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Frogheath wins at APL awards 2021

Frogheath Landscapes have been awarded a top accolade at the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Awards 2021, supported by headline sponsor Bradstone.

The company was awarded Best in Category in Project Value £65,000-£80,000 for their work on the project Hilltop Hideaway.

The clients brief was to:

  • Create a garden that was safe to use for family and friends of all ages, including elderly relatives
  • improve the size of the patio
  • design the planting to hide white rendered walls.
  • create space for decking, platforms and different levels
  • remove existing lawn area
  • create a space for entertaining and outdoor eating
  • maximize the views from the garden but retain some privacy from neighbours
  • include a pond to help attract wildlife
  • An area for a hot tub

Problems faced:

  • The garden was located on a very steep slope with a large retaining bank at the rear of the house
  • Access was limited to a poorly constructed set of steps. The new design created a ramp along the side of the house and a set of steps. During construction this ramp gave access for machinery and materials.
  • Using the existing slope in the design without creating tonnes of muck-away was challenging
  • Creating safe access and steps around the garden without resulting in one long staircase

The new garden:

Using decking to create platforms and steps the garden became easy to navigate around – while raised planting beds and rusted steel screens provided an interesting route to move through the garden.

Privacy was created for the hot tub area by using metal screens and planting large evergreen shrubs.

The main deck created gives plenty of room for garden furniture and for entertaining.

The APL judges’ commented, “Superb job that fitted in seamlessly with existing landscape. The stonework was impressive.”

Frogheath also received a special Community Award for their project Donkey’s Matter.

The garden sponsored by The Donkey Sanctuary was built to act as a focal point to celebrate the charity’s 50th anniversary and to showcase its international work. Designed by Christina Williams and Annie Prebensen, the ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden uses water as its central theme, demonstrating how owning a donkey means access to clean and fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.

The judges’ commented, “A lovely feature at the Donkey Sanctuary which will be admired by all visitors.”

Frogheath are also very proud to announce that one of our apprentices Harry Funnel who is now a fully qualified Landscaper won the APL Rising Star award. Having trained at Frogheath on the apprenticeships scheme he is now craving his way to a fabulous career as a landscaper.

A note from the Director of Frogheath Landscapes.

“Designing gardens is an absolute pleasure for us at Frogheath – it is made even more worthwhile when our gardens get the recognition from our peers and win awards!

Hilltop Hideaway and the Donkeys Matter garden were a fabulous opportunity for us to showcase a range of work and skills. We are also very proud of Harry winning the Rising star award. He has worked so hard and is so passionate about landscaping he’s a real joy to work with and we look forward to seeing him develop as one of the rising stars in Landscaping”.

Stephen Moody, Director

2019 – Courtyard Garden

CLIENT: A retired client requiring an easy maintenance garden and attractive entertaining space.

THE EXISTING SITE: An irregular shaped garden with a lovely brick wall on one boundary and a tall hedge along another. The existing paved area outside the house was looking quite dated and the existing steps were too steep.

THE DESIGN BRIEF: Completely remove the existing paving, steps and planting. No lawn was required. Raised brick and rendered beds to make maintenance easier. Redesign the steps down to the garden to make access easier. Create a small area for dining/entertaining.

STYLE: Colours were very important – all the planting had pale pink, cream or white flowers. Pale grey granite was used for the paving and a resin gravel surface provided an easily cleaned surface.

2019 – New Build

CLIENT: A very keen gardener who enjoyed propagating plants.

THE EXISTING SITE: A new build house on an old commercial site. The ground was very compacted and the soil was poor. The garden had lovely views out towards fields and countryside but needed screening from the neighbouring houses.

THE DESIGN BRIEF: No lawn but lots of space for planting. Raised beds to allow fresh top soil to be imported and to provide places to sit in the garden and enjoy the plants. Keep the view to the countryside open but provide some privacy from neighbouring houses with small trees and a pergola.

STYLE: Colourful, lushly planted country garden. We used a gravel surface with small areas of brick paving to create a functional, attractive backdrop to the planting beds.

2019 – Spiritual Retreat

CLIENT: A client, recently moved to Lewes from London. They work mainly from home so wants to make the most of their outside space. They also entertain at the weekends and needs a large, sociable space for a table and chairs.  The house is decorated inside mainly in black and red colours.

THE EXISTING SITE: The existing garden is steeply sloping down away from the house and is covered in tall weeds and brambles.  The view from the house over the surrounding countryside is lovely but the garden is surrounded by tall fences and hedges.

THE DESIGN BRIEF: Create easily accessible space outside the back of the house for seats and a table. The client is replacing part of the back wall with big windows and would like the garden to flow out from the house. Create interesting and practical routes down the slope to the bottom of the garden. The client will eventually build a shed/office in the garden and a greenhouse. Create screening from the neighbours. Privacy is very important.

STYLE: The client does not like typical ‘country garden’ styles of planting or ‘pretty’ colours. They would like black and red plants. They likes urban, industrial structures (see Mood Board of areas of London). Black metal stairs, charred or black wood, London bricks.

2018 – MAYFIELD –  GOLD in the £60 – £100k category

The project was to renovate and re-make areas of the garden of an Arts and Crafts house in Mayfield.  The works included removing most of the original planting, reshaping the borders, replacing the soil to remove the ground elder and replanting in a more contemporary style.

Judges’ Comments:  ‘Nicely done with good finishes’

2018 – ENGLISH WOODLANDS CARPARK –  GOLD in the Commercial Gardens category

The car park looked very tired, old fashioned and unloved. Visitors found it confusing when arriving and trying to park as it was not obvious how you accessed the nursery itself, you could not see into the nursery from the car park and visitors were not encouraged to try and find the way in. We used plants sold by English Woodlands in the car park to help give customers inspiration for their own gardens, which had not been done before.

Judges Comments:  ‘A solid piece of work utilising the opportunity presented by the client in their plant offering’.

2018 – HYDRO HOTEL – SILVER in the Commercial Category

We were asked to design and build an outdoor wedding venue for a traditional hotel in Eastbourne.

The space and the budget were both restricted, access was difficult, and we had to guarantee that the gazebo was built at the optimum height and position to make the most of the spectacular backdrop for wedding photographs without upsetting the local planning authorities, neighbours or regular hotel guests. The schedule was also extremely tight – the project was finished 12 hours before the first wedding.

Judges’ Comments:  ‘A delivery that the client was very happy with to a tight budget and schedule showing flexibility by the landscaper to produce’.

APL Soft Landscaping Award 2017

The company were awarded the Soft Landscaping Award for their planting scheme on the project ‘Bexhill-On-Sea’, a small garden designed by Tina Vallis MSGD.  The clients were a retired couple and the garden was very important to them. The house was a new build, built on the back garden of a neighbouring property. The garden was a regular shape, overlooked by other properties and had no view worth framing. The clients did not want a minimalist contemporary layout.  Frogheath were tasked with creating an interesting, colourful, tidy garden to potter around in and enjoy.

Frogheath set about totally transforming the garden by removing the existing decking and replacing it with Indian sandstone. They also created a patio and paths to gain the most from the interesting views within, included a water feature and completely took away the lawn and replaced it with gravel to reduce maintenance.  It was styled on a seaside garden using rocks and gravel with coastal type planting. The back boundary was screened with shrubs that will eventually grow quite tall and provide a place for a small shed. Substantial planting was included to give differing heights and views.

The panel of distinguished judges commented that “The stunning planting perfectly complemented the garden’

Steve Moody of Frogheath Landscapes said “It is great for our team to be recognised for our planting skills and for all our hard work”

Frogheath’s next challenge is to build a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May for the Japanese designer Shuko Noda

The awards, now in their 21st year, recognise and promote the very best in landscaping undertaken by APL members in a number of categories.

This year’s judges were Richard Barnard from Hillier Landscapes (Chief Judge), Steve Smith from Shore Landscapes, Bob Sweet – ex RHS Head of Garden Judging, Robin Templar Williams from Robin Williams and Associates and Phil Tremayne- APL General Manager.

The APL is part of the Horticultural Trades Association which represents the UK gardening industry.

Frogheath Landscapes Supreme Winner 2013 & winner of overall design & build category

‘The Supreme Winner of the APL Awards 2013 is Frogheath Landscapes for their creation of a visually stunning seaside garden retreat in a secluded cliff top location on the East Sussex Coast’

The garden was design by Tina Vallis one of our garden designers we work with on a regular basis. Set on a steep sloping Cliff edge – access for this project was a problem that had to be overcome to create a garden with levels and safe access to enjoy the stunning views and beach.
The client wanted improved access to the beach from the house , a hot tub with a great view , a writing room , lighting around the garden and a contemporary glass fire pit.

The judges’ comments were fabulous ‘the garden does not compete with the view it complements it and looks like it has been there for decades – blending in so well with the landscape’.

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