A blank canvas to evolve and bring to life

The challenge

Steven Davis owns, a lovely detached timber framed barn with uninterrupted views of the surrounding Cambridgeshire countryside. Situated close to the village of Fenstanton where once Landscape architect Lancelot Capability Brown lived.

On first arriving at Stevens property the front garden consisted of a plain gravel drive with space for parking, a small lawn with hedges along two sides and gravel down past the the house to an old timber garage. Other than an terracotta ornamental fish there was not much else going on. The rear garden was a rather featureless 16.5 x 65 metre plot of uneven lawn, flanked by a boundary fence, a couple of reasonable sized trees and a mature hedgerow.

Lustig Outdoor Design produced plans for the whole plot as a guide for Steven to consider. He liked many aspects of the plan but wanted to include his own ideas and give X-Scapes the opportunity to add their stamp to the design.

A basic off the peg summer house was an option but not favourable and he wished for something more personalised by the hands of X-Scapes.

A fire pit/ BBQ area was part of the original plan but was fairly sparse and open and being exposed to the prevailing wind needed further consideration.

The decking on the plan was positioned in front of the proposed summerhouse but Steve suggested the option of a substantial raised deck area to use for outdoor entertaining and dining, this would also tie the garden office and fire pit areas together.

This part of the garden plan made up approximately one third of the length of the plot with the remaining garden being a fairly open space, numerous mature trees would be required to produce depth, screening and privacy, positioned strategically around the grounds of the new main lawn, with beds and pathways meandering from the house between two large ponds to the garden office. It was apparent that this project would be a gradual process and broken into stages.

The Brief - Phase one

  • Manufacture & install two semicircular raised bed planters, each side of the house entrance. Planted with low maintenance ornamental grasses and a combination of his potted plants.
  • Install hardwood slatted fencing along the boundary adding height and privacy, followed by the installation of a lengthy seventeen metre raised bed situated in front of the fence with an ornamental planting scheme of grasses, cherry trees and climbers on a wire trellis to add a wow factor upon arrival of the premises.
  • LED down lighting required to be installed for the planters to illuminate the driveway and spike lights positioned in the beds to cast light on featured ornamental Cherry trees
  • Replace unkept box hedge with lower height slatted hardwood fencing along the right boundary of the front lawn to match phase 1. Plant mature portuguese laurel hedge row down remainder of the left boundary at the rear garden to the bottom.
  • Install Iroko bespoke entrance gates to create privacy and security for both Steven and Arthur, his extremely athletic fox terrier.

The Brief - Phase two

  • Create boundary raised bed planter as a datum at the bottom of the garden, populate with existing pot plants.
  • Design & build bespoke quadrilateral shaped garden office, with bi-folding doors, fully insulated, dry lined, with Oak flooring and wood burner with utility hook up to electricity, water and Internet.
  • Manufacture a secluded twelve foot sunken Orbis seating area with a private view of the countryside, accommodating a fire pit and seating to entertain friends late into the evening.
  • Link the two areas together with a large charred embered composite deck framework with cantilever overhang section to float over the pond that would be excavated at a later date.

The Brief - Phase three

  • To excavate a large natural, shelved pond, in front of the cantilever decking, and smaller pond eclipsing fire pit seating area. Featuring large boulders at its margin with a waterfall feature agitating and oxygenating the water.
  • The installation of decorative aggregate illuminated pathways that meander from the house around a newly constructed Canada green lawn and flowerbeds down to the garden office, decking and seating area.
  • Import approximately twenty mixed mature native trees in key locations to generate screening, privacy, depth of view, height, canopy and prominence.
  • A rain collection irrigation system has been requested to be installed, along with a full planting scheme of the new flowerbeds.


Stuart - “I am very pleased with the work carried out so far. Alex and Stuart are hard working and take a lot of pride in what they do. They are creative and informative and the standard of workmanship is outstanding. Both are professional, trustworthy, friendly and nothing is too much for them . They also have a good network of contacts with other skilled tradesman whom I have used and been very pleased with.”
A book on a table
Images from before, during and after the project
A book on a table
Woman reading a magazine

Contact us

  • Address
    21 St Ann's Lane
    Cambs, PE29 2JE