A very warm welcome to one and all

Welcome to the daily blog of Jackson’s Landscape Design, JLD, the home of quality garden design Devon, landscaping and rammed earth garden structures, this blog will show you the daily life of our garden build up, the blog will include, final plans, before and daily images from commencement to completion images and detailed descriptions.

Having been commissioned to design a bespoke modern garden for clients in the Brixham, Devon area we were excited to have been awarded the contemporary garden landscaping construction too.

My brief was very simple, "Kerry, we require your work within our rear garden" .......

It is a complete honour to hear these words from a total stranger over the phone, after months of planning and research we are all signed off for creating the modern garden at Brixham, Devon.

The garden has been created around a stunning internal space. We will use the Grono 30mm Artifical lawn, black rattan furniture, crushed white glass, Spanish white cobbles, plants from Toby Buckland, stainless steel uplighters, stainless steel water feature which will reflect light and rippling water back onto the house surface, led rope lights, black new sleepers,Tobermore Concrete, Sienna duo 60mm block paving in Graphite colour,  Mayfair paving slabs / flags granite silver.

I'm planting 6 cupressus sempervirens and 30 ophiopogon planiscapus in the perimeter planter .....a great contrast against the crushed white glass mulch.......wait until the sun hits the glass....like shimmering diamonds reflecting against the black fence.

Before images

  The above image displays the garden on my consultation day.

Above shows another dimension of the task in hand...... clearly a little challenge to create a durable, useable  garden that has appeal plus adding value to the property...all within an issued budget of course.

The Final approved Garden Design


3D Cad Final design, Brixham Devon.

Day 1


The very first task before I unload the truck is to post apology letters to all surrounding neighbours, explaining that Jackson's Landscape Design have arrived in their vicinity and I, Kerry Jackson, am the person to approach regarding any problems they may have.....I do this for two reasons....firstly its courteous and secondly it gets the curtain twitchers going.......It always brings work in at a later date once I've completed the project and the neighbours have been around to view the clients garden.

Set up the Gazebo and off load truck.

Remove all existing turf, carefully remove the large ceanothus  phormium tenax, 3 euonymus, juniper, large bay, berberis, 4 hebes and a number of climbers and perennials...all plants are given to another client whom has a large garden in Ogwell Devon as was the gazebo which housed the shrine of "Ash" the late family pet.

We will create another shrine so care must be taken not to exhume him......

All footings are marked and cut using a micro digger which has the width of 700mm .... good job too as the entrance to the rear garden landscaping project is 740mm wide......Phew just got in....imagine the amount of work and labour price if I had to dig the garden and footings by hand.....as the project progresses you will understand my concerns.

Using the excavated sub grade, reshape the gradient and track the soil in layer by layer, 200mm maximum depth.


 A rotating lazor level is a golden tool when levels are required, 1 person is all that is required....freeing up landscapers to progress else where within the build.

All trees are removed and delivered to previous clients who own open fires and wood burning stoves...... always keen to recycle, as all who know me will agree with !!

Day 2


The perimeter foot path as been cut and levels dropped, a terram membrane has been installed

The footing have been concreted using 5;1 ballast, cement wet mix and leveled with the lazor, tamped and stepped up by 100mm each step as 225mm or 9" block work will be laid.

Weeps hole tubing has been cut and loaded out as have the 707 x 7newton concrete blocks, spot boards.

All quoins have been squared, pinned and marked for the brick layers.....I know I pamper them too much..... but this gang are quick...really quick.

The entire area has had a covering of terram with over laps of 300mm minimum....all terram perimeters are pinned to avoid movement and trip hazards.

All Loaded blocks are covered with polythene just in case in rains....nothing worse than laying a soaked concrete block....more so when its a 4" lay...restricts the height you can lay ...from 7 to 4-5 courses.

Again its time of year when fading light brings our working day to an early finish...at present 5.00pm

Day 3

L and P contracts are our only tried and tested installers of brick and blockwork to all our garden design and landscaping projects, these gents are quick, clean and very efficient.... property developer Chris is my closest friend and will always go out of his busy schedule to accommodate my needs......Thanks Chris, Dean and Jack......"You the men".

Knowing that I have 17 Linear meters of existing fence to clad and paint, you guessed it, black. The feather boards are painted prior to hanging so when movement does occur you wont see a line of bare treated timber, I purchase 170 units of 1.8m feather board...I always use 10 per linear meter not 9 as some local fencers...I refuse to cut corners, period.....if 9 units are used per linear meter then the feather board will shrink in the sun....and expose a gaping gap, remember that timber will move with water, heat etc.

With the amount of rain we have had lately the timber on the racks at Interline builders merchants are saturated......in order to paint each face the boards have been loaded out to dry....

A view from inside the sloping planter,

Day 4 

All the featherboard slats have been given a heavy coat of black timbercare before hanging and loaded out in groups of ten, the tops of the sloping planters have been dressed off to the correct levels with a mortar mix.

The entire block work has had an application of 5;1 50/50 sand and cement scratch coat ...because of the cold nights I have added a frost protection to the mixes.

The 60mm diameter electric duct has been measured and cut to the appropriate lengths ready for installation.

The pergola receives its heavy coating of timbercare

To the entire face of the retaining walls and planters a heavy 1200 gauge visqueen has been cut and hung with a 300mm double taped overlap to prevent moisture penetrating the block works and eventually blowing the render and paint off, care has been taken to cut precisely around the weep holes.

With clear blue skies all day I expect a cold night......therefore the entire scratch coat works has been completely covered with hessian for insulation and protection.

Day 5


16 tones of 75mm to dust sub base hard core material is load by excavator into the butts of two power barrows and carted 20m to the rear garden

A curved footing cut and hand dug to 400mm depth for new curved rising sleeper structure to "Ashes" shrine area.

Electric ducting is installed for the blue led rope lighting to the base of the shrine.

Layers of 75mm to dust recycled hardcore sub base are leveled  rake and layered at 100mm maximum and a minimal of three passes of a compactor plate to consolidate each layer until the appropriate levels and falls have been completed.

Works commence on hanging a new black clad fence to remove the existing sloping fence.....


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9 hours ago
John F replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"There does not look to be any obstacles hindering your access Gary I reckon you will get the cutting job done in a morning  
Clearing up looks straightforward if it lands on the patio . 
There will be some volume of brash to handle Billybops…"
14 hours ago
Peter sellers replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"Could not agree more, far too cheap."
14 hours ago
Billybop replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"problem with the hourly rate, being the customer doesn't know how fast you work, nor any idea how long it's likely to take"
15 hours ago
Adam Woods replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"THere is a lot of waste to get rid of there - another route maybe a light trim now (so that they can enjoy their garden, and the birds are not evicted), then return when the birds are finished to take it back further, mind you not sure how the…"
15 hours ago
Billybop replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"From other items in the photos looks like a family with young kids, so likely either renting or trying to pay big mortgage. I would have given the cheaper option of having the hedge done and clippings uncollected so they could either clear up…"
15 hours ago
robert pryor replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"I’d charge an hourly rate some you don’t come unstuck.
Assume youre clearing up and taking away? That usually takes longer than the actual cutting"
15 hours ago
Clive replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"Miles too cheap, But if you're happy with that for a hard days graft... 
I hope that didn't include Green waste removal as well? "
15 hours ago
Neil Darby replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"Gary. You can come & do all of my clients hedges for £270 !! Growth by Sept. will be twice as long, you will be cutting back & leaving lots of brown, dead patches. I would of said a day's labour plus debris, so around £350 right now, not Sept."
16 hours ago
John F replied to Mjc's discussion Robust hedge cutter.
"Are you propping a ladder against the hedge ?  You will be too close to the job and it's unstable. 
I generally use use a henchman or tripod ladder set back from the hedge which I find easier to determine the required height the hedge needs to be…"
19 hours ago
John F replied to Mjc's discussion Robust hedge cutter.
"Awkward in what way Martin ? "
20 hours ago
Mjc posted a discussion
Hi, I use a echo long reach hedge cutter which is great, but awkward to use when up ladders cutting the top of a hedge. I need another machine, not long reach, which will also cope with heavy work when doing hedge reductions. What would you…
Mjc replied to Rob's discussion Petrol or electric?
"Can't comment on battery kit but if using petrol another vote for echo hca236 long reach. Really well made, my old husqvarna felt like a toy in comparison. "
Gary Etherington replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"I have quoted £270 in September and she was happy with that, also very happy to leave it due to nesting season, thanks for the replies everyone "
Fusion Media posted a blog post
Maintaining the expansive grounds of Repton School requires precision, efficiency, and innovation.For Andrew Butler, Head of Grounds and Gardens, and his team, the introduction of the Etesia Hydro 80 ride-on mower has not only streamlined operations…
John F replied to Gary Etherington's discussion Hedge cutting
"Gary if you need to leave it until September then allow for any extra growth . 
Personally always conscious of birds nests and you have difficulty checking so many customers generally say there are no birds nests here because the overgrown hedge is…"

Robust hedge cutter.

Hi, I use a echo long reach hedge cutter which is great, but awkward to use when up ladders cutting the top of a hedge. I need another machine, not long reach, which will also cope with heavy work when doing hedge reductions. What would you…

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2 Replies · Reply by John F 19 hours ago
Views: 62

Petrol or electric?

I have been running stihl  AP battery range tools for about 5 years now, and was told back then they were more powerful than the  petrol equivilents, but is this still true?Mainly in regards to the hedge trimmers and strimmers.Thanks

Read more…
11 Replies · Reply by Mjc yesterday
Views: 236