Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Judging has begun...

Hi Everyone

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who sent in designs for the Jacksons show gardens competition.

The deadline has gone by now and we are in the process of starting the very difficult task of sorting through everyone's work, and as in previous years the amount and quality of submissions is rather overwhelming.

As we have other parties involved this year, the process will take a little longer to come to the decision as to who has won, and as Easter is looming large on he horizon I think we will most probably not make an announcement until after the bank holiday, at least.

I wish you all a lovely Easter break and hope the weather improves for everyone - hard to believe last year we were in our gardens having barbies in a heatwave.


Monday, 11 March 2013

ref the Float garden

ref the Float garden...

I love the fence but If it is looking tired, can we give it a face lift by painting it? White would be what I have in mind.

The Venetian fencing in the garden is approximately 3-4 years old now and I really wouldn’t consider it to be looking tired, when you consider Jacksons fences last in excess of 25 years.  I would only consider staining, (not painting the fence, once you go down that route you are making a rod for your own back, and would have to consider repainting every couple of years!), and only really doing that in unusual circumstances.  I think you need to think about the company’s ethos, ref quality, guarantees and timber.  WE love our wood  ;-)  I’m not averse to cleaning with a pressure washer if it looks a bit dull.but even this I wouldn't really consider as necessary.

Having read the brief, I'm aware that you want to keep most of the structure. However, would it be possible to remove any of the decking to the left of the A 'Zone' on your computer plan? 

Yes anything is worth considering, it will be very interesting to see what you and the others come up with.

types of timber used by Jacksons...

and this...

Hi please can you clarify? Are there any particular wood products that you supply that are sourced in the UK? For example hazel or chestnut poles or hurdles etc?

WE only supply softwoods which are pressure treated and guaranteed for 25 years, some of which are native grown, but in the main they are from Europe.

 Definitely no hard woods, definitely not hurdles and a tiny exception is the chestnut site fencing that is cleft chestnut in a roll.

If anyone's interest Jacksons have just published the Definitive Guide to Timber Treatment.  This is in response to a lot of confusion surrounding the subject of timber treatment in some of the farming press.  We decided to set the record straight, so our customers can read in full the lengths we go to to ensure our timber is treated correctly and how this allows us to offer our unique 25 year guarantee.

click for a link to news story and a downloadable pdf.
Here is a query I have received recently, that may be helpful:

Just a quick question regarding the float garden plan - it would appear from the photos of the garden that there is a small area of planting (currently artificial grass) under the Sorbus in the corner at the back of the garden. However this is not apparent on the plans where it appears to be all decking? 

Sorry yes there is a small area that isn't deck, that is not mentioned as being another area of artificial grass on the plan.
Please see this pic, with my scribbles on it!  Just in case you can't read my scrawl, the dimensions are 178cm wide by 58cm deep.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

special discount offer from Vectorworks...


Well at least this isn't me wittering about design brief detail again!

Here's an offer from Vectorworks that may interest some of you:

When you sign up to Vectorworks Service Select and upgrade to Vectorworks 2013 you will automatically receive a 33% discount on your upgrade.  

Plus, we offer free training, free premium technical support and free access to an online knowledge portal that includes content libraries including Jacksons Fencing, Haddonstone, Shoot, Coblands and Landscape Forms.  

For more information visit http://serviceselect.vectorworks.net/learn-more, email 3ddesign@unlimited.com or tel: 020 8358 6668.

worry over garden themes and names misunderstanding?

Hi again

I've been having a niggling doubt about a query that has popped up a few times, each time I've answered the query individually, not thinking it warranted putting on the blog, then wondered if I should put it up here...but someone else asked the question again this morning, so I've decided that we better cover it.  For speed I will paste the question and my response below.

  • For the Seaside garden – does the new design still need a seaside theme?
Hi ******

I am getting a bit worried that because we are referring to the seaside garden, as the seaside garden that people are presuming that we want another seaside type of garden.  I thought it was clear that it was designed originally with a seaside theme, but now we want something as different as possible.  On the design brief form that people need to fill in it says new garden name

We also say in the scope:

we would like to retain the Indian sandstone paving and the Paliframe fences, but within these constraints we would
like you to design a new and innovative garden. You may recycle anything from the existing garden, but feel free to
stretch the boundaries of design.

maybe it wasn't clear enough, I don't know?

You are about the 4th person who has asked this, so I guess I had better put something along these lines on the blog, in case others that haven’t got in touch are going down this line.  Thanks for helping me decide to do this.

So I just want to make this clear, the old names of Seaside or float garden are just the names we are calling these at the moment. Please choose new names and themes.  This goes for the Whitefriars challenge too, please choose a name and theme if you want.

thanks  Louise

detail on paving in Seaside garden, what size and how many?

Hi everyone

I've been prompted to give more detail on the paving in the Seaside garden, now we have decided it can be taken up and relaid, predictably someone wanted to know what size, type and quantity of it there was.  I guess the devil is in the detail and it pays to be diligent.  In the spirit of fairness I obviously want everyone that is considering designing for the replacement for seaside garden to have the same information, so here you are:

On the paving query the type that was used is Bretts sandstone, fossil mint:

This comes as a mixture of various approx sizes. We have:

29 x 29cm – 6 no.
60 v 30cm – 9no.
60 x 60cm – 11no.
60 x 90cn – 13no.
I have attached a pic of it, that shows the detail and colour in the stones, which I think is really rather attractive.

Hope this helps.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Seaside garden's paving query?


A couple of designers have asked this sort of thing regarding the paving in the seaside garden:

...the scope for this garden states that you wish to retain the Indian sandstone paving. Would you be happy for this to be relaid or do you wish for it to stay in its current location?

and this:

I hope I haven't missed some vital piece of info in the material you have already sent. In the seaside garden - you want to retain the existing paving - as it is laid or can it be lifted and re-used in a different design? I appreciate the need for sustainability but would feel very restricted trying to incorporate the existing paving, which covers a substantial area of the garden, into a new design. 

We've had a look at the very lovely paving and decided it can be taken up and relaid elsewhere in the garden, as it would be rather inhibiting to have to keep in the same place.



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

different versions of Vectorworks files for float & seaside

Hi again

some of you have had problems opening the Vectorworks files in the brief pack,  apparently because you have different versions of the package.  We now have various versions available to download from drop box:

hopefully that will make things easier?


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

feedback from a couple of designers who have misunderstood the brief

I have had two fairly similar bits of feedback see below:

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I do not possess Vectorworks or live near Canterbury so I will have to give it a miss this year.
Please read the reply below that I sent to someone earlier on who had these same concerns  and now agrees she may have got the wrong end of the stick I have re-ordered this so it’s easy to follow rather than reading from the bottom upwards – that always does me in!:
Hi Louise
Well, I don't feel I'm able to enter the competition this time. The Canterbury competition is, as you say , ideally suited to a designer who is local. 
The seaside garden is sponsored by Vectorworks, which I do not use - so am at an obvious disadvantage. Not only that, but  true seaside gardens are not situated on heavy clay so I would feel a bit of a fraud trying to design and plant up on this type of soil.
Hi    *********
I’m sorry you see this as all too difficult, perhaps you need to re-read the pack?
The Whitefriars challenge would ideally suit a local designer, but that doesn’t mean that someone who is not local, who has the best design will not win.  The other show gardens are in this part of the world, not far from Canterbury and we have had winners from all over the country in previous years.  Also previous years winners have never found it a problem to visit Kent (or Canterbury – where we held a meet the designers day at the Zone last year).
If you read again, the seaside garden can be produced in traditional methods or  Vectorworks, but it doesn’t have to be Vectorworks see below:
If you cannot provide such a drawing, our in house designers will produce one for you working from your plans.
If you require a copy of the Vectorworks software you can do this by downloading a 30 day trial version.
So there's no disadvantage at all.
The seaside garden is only called that because the previous designer decided to make it with a seaside theme - it is not remaining as the seaside garden, the point is to change it and for the designers entering the competition to use their imagination and creativity to conjure up some thing different, with its own new and special theme.  As for the clay soil, there is a bit of this at the back of the garden, I understand, although I am not a garden designer myself, that it is helpful to point out soil types, so mistakes aren’t made when choosing plants that prefer certain types of soil.  I’m sure the clay soil aspect can be incorporated successfully in the design.
Maybe having read this in the morning light, (I note you emailed at nearly 11pm last night, so you may well have been tired!) and if you have another read of the brief, you may find yourself feeling a bit different now *******.
Thanks and kind regards
Sorry Louise - I sincerely hope I didn't come across as bring rude - my sincere apologies if I did!!
Thanks for taking the time write back - most appreciated and I think I got the wrong end of the stick...I'll take a look again and NOT read up on things late at night!!
 Hi Again *****
Hopefully that will make some sense ?
Thanks and regards
and the other designer also said this in reply:
To be honest I didn't read the pack just your opening email - I am glad that Nemetscheck will consider hand drafted drawings, I didn't expect them to as they are sponsoring with Vectorworks - my mistake. To be honest I have been looking forward to doing some competition work and maybe I jumped the gun thinking as the other person did, that I would be at a disadvantage before even getting started, as you are aware the design and fulfilling the brief can take some time and late nights. Thanks for your understanding and response.

4th Annual Jacksons Show Gardens Competition

Hi Everyone - thanks to all of you who have registered your interest.

The 4th Annual Jacksons Show Gardens Competition is up and really running now. We emailed out the competition brief packs - well a link to download all the info from dropbox to everyone who has registered their interest yesterday evening.  Interestingly this was on exactly the same date last year -  11th Feb.
Here's the link for anyone who is interested:

The closing date for entries is 20th March, so a day after the closing date last year.  I'm sure you will all appreciate the extra day!

This year we wanted to do something a bit different, as we'd followed pretty much the same formula for the last 3 years. So we have 3 distinctly different design challenges for those entering. 

 We also have some other companies involved, this is something that has happened quite naturally; we are delighted to announce that images of our timber fencing, gates and garden products have been developed in Vectorworks image library.  Vectorworks as I’m sure you all know is the market leading software used by many garden designers and landscape architects.  Having our images in their library is great as this enables Vectorworks users to easily import and integrate (in my humble opinion) some of the best looking fencing and garden products ready made into their designs. It seemed obvious that a way of bringing this to designers and landscape architects attention was to involve Nemetschek Vectorworks as a sponsor for one of the show gardens.

The other partner is Whitefriars.  We worked very successfully together last year on a project in Canterbury, which we called the Zone.  This year weve been invited to work with them again, although we've upped the ante somewhat this year.

Now that people are looking at the brief packs I have received a few emails, calling for clarification on some points that seem a little wooly to them - it's probably the way it is written, things can make perfect sense in one's own head when you read things back!  so I will put some of the queries questions and answers here to hopefully other people I may have confused!  But that will be a bit later on...