This case study focuses on landscaping in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. It was quite an awkward job due to minimal access. The passage we had to get through was 0.8m (32inches) wide. This meant everything had to be taken in and out by hand or using wheel barrows. This does not sound too bad till we had to take out just over eighteen tons of soil and rubble!
The customer had taken over the house and garden after his dad had passed away and had managed to clear the garden of brambles and other over grown shrubs. What he wanted was a new retaining wall, a stone patio area, new steps the garden making more level and therefore usable and finally turfed and the borders planted up.
The first job was to dig everything out. The old concrete flags were removed and then we dug down 150mm where the new patio was to go. We go this deep because we put in a minimum 50 mm of hardcore for pedestrian areas; this is compressed down to the correct density with a whacker plate. The flags are laid on wet cement and then the stone flags are on average 30mm thick. The extra 20mm just gives us a bit of play when laying the stone flags to get the fall right so they don’t collect water.
The foundation for the retaining wall was 0.5m wide and 0.25m deep, we also put some reinforced steel in to make it extra strong. The wall is only as good as the foundation so it is important to get this correct from the start. The customer decided to have a rock faced concrete block wall to keep the cost down rather than go for a brick faced wall. At the back of the wall we built a second skin of 100mm solid concrete blocks. For a retaining wall you must have a two skinned wall or the weight of the soil will simply crack it or push it over.
Once the wall and steps were built we could then lay the stone terraced area.
The garden was on quite a slope from top to bottom and left to right, to minimise this we used tannalised wooden sleepers as small retaining walls. This was a softer look than using concrete block walls. By doing this the top section was virtually dead flat and level on both axes. The bottom lawn had a slight slope (1 in 9) but nothing compared to the 1 in 4 drop that there was initially.
The flags have a slope of 1:60 this takes the water away towards the wall and the gravel edge. Underneath the gravel there is a perforated land drain that is linked up to rain water drain. This means if we get a sudden down poor the water does not form a pond but rather is taken in to the drains and removed from site.
In conclusion this landscaping in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent was quite a nice and simple project to undertake. It took us three weeks to complete and the customer Mr Bradbury was very pleased, please see his testimonial also he has decided since then to have some decking done so he can enjoy a drink in the evening sun.