Turning a car park into a lawn is not a job for the faint hearted, but our experienced lawn man, Steve Kane, took this and the 3,500 sq metres of lawns at the Ascot project in his stride, despite it being one of the biggest areas of domestic lawn he had ever had to deal with.
Once the diggers and dumpers had left, more than 1,000 tonnes of Fawley topsoil (free draining soil from the New Forest with a similar acidic profile) was imported to raise the lawn level to marry in with the new house and provide a large expanse of flat lawn.
But the challenges didn’t end there. “The high water table led the digger to be swamped on more than one occasion and work on the lawn had to be delayed for four months due to the weather,” recalls Steve. “It was frustrating not to be able to finish the job until March, but at Abbotswood our philosophy is planting and turfing needs to take place at the right time, when nature dictates." Fortunately, the client fully understood this approach too and was prepared to wait.
With his 20-plus years' experience developing golf courses and bowling greens for major sporting events under his belt, Steve worked his magic. The end results: swathes of beautifully kept turf and a managed meadow, which created some of the most important vistas of the whole garden.