Holland Landscapes Wins Gold in APL Awards 2019

Holland Landscapes Wins Gold in APL Awards 2019

The Holland Landscapes Team are proud to have been given one of the top awards at the 2019 APL Awards. Here’s a little bit more about the winning garden.

About the APL Awards

Every year the Association of Professional Landscapers showcases the UK Landscape Industry’s very best work. APL members submit their projects for scrutiny from Britain’s top landscaping experts. The judging team looks at design, workmanship, plantmanship, innovation and of course value for money. (By value for money we’re not talking about lowest price, we’re talking about best quality at sensible prices)

Holland Landscapes Team with one of their APL Awards 2019

This year, Holland Landscapes entered two of our projects for the awards.  Roman Road in Colchester and a large rural garden near Ongar  

We couldn’t be more excited about the results

Our Roman Road garden in Colchester was awarded a Gold Medal in its category

Ongar came home with bronze.

Our APL Awards Winning Garden

This was a great project to work on. Not a very bit garden but the design fitted in some fabulous features.

What the client wanted

Colchester based garden designer Karen Chamberlain  was invited to give this small garden a facelift.

colchester garden before transformation by holland landscapes

The garden before work began. The clients clearly have green fingers but the lack of privacy was an issue and there is little room to sit and enjoy the space.


The clients knew it was time for new fencing and decided to give the whole garden a fresh look.  Karen’s brief included

  • Improve privacy
  • Create space for entertaining and for contemplation
  • Reduce maintenance
  • Lots of country garden style planting
  • Soft lines and curves
  • Include the roman wall which borders part of the garden

Key Design Features

Karen has very cleverly used every part of this unusually shaped garden. We were lucky in that the client was open to experiment with different materials. Which is how we came to install this impressive cor-ten wall.

curved cor ten wall surrounding garden seating area

The surface colour instantly brings a sense of maturity to the garden. It looks well maintained and ageless rather than shiny and new, which is exactly what the client ordered.

The larger seating or entertainment area is a beautiful circle of red brick pavers. The colour was chosen to echo the brickwork on the property itself.

creating a circular brick weave patio area

Creating curves calls for precision landcaping – especially when using rectangular components

new fence and circular seating area

The new fence and completed large circular seating area

The cor-ten wall curves around to hug a smaller seating area which is also screened by soft, sensual planting to give a feeling of privacy and security. It’s a lovely sun trap and the perfect place to sit with a book.

Enhancing the view from all angles

Finally the long, slim mini-garden which housed the shed, was transformed from an exposed and uninspiring trackway into an intriguing journey. The curved cor-ten works beautifully with the profile of the Roman wall to improve privacy and change the tired, functional building into a destination.

pathway to a shed with curved path and boundary walls

The tiny secret garden leading to the shed

roman wall used in boundary fence

The view from the shed showing how the original Roman wall works with the curves of the cor-ten wall

A two seater bench in the same gentle colour as the shed offers fine views of the Roman wall and into the landscape beyond. This gives a different perspective on the main body of the garden and invites the visitor to explore further.

Planting is a mix of traditional and modern with strong use of bee-friendly flowers.

The results

As is typical of many gardens in mature properties, successive gardeners had added features over the years to improve small areas.  However, as you can see from the “after” pictures, the garden is now fresh, modern, low maintenance and a truly restful sanctuary.

whispy garden planting with fennel plants and aliums

As a landscaper, it’s great to have a new challenge. This is our first taste of working with Cor-ten steel and of course creating curves always needs more concentration than straight lines. A big thankyou to Karen for inviting us to build this garden and a huge shout out to the Holland Landscapes team whose precision work earned us the Gold Award.


Some of  our other gardens

Luxurient small garden in Lawford

Practical driveway and elegant front garden in Frinton

Coastal Garden in West Mersea


Does your property deserve an award winning garden? Contact us to discuss your requirements


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