Creating a Garden


First Class are very happy to work with your Garden Designers  ( we may well already know them ! ) or sit down with you to work out a plan that you have been mulling over but didn't quite know where to start. 


Alan Clark ( The Guv'nor ) was professionally trained back in the 1960's and has since gained a wealth of skills in general and specific garden construction besides being an avid plantsman and prizewinning grower. He's also quite a reasonable sort ( he told me to write that and he's watching ) so is prepared to put a lot of time into the planning to ensure that everyone is happy that their ideas have been fully explored before the diggers start to roll on site ! 



A little case history:-


The photos to the right show the progression of a residential job where the client wanted secure fencing and an easily maintained garden, featuring a patio with steps to a path delineated lawn and a fully serviced chalet that he would use as an office.


Originally thinking he might do the work himself little was done to the garden for several years while he thought some more !


First Class showed him their portfolio of completed works and references, later producing several sketches for his specific scheme.



20 cubic metres of concrete !



Yes, there was quite a lot of the stuff in this garden - we often find that many gardens are much like TimeTeam investigations in that the more you dig - the more you find! In this case we broke up and removed over 20 cubic metres of concrete from old foundations, air raid shelters and excavated a further 40 mts for the new plan. First Class owns and maintains many machines to make light work of these operations. 


We just love to do quality brickwork !

There is a sweet and lovely wall in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream - Alan Clark didn't build that one but he's old enough to know what proper brickwork should look like. Many garden walls are skimped in construction and rushed in finish - we are in the business of mastercraft, specialising in tight raked or double struck brickwork joints with diamond sawn closures.



 Large machine for large clearances!Large Scale Groundworks.

 Smaller machines for tight spaces!Our micro digger for tight spaces!

 A retaining wall in London Yellow Stock bricks.



Some finished results.





We have worked with for years relocated and naturally thought of us for the landscaping of their new garden in a Japanese theme.



Again, this job involved large amounts of excavated materials to be removed via narrow access using our own machinery. We had all extremes of weather on this project - torrential rains and three of the hottest days on record but we Percy Veered !





Although -



the remit for this job was planned - we were flexible enough to adapt the plan on site as the clients saw the work progress - the obilske is drilled for a bubble fountain and is remotely controlled as is the lighting system!


Quality build -

You must have seen the big chap on the telly laying patio slabs on four or five blobs of mortar ? And further compromising craftsmanship by brushing in dry mortar into the joints instead of time consuming pointing - in our opinion - a disaster waiting to happen!


Our patios are thoroughly excavated and then compacted with further layers of suitable fill, such as fine crushed concrete or stone known as M.O.T. type 1 - this is also compacted with a vibrating plate machine or small roller, we then lay a sub base of concrete around 100mm thick on which we fully bed the paving to levels - this will prevent them moving in most cases for many years - all the joints are then hard packed with specially mixed mortar with hand trowels and finished - special care being taken in extreme weather.



Naturally, this comes at a cost -

but it is very much as old John Ruskin said ( we paraphrase here ) - it is a natural matter of business that one cannot get good value cheaply and often something you bought thinking it was originally good value because it was cheap turns out to be anything but when the job has to be redone - and when one considers the time an trouble wasted - you could have afforded a proper job in the first place.


























  We occassionally have Oriental leanings!



























A garden with a Japanese theme
































 A more traditional shady retreat featuring some very   fine diamond cut brickwork