Awards & Accreditations
2016 - Domestic Garden Construction - Construction Cost Between £100K – £250K
A Private Residence in Merchiston***PRINCIPAL AWARD WINNER***The clients' house in the Merchiston area of Edinburgh was being completely renovated and a new extension built. They wanted the gardens, front, side and rear, to be stripped out, new gardens designed, built and planted to a very high standard while the building works were being carried out.
The design required the construction of a sunken garden with circular steel rill water feature, scorched oak boardwalk leading to a stone and slate garden building, four raised rebar vegetable beds, installation of black basalt paving and steps laid at an angle to the house with a clashach sandstone detailing, a lawn edged with Everedge, a bespoke timber log store, planting and underground staking of 20 pleached Photinias, 50 mature trees and shrubs and herbaceous planting, installation of a circular cedagravel driveway, ducting for electrical and water supplies, preparation of bases for a shed and greenhouse, and installation of bespoke trellis panels and gate. Soil tests showed that the soil in the garden contained a high percentage of clay and so particular care was taken to address drainage underneath the sunken garden, lawns and borders.Maintenance Contractor: Janet Thomas Green Leaf, The Green Garden CompanySuppliers: Binny Plants, Garden Trellis Company, London Stone, Michaela Huber, Stone Man Mosaics
Sponsored by: Makita UK Ltd
2016 - Hard Landscaping Construction (Non-domestic) - Construction Cost Under £300K
Huntercombe GardenHospital Director Des Quinn approached garden designer Carolyn Grohmann and asked her to design a patient and staff garden to the rear of the Huntercombe Hospital in an overgrown area on the edge of the hospital car park.
The garden required security fencing but this needed to look and feel discrete, the garden had to be wheelchair friendly, low maintenance and it had to be built for a very tight budget and within a tight timeframe. Water Gems agreed to build the garden at cost and to call in favours from its regular suppliers. Artificial turf was laid, raised sleeper beds and benches, a timber walkway, flower beds and seating areas were all created and a studio was constructed to provide an art room for patients in the hospital.
At the beginning of June 2016 Des held a garden party to celebrate the opening of the garden. It was an opportunity for Water Gems to hear the appreciation of staff and to learn of their enjoyment in using the garden. It has clearly been a huge success. In particular, Des praised the workmanship and commitment of Water Gems in building the garden on time, on budget and to a very high standard.Client: Huntercombe HospitalDesigner: Secret GardensSuppliers: Binny Plants, The Builders Supply Company, Garden Solutions, Jewson, Scottish Wood
Sponsored by: Woodscape
2014 - Domestic Garden Construction - cost btwn £30K – £60K
Private residence Edinburgh, EH4Construction of a rear walled garden designed by Carolyn Grohmann of Secret Gardens in Edinburgh's New Town. The property is in a conservation area and is listed. The garden was overgrown and the side walls were in a poor state of repair. The scheme involved clearance of all vegetation, repairs to side walls, the construction of a patio, retaining wall, cedec paths, rebar raised beds, installation of wall lighting, bespoke garden shed and gate, circular bench, sink and compost bins, and planting.Judges comments"The only access to this rear city garden was by a long, narrow passageway to the side of the house. The contractor has demonstrated a wide range of landscaping skills in the execution of this intriguing scheme. The paving is excellent and continues cleverly through into the house itself. Raised planters and vegetable beds created using woven steel panels are surrounded by shingle paths and the walling has been pointed to match the house. The inspired choice of materials ensures the scheme blends beautifully with the stone of the surrounding buildings."
Sponsored by: Marshalls
2014 - Domestic Garden Construction - cost under £30k
Private residence, Edinburgh, EH1This scheme involved the construction of a rear basement garden in Edinburgh's prestigious New Town. The property is in a conservation area and the building is listed. The garden was designed by Carolyn Grohmann of Secret Gardens and Water Gems worked closely with her and the client during the construction process. The design consisted of complete clearance of all vegetation, construction of two small patios, a sett circle, an ornamental wall with water feature and lighting, paths, a bespoke timber gate and pergola, border preparation and planting.
Sponsored by: Cuprinol
2012 - Domestic Garden Construction - cost btwn £30 - £60k
Fife Garden, Culross
,Water Gems (Alba) Ltd were asked to build a garden incorporating figure of eight pool, bespoke cedar arbour with sedum roof, decked and paved terraces using quality material, natural and where possible, local materials.
As much waste as possible was recycled onsite. Local suppliers were used for turf, larch for the arbour, stone for dry wall, soil and terrestrial and aquatic plants. The clients' left over sand setts were incorporated into the design and other recycled materials used included EPDM pond liner and reshredded mushroom compost.
Judges Comments: "Water Gems (Alba) worked closely with the designer, Carolyn Grohmann, and the client to produce a semi-natural garden with stunning views across the Firth of Fourth estuary. A large free-form pool with cut sandstone ribbon edge defines the space and connects seamlessly to the sculpted lawns and a lower deck area. A high quality build which surpasses the client's expectations."
Designer: Carolyn Grohmann of Secret Gardens
Sponsored by: Cuprinol Trade
2009 - Domestic Garden Construction - cost btwn £100K – £250K
Private Residence, Edinburgh
What a garden! The contractor was initially engaged to construct an informal water feature with swimming area, which required the construction of substantial retaining walls and extensive sub base preparation. The client was so impressed with this work that further ideas were jointly developed with the contractor and executed to exacting standards; theseincluded the novel use of woven rebar for all retained areas and paths in the woodland area and for the construction of a compost shelter, and extensive mature planting. The garden has been transformed beyond all recognition by the client and contractor working in true partnership An aboslute gem and everyone is to be congratulated on creating this inspired garden.
Sponsored by: Rigby Taylor
2009 - Domestic Garden Construction - cost btwn £100K – £250K
Private Residence in Edinburgh
Working in close consultation with the client, architect and design engineers, the contractor has created a stunning garden that addresses all the client’s needs. Gently curving paths lead down from the newly constructed terrace and lawn adjacent to the two metre deep natural swimming pool with waterfall, through luxurious planting and mature woodland, to the boundary with the riverside path below in a seamless sylvan journey.
Vision, technical expertise and a truly harmonious client/contractor relationship have combined to create a breathtaking private landscape.
Sponsored by: Ilex
2007 - Soft Landscaping Construction - under 1 hectare
Inverleith Park Wetland, Edinburgh
Sponsored by: British Seed Houses