This year Ashford Borough Council re-launched its Ashford in Bloom gardening competition as part of their ‘Year of Environment’.  The aim is to encourage civic pride as well as bring awareness to the environment within the borough.

environmentally friendly garden

One garden has got our attention within this year’s entries and it’s due to the fact the garden was created mainly using Jacksons Fencing products to create lots of interesting garden features.

The garden was entered into the ‘Most Environmentally Friendly Garden’ category which focused on beautiful looking gardens that also help to save the planet. Whether it was water saving techniques, solar power, or just a garden to help local wildlife, the category was full of simple ideas we could all integrate into our gardens.

environmentally friendly garden ideas

The garden is host to many cool and quirky features that were all created by hand. We spoke to the owner responsible for creating it all himself.

The sauna was created mainly using timber products.  The basic shape and structure was made from Jacksons Jakwall landscape timber and decking joists. As landscape timbers come into contact with the ground we treat them with a more intense version of our unique Jakcure® timber treatment to add extra protection from rot and insect attack. Our landscaping timbers were used to form the exterior walls whilst concrete was used to create the floor and seating around the edge.

sauna

For the internal walls the owner opted for Cedar wood which is the most commonly used timber for a sauna. Cedar emits a subtle scent of the forest after heat whilst also resisting staining, discolouration and odour absorption.  Using timber is also popular as it has the ability to expand and contract with changes in temperature with losing its integrity.

inside sauna

Inside, a wood burning stove was installed as the renewable energy source supplying heat to the sauna.

Just outside the sauna is a handmade shower which provides a refreshing blast after a hot stint in the sauna. The main structure of the shower was created from 70mm timber posts. The shower tray was cleverly designed from our Venetian pales taken from our Venetian panels.

shower

Interestingly, when the owner was looking to buy a shower tray of this design in the size he needed, the cost was just too high. So manufacturing this himself not only gave him the option to perfectly fill the space he had but also massively reduced the cost.

shower tray

Wildflowers were planted on top of the sauna to help create a hub for wildlife; attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

Wood stores have been installed around the gardens which supply the wood burning stove -one nestled behind some greenery and some more stored under and bench in a quiet corner of the garden. The bench is made from our landscaping timbers which could be easily recreated in your own garden.

log store under bench

Water tanks can often be eye sores within a garden and this was something the owner was conscious of within his design.  In order to disguise and reduce the amount of space a water tank would take up, one was dug into the ground. The water tank collected all the bath water from the property and fed the whole garden with water. This is a really useful water saving technique that isn’t difficult to replicate in your own home.

A seating area around the fire pit has been created using reclaimed timber sleepers. Whilst acting as a seating area the sleepers are also holding back the soil behind, creating levels within the garden.

fire pit

To help create this blissful oasis our acoustic fencing was installed around the perimeter, reducing noise from the nearby road and school. Whilst implementing the noise reduction capabilities the natural timber facade helps to blend and complement the other timber products within the garden creating a pleasant sense of continuity.

The garden won the best environmentally friendly garden in this year’s competition

Scroll through the images below to see the sauna being built.