some landscaping work.

The house is up for sale and needed a few bits sorting, a bit of dry stone wall had collapsed and some paving was in need of leveling and pointing. The crazy thing is that Denise had tried to a find local tradesman but couldn’t get any one to help, presumably because it was just small bits and bobs.

I have to say all the people I met around Matlock and Darley Dale were really friendly, a pleasure to work with.

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Garden design

The vast majority of our garden design work is based in Herefordshire, although we do work in the surrounding counties and have gone as far afield as London.

We will meet with our clients and form a wish list of what is wanted in and from the new garden, we then produce a base map of the existing garden, features, aspect and what is beyond the boundary. Often there may be a large tree for example that will effect our clients garden.

Our designs are drawn by hand, we will produce a base map, sketch of the new garden, formal plan and 3D sketch as well as a fully itemised quotation for Copper Beech to implement the design.

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Natural playgrounds testimonial

I have just received the testimonial below for our work at Steiner Academy Hereford.

“A tremendous amount of care went into the design, selection of materials and practical realisation of the school’s requirements for the land and the outdoor environment. High-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail were key-notes of the work undertaken and as a result, we are the recipients of some beautiful and practical, non-standard features, from the hand-operated water-pumps in our kindergarten gardens to the adventure playground for our younger school children and the exquisite stone-work and cobbling in the court-yard. The piece of work offers a blend of contrasting features that combine to make a striking and pleasing whole. Made with care and built to last for the lasting enjoyment and well-being of children and adults working together.”
Trevor Mepham (Principal, Steiner Academy Hereford)

Thank you Trevor

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Rose Cottage

After four and a half years we have finished the interior of our renovation of Rose Cottage. I know this is not really about our landscaping but very exciting for the whole Morris-Ridout family.

We still have a lot to do outside, stone facing the extension and the landscaping but having spent the first two years in a static caravan and the last two and a half with Helen and I using the landing as our bedroom, we are now living in luxury.

I am very thankful that throughout the whole process when things got tough I was always able to remind Helen that it was her idea, good one love!


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Herefordshire flagstones

For anyone wanting to know what the Hereford flagstones I mentioned in a previous blog look like, please follow this link to our paving gallery.

The first two photographs in this gallery are of a patio laid with this Herefordshire stone. When looking through the gallery if you click the information icon at the top right of the photo a caption will appear showing the different types of stone used.

The quarries are limited in size and so have a minimal impact on the landscape.

Please use the contact us link to get in touch for more information.

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Have we worked for you?

Following on from the previous post, I would really like to hear from any one we have worked for in the past. Although I have contact details for many of our previous clients I have unfortunately lost contact with many more.

If we have worked for you and you could spare five minutes to let me know how the work is now, ideally in the form of a testimonial that I could use on this web site, I would be really grateful.

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Another job well done

Thank you Hilary for this testimonial. It matters a great deal to us that we create gardens that people are really happy with.

“Huge thanks for all your work on the garden – it looks utterly transformed and I am thrilled. The grass has been growing apace with all the rain! And the little box bushes look very neat and delightful.
Thank you so much – and I’ll be in touch again later in the year if/when the garden needs some more TLC”.
Hilary Pembridge

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Dyslexia rules KO

Thank you for your comments on the new site and in particular your help with spelling and grammar.

When I was about eight I was told I was dyslexic, at first I thought this may be an illness that would make my arms and legs fall off.

I was lucky that my Dad was a very practical man, he encouraged me to find the things I enjoyed doing and told me many times that everyone is good at different things.

With this encouragement and good help at school I found the things that I was good at and I am very grateful for that start in life. In many ways this is why I enjoy making play spaces for children that will encourage creativity, some of the children may go on to become engineers or architects, a passion that could be born from den building or water channeling.

Thanks again for your comments, my spelling has come a long way but I’m no English teacher yet!


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Indian sand stone

I am often asked what I think to the use of Indian sand stone paving. While I understand that cost is always a consideration when undertaking a landscaping project, I do believe that the use of this stone is encouraging an unethical exploitation of people and our environment.

If you go to utube and type in Indian quarry the human cost is immediately apparent and repeated over and over.

Some suppliers are making changes to supply Fair trade stone, this is obviously to be welcomed, however this fair trade stone is more expensive than Herefordshire stone.

For over ten years I have been using natural flagstones produced in small scale quarries on the Herefordshire Powys border. This stone is high quality, produces minimum CO2 in production and transport and looks beautiful, why go all the way to India?

I suppose my answer is that Indian stone does seem cheap but the true cost is hidden.

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