Dunsinane Apartments

Location: Exmouth, Devon
Services: Planting and landscape design
Status: Completed 2016
POI: Seafront location with coastal and Italian themes

A landscape design project to create a planting scheme to accompany the development of a new contemporary apartment complex along Exmouth’s Seafront

Landscape design

Dunsinane, in Exmouth, is a new apartment complex consisting of two contemporary blocks of 12 apartments overlooking a nature reserve along the seafront. Approached back in early 2014 by the property developer, we were commissioned to create full planting and landscape designs for the gardens and grounds.

Our plans featured a mix of soft and hard landscaping that would encompass surrounding front and rear gardens. This included an extensive embankment which would be visible to the public to the rear of the property along the seafront and areas around the communal parking bays at the front.

Coastal themes

Overall, we devised an Italianate-themed scheme for the project. But working with the development’s location, this also included a strong coastal theme to planting using gravel and specimen architectural plants to the front of the property.

At the rear, the embankment used specimen shrubs and groundcover with a Victorian-period Mediterranean style, fitting well with the wider setting of established gardens adjacent of the site. This area of the garden was also home to communal bench seating and timber steps formed with sleepers among existing trees and pathways.

Site-specific planting

Our design included a host of plants and trees that were both sympathetic to surrounding properties as well as being site-specific. Our garden and plant design palette had been largely dictated by the sloping ground, but chosen for being well suited to the dry soil conditions.

Sample plants in our designs included Bay Trees, Juniper Chinensis ‘Obelisk’, Monterey Pine, Olive, Holly, Viburnum, Yucca, Magnolia, Geranium, Cordylne Agapanthus, Skimmia, and Euphorbia.

We also provided a 5-year establishment maintenance schedule of new plants for the site. This included recommended visits at eight-weekly intervals to:

  • Weed control around the plants and on grass areas
  • Pruning of any dead or broken branches or shoots
  • Check all supporting plant stakes and ties to adjust or replace as necessary