Case Study 1: My Garden
Site Survey: My Garden
Landform and Biodiversity
The site is mostly tarmac, with some patio and lawn and is flat lieing at an alktitude of 30 metres. The lawn, planted in 2002, dries out very quickly due to lack of depth of soil - there is a concrete base underneath at a depth of 15cm. Limited vegetable and shrub growing has brought in just enough pollinators for current food production. The surrounding area however is a rural village and there is woodland and an estuary within a quarter of a mile. There are plenty of birds in the area but also several cats which limits their movements.
Climate data taken from: http://www.tijou.co.uk/weather/longtimevalues.html
Average Rainfall: 630 mm
Monthly rainfall fluctuates between 40 - 70mm except April where average rainfall is only 21mm
Sun and Wind
Average min / max temperatures in summer: 11 - 22 Centigrade
Average min / max temperatures in winter 2 - 10 Centigrade
Sun hours per day summer, 5 - 7; Winter 2.5 - 4
Average wind speed 6.6 mph;
Maximum wind speed 39.3 mph 08/01/2005
Previaling wind: south-west
Frosts in a winter Average 47, Most 57 (2008-2009), Least 27 (2006-2007)
First Frost Earliest 21/10 (2007), Latest 1/12 (2009)
Last Frost Earliest 12/3 (2010), Latest 10/4 (2008)
Overal, the site is well sheltered from prevailing south-west wind due to surrounding buildings and walls and there are no obvious frost pockets or temperature variations.
North facing wall bounding the garden casts shade over the entire narrow raised bed running underneath the wall.
Buildings cast shade over the entire driveway to the north of property.
South facing wall of house presents good opportunity for growing, as evidenced by the thriving Red Robin tree.
Potential frost pockets aligned to areas beneath north facing walls.
Wind-tunnel effects as shown on sector analysis map
Outside tap fitted to north wall.
3 water butts fed by 3 different roof pitches. All current downpipes have a water butt attached.
Scope for grey water but complex and costly due to current plumbing system.
Standard mains provides water for 2 adults
3 water butts currently provide most of the water for vegetables and house plants. Outside tap has been used but rarely in 2011 growing season.
Standard urban sewerage and drains systems.
There is no underlying soil on this site due to the entire site being originally concrete or patio. The soil incorporated into raised beds and large containers comes from mixed sources (nursery, free-cycle) and has been heavily mixed with organic material (imported horse manure from local stables and home composting).
The main house is in good general condition. It is difficult to heat in the winter due to largerooms with very high ceilings, poor insultation (solid wall building on most of house).
'Yourspace' which is used for teaching yoga but also used by the family gets very cold in the winter and is expensive to heat. Both Yourspace and the mainhouse have a south facing wall.
The shed is in poor condition, two small for the clients needs and is 'on its last legs' - any attempt to move would lead to its demise,
There is 1.2m stone wall, owned, running along south of property.
2m fence. There is a 2m high wooden fence, owned by the neighbours, running along the east of the property.
There are no known underground and overhead services that will impact the design of this site.
Summer crops have grown well for 2 years: tomatoes, cucumber, aubergine.