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the north west

David Keegan Garden Design: award-winning project The Eco Garden Worsley

David Keegan

A recent challenge is adapting to increased specifications in tree planting, in particular with the tree-pit detail. ‘Many years ago, you would dig a hole, put in top soil and plant the tree,’ he comments. ‘Commercial developments are employing intricate tree pit systems, involving structural ground retention units, irrigation systems, root protection barriers, and air vents to the tree pit. We’ve become skilled, and I believe it’s something that every landscaper will have to adapt to. It’s fascinating that the tree pit can cost four to five times more than the actual cost of the tree; a tree pit can cost anywhere between £3,000 to £5,000, while the tree is more in the £500 - £600 range.’ ‘I believe the privately funded retirement home market is going to expand massively,’ he adds. ‘Landscapers need to be aware of that and the workload.’ RECYCLING Despite being based in the urban area on Greater Manchester, David Keegan of David Keegan Garden Design says his design approach is affected by the wider landscape of the North West. ‘I try to use as many materials as I possibly can that you would find in the natural landscape,’ he says. ‘Recycled materials and sustainability is a big part of that. I use big boulders, and the limestone that was used


so extensively by the Edwardians that there’s an abundance of it. Nobody’s using it, and it’s being dumped into skips, which is such a shame. So, I create a ‘forest garden’, where we re-use the limestone to create banks and planting beds, so the planting areas are less formal and less structured.’ He also takes on longer projects, sometimes up to five years, with clients who are understanding and open, and

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