Suntrap Garden

Drumcondra, Dublin 9

This is a very small city Suntrap Garden on a windy site. Our brief was to create some practical, easy to use space. This was done by removing 80 tons of topsoil to reduce the garden level. Now that the garden is much lower than the existing level, the wind has less of an effect when sitting outside. It blows over head, making the garden a real suntrap.
Reclaimed brick walls were built to retain the remaining soil and to create new planting beds. The built in seat at the back is made from cedar and all the paving is oatmeal granite. Another cedar bench seat was built near the house for morning sun.
The planting consisted of semi mature to mature olive trees and the backdrop are carpinus fastigata, ‘pyramidalis’. The smaller plants are a mixture of grasses and blue and purple colour.

Customer reference for Greenstone Landscapes
By Jean Long from Drumcondra

11th June 2009

When was the work done?
May 2009.
What was involved?
It was quite a big job. The garden was on different levels, so they first had to excavate it which took about 3 days. Once they had done that, they built a retaining wall around the edge of the garden and a patio area. After that, it was the gardening side of it, the planting and the lawn.
How did you choose Greenstone Landscapes?
We googled to try and find a landscape design gardener and I came across Ross on pickapro.ie. I liked the testimonials and the pictures of work he’d done previously.
And once we spoke to Ross, he just seemed really decent, and to know what he was talking about. We just got a really good vibe from him. He was incredibly thorough. For example, he wanted to dig up the old concrete, before we built something else. Little details like that, that nobody else had mentioned. Ross was really willing to take the garden back to basics and do everything properly, and we really, really liked that.
Ross was also willing to undertake the sort of job we wanted. All the others were shying away from the excavation side but Ross just said he’d get dug in and get through it. And to fairness to him, he did – he was brilliant.
Had you definite ideas in mind before you talked to Ross Farrell?
We had some ideas in mind but Ross really took those and developed them and gave us a garden way beyond anything we could have thought about.
Did Ross introduce new ideas?
Gosh! Yes, he did. He certainly developed on the kind of ideas we had. In fairness, I found it hard to visualise what could be achieved. The garden was a mess, and I didn’t even realise it was half as big as it was.
To help us visualise what he was proposing, Ross took a bag of flour out to the garden and marked the different areas where things would be. That really helped us understand what he was proposing to do.
How did the project run?
Greenstone were excellent, really superb. They were absolutely reliable and trustworthy. And the workmanship was to a very high standard.
They gave us a start date of the middle of May, and they started the second week in May. They said it would take 2 to 3 weeks and it was 3 weeks and 1 day. We had 8 days of rain the first 2 weeks and that slowed them down but they worked right through it. They were here at 7:30 every morning and finished at 4:30 every evening.
What was the biggest benefit to you of using Greenstone Landscapes?
The fact that he’s given us a garden that’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a designer garden but at the same time it’s absolutely practical for our family which is what we really wanted.
Ross is incredibly professional and he worked to a really, really high standard. We trusted him completely and he didn’t let us down.
What’s your favourite part now?
The seating area at the back. Greenstone built seating area into the wall at the back and it’s just amazing. My little fellow brings his breakfast out there in the morning before school! It’s lovely.
Would you recommend Greenstone Landscapes to others?
Highly, yes, we would. We’re really happy with the work they did, and the garden we have – it’s beautiful.
Any tips for other people?
I wouldn’t be afraid to get a couple of different opinions, a couple of people in to have a look at what you want to do. You learn from doing that and from talking to different people about what they might do. And then just go with your instincts.

As told to Pickapro