“I have a passion to create; be it building dens with my children in the woods, designing interior spaces to evoke a certain atmosphere or strumming my guitar making music. At the heart of what I do is creativity. As a child I would draw picture upon picture, perfecting the art of drawing my favourite fictional characters. At school I studied fine art, getting lost in the processes involved with creating my masterpiece. I love to create and always have done.
With a love for creativity, nature and being outdoors, I have run my own landscape construction business in Suffolk and Essex since 2010. Over the past 10 years I have designed and built many gardens of various styles and budgets and have been recognised nationally for my creative designs and space solutions. I am passionate about seeing a space transformed from tired and worn to sleek and contemporary, meeting the needs of a 21st-century lifestyle.
My passion to create has now led me to designing garden spaces full time. Designing a garden ushers in change and the development of a space, which in turn enhances the lives of the people who use it. Being outdoors is proven to be vital for wellbeing, and I personally find it to be the most crucial element to ensuring good mental and physical health. Through carefully considered and inspired design, my aim is to get people enjoying their outdoor spaces so that we can once again become more connected to the holistic beauty that nature has on offer for us all.”
– Mike Long
Bury St Edmunds
Having recently moved from the city to this beautiful Suffolk estate, our clients were particularly keen to bring this fabulous home back to its former glory. Our brief was to create a terraced area 5m x 7m to house a new dining set with overhanging sail cloth brolly, an area that would be used to entertain and dine al fresco.
To achieve a sensitive garden design we needed to carefully consider the material choices, colours, style and of course think about how all these elements would sit against a house that made such a statement. Adding to our design challenge, the site was also sloping from left to right eliminating the option of a rectangular terrace coming straight from the house.
The end result was a stunning new terrace that successfully overcame the initial obstacles. Natural stone, a German limestone, was used to create the main terraces whilst a buff coloured brick forms a retaining wall that doubles up as a raised planter, softening the overall scheme. Symmetrical shapes were employed to complement the house with wide sweeping steps leading down to the main terrace, overcoming the issue of a sloping site.
Having purchased this beautiful coach house restoration project situated in the heart of Suffolk, our clients commissioned us to design a garden before building works were completed to try and synchronise the completion of all construction work on site. They had two young children who were keen to have a large open space for using their scooters and playing various other wide games, they also wanted areas for relaxing and entertaining.
The garden comprised of three very untidy tiers and was a mismatch of repairs and installs completed over several decades. Littered with broken concrete paving the existing terrace was uneven and had many built-in flower beds with tired and weary planting schemes. A big obstacle was incorporating a deep well within the landscaping, they wanted the well to remain but not to make an overbearing feature from it.
Given that the house was so perfectly symmetrical, this was our chosen starting point for the design. Three tiers remained but were made far more accessible and practical, each with their own areas to explore as you walked through the garden. We incorporated a built-in hot tub, designed to look part of the hardwood decking. The pool of water was kept shallow to allow freezing for winter fun and warmth in the summer sun. The main terrace was broken up with hardwood decking running centrally through it and splashes of purple rendered features were used to create interest in the garden, complementing the existing mature Buddleias and Lavenders.
Our clients were a young couple buying their first home together. Living and working within the hive of activity that the science parks have to offer in Cambridge, our clients wanted a garden that would match the technology-centred lifestyle they are accustomed to in their work life.
Our clients wanted to have a space that was both modern and comfortable whilst offering them both a feeling of peace and relaxation away from their busy work schedules. Initial design concepts were drawn up by another designer which offered a starting point, but our client wanted to simplify the design; we worked with our clients and recommended the necessary changes to create their ideal garden.
Opening up from the house, we designed a large terrace that would be the hub for parties and dinners. By creating different levels into the design, we achieved interest and height as well as extra seating space for large garden parties. The garden project included a large bespoke water feature which brings the relaxing sound of water into the space whilst subtly drowning out any passing traffic noise due to the location of the house. Our solution also included lighting, automated lawn sprinklers, outdoor speakers and water features that can all be operated from the touch of a button on any smart device.
Introducing the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) ‘A Place to Meet’ show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2020.
This is my second show garden and I am so excited to be able to announce that I have been invited to design a garden for this prestigious RHS flower show. I have been involved with the APL for 5 years, I feel truly honoured to have been asked by the association to design their second-ever judged show garden at Hampton Court.
The garden will be project managed by the landscape team at Kebur Garden Materials in Farnborough, bringing in other highly skilled landscape contractors from within the APL nationwide. Collaborations of this kind are so exciting as you have the opportunity to bring together a wide array of skills and share and learn from the experience and skills of others involved. I have no doubt that the garden build is in excellent hands.
The design will encompass areas to lounge, to stand and have drinks as well as various repurposed features to create interest throughout the scheme. Main paths will be laid in a smooth sawn Limestone with Dutch-style pavers breaking up the hard landscaping into different areas whilst subtly complimenting a reclaimed brick boundary wall.
The planting will knit together the contemporary styled hard landscaping, keeping colours to a palette of greens and whites. Ilex Crenata balls will border the main path whilst using an Ilex Crenata hedge to weave in between seating in a sunken terrace area. Hydrangea paniculata will form additional height and structure throughout the central borders. A multi-stemmed specimen will be planted central to the scheme, whilst Prunus Serrula will grow across two large concrete features.
Specimens such as Trachelospermum Jasminoides and Nicotiana Sylvestris will be grown for their scented white flowers, creating a visual and aromatic feast for the senses. The planting will be chosen to have interest between Spring and Autumn in the UK.