Completed Project - Paved Driveway

Our latest project of transforming a front garden has been completed and the results went down very well. Our customer had a worn out and very uneven lawn that they wanted to make presentable and turned into a useful space. They gave us the brief to:

  1. Make it hard standing
  2. Provide an area that required no maintenance
  3. To maximise the space for a family of car enthusiasts

We turned it from this...the front garden before we started:

A heavily compacted and worn out lawn! 

A heavily compacted and worn out lawn! 

To this...the completed project:

The finished area with 'Autumn Blend' sandstone, 3ft trellis and 20mm shingle

The finished area with 'Autumn Blend' sandstone, 3ft trellis and 20mm shingle

The Construction Process

In progress - showing the compacted base, the mix and the levelling!

In progress - showing the compacted base, the mix and the levelling!

Working with my excellent team, this is the basic process we followed to achieve this transformation:

  • The whole area was excavated
  • A 150-200mm compacted base was added
  • Paving was laid using a wet 4/1 sharp sand mix
  • Pointing was applied using iron and a dry 3/1 building sand mix
  • For the fencing - picket posts were secured using postmix
  • Around the edge - 20mm shingle was levelled on top of weed suppressant fabric



The Benefits of Paved Driveways

If you're thinking about getting your driveway done, here's a quick list of the benefits of paved driveways:

  • Although sealants have improved, properly laid and pointed paving is weed RESISTANT.
  • Each individual slab has a greater surface area than driveway blocks supplying a far more stable surface.
  • The compacted base and concrete mix used to construct paved driveways is far stronger than the compacted sharp sand element used to build block paved driveways.
  • We believe they are easier to maintain and look better for longer, for example when you pressure wash sandstone paving it looks far better than a driveway block.
  • Using block for your drive can give it the look of a supermarket car park! By using a natural stone it creates a much softer and subtle feature, as well as a more elegant look with a high quality finish. 


Now this project is complete and the customer is happy with the finished area we're moving on to our next project......a natural stone driveway!!


Finished Fencing Project / Concrete Vs Timber

We recently completed a replacement fencing project, where the customer was keen not only to maximise height but to maintain it along the boundary.

They're very happy with the result and it's always surprising how a well built fence can add a sense of space as well as improve the overall appearance of an area.

We're hoping to receive a review from the customer shortly and we'll add it to our Praise page.

Before - Clearance


The completed fence line...

This entire fence has been completed with timber. Not only in the fence panels, but timber has also been used for the gravel boards and the posts. Although many people use concrete for this function, we believe timber is the preferable option for a number of reasons and have put together a little comparison for you below to show why.

Completed Fence Line


Concrete Vs Timber Fencing

Personally I prefer all fences to be timber panelled or arris rail. Timber blends into the garden well and provides a much softer backdrop. Concrete panels can become an eyesore and draw your attention away from garden features and planting. The finish of an all timber fence is shown well in the above picture and the pro's and con's as we see them are listed out below...

You can see that as far as we're concerned the timber base and posts get a lot more green ticks!


Things to Consider When Getting Your New Fence

  • If you're going DIY, remember waste removal there's always more to take away than expected!!
  • Make sure waste removal is included in any quotes you get.
  • Close-board panels are far better looking and longer lasting than Waney Lap.
  • Go all timber to create the softer back drop and avoid concrete sticks!
  • Post should be a minimum 500mm below ground.
  • We recommend ready mixed bags, a ballast/cement mix is fine at 4/1.


Getting Quotes

It's always advisable to get more than one quote. Fencing is a very competitive area, but don't go ahead purely based on price - your boundary is important as it's your security and defines your private space.  If you chose the cheapest contractor you could get a sub-standard job. We've seen fences installed by other contracted professionals which aren't up to much! 

The pictures below show a before and after - the picture on the left shows a fence installed by the previous contractor and the right shows the fence we installed as part of a larger build.

Pictured below "6 month old fence"

The red lines show how wobbly the fence was!

This picture shows work by another contractor - if the quote is too good to be is!

This picture shows work by another contractor - if the quote is too good to be is!

Our finished job

With a brand new, straight fence installed as part of a larger project. 

As part of our build we agreed to put it right.

As part of our build we agreed to put it right.

Welcome to our new Improved Website!

Hello, I'm really pleased to be able to welcome you to the new Holmes and Gardens website. I'm glad you're here :) 

Through this project blog I'll post photos, updates and maybe the occasional video on the gardens as we're working on them. You'll be getting 'in progress' and completed shots.

I look forward to sharing our projects with you but for now, in no particular order, here's a few historical pictures...

You can see this one coming together:

Here's a short time-lapse video, where you can see each phase through to completion:

Progress part way through and the completed garden :)

Making a nice, tidy and functional seating area out of an otherwise neglected corner!

These were taken part way through and just before we tidied the area!

Just a small area of the garden but great to have it looking neat!

Showing an excellent base for the turf and the finished's always good to have a lawn! 

Before, during and after...