Shamley Wood House is an impressive Mock Tudor property located in the beautiful Surrey Hills. It is owned and managed by talented garden designer Claire Merriman, who designed the garden herself. The garden opens for the National Gardens Scheme and for gardening groups at various times of the year.
The garden extends over three acres and includes a series of different areas, featuring a topiary, a pond, rill, bulbs, cutting garden flowers, rose garden, lawns, terraces and established borders and trees. There is also a separate allotment garden. From its hilltop location, garden vistas have been created to make the most of the views, as well as having secluded planted areas in which statues and surprise installations can be discovered.
Access Irrigation were responsible for the design and supply of the complete irrigation system to water the lawns, planted borders and allotment garden. The system was fully automated, using a Hunter X2 14-zone irrigation controller. This controller is highly reliable and easy to use. A ‘WAND’ Wi-Fi module was included to allow the X2 to be operated remotely from any computer, Android, or iOS device and to automatically adjust irrigation schedules based on local weather data, enabling substantial savings in water use. A submersible pump housed in a 10,000 litre Cat 5 break tank was used to create a pressurised water supply and to comply with the Water Regulations regarding backflow prevention. Solenoid valves were used to split the system into sperate zones, allowing each zone to operate at a separate time, thereby enabling good water flow and therefore efficient watering for each zone. The solenoid valves were housed in underground valve boxes at various locations within the garden, which were connected to the controller via signal cable and connected to the pump & tank via supply pipe – both the signal cable and supply pipe ran in underground trenches – being buried 300mm below the surface.
Each solenoid valve is opened and closed in sequence by the controller. When the first valve opens, the pump will detect a drop in pressure (due to pressure release from the open valve) and will begin to operate to boost the pressure back up again. This will cause water to flow through the first (now open) solenoid valve to water the first zone. The controller closes the first valve, and immediately opens the next valve in the sequence. Once the last valve has closed, the water flow will cease, pressure will build again, and the pump will stop operating.
The irrigation system was split into a total of 13 separate zones. 10 zones were used to water the lawns, 2 zones to water the borders and the final zone to water the allotment garden.
The lawns were watered using Hunter PGP Ultra and Hunter MP Rotator Pop-up sprinklers. These sprinklers drop into the lawn below the mowing level when not in use, enabling them to be completely hidden from view. The PGP Ultra is the latest version of the world’s best-selling rotary Pop-up and is designed to have a long and trouble-free life. It has a range from 5.2m to 14.0m and arc adjustment from 50º to 360º. The sprinkler features a heavy-duty plastic construction with vandal-proof drive mechanism and thick rubber cover. MP Rotator sprinklers emit water with multi-trajectory rotating streams, giving excellent uniformity, matched precipitation at any arc or radius and low application rate to reduce run-off. These sprinklers have a range from 2.5m to 9.1m, making them ideal for small to medium turf areas. Hunter sprinklers are renowned for their quality and feature a ‘top-down’ design that allows all servicing to be carried out from above – saving damage to the lawn. Both sprinkler types include built-in drain check valves that will hold back up to 3m head of water. The allotment garden was also watered using MP Rotator sprinklers – however, these were mounted on MP rotator adaptor by support posts, as using a Pop-up version was not suitable for this area.
The planted borders were watered using Permadrip-Pro dripline. Permadrip-Pro is a brown coloured dripline designed for landscape irrigation with a 16mm pipe diameter and a wall thickness of 1.2mm. The 1.6 L/h drip emitters are pressure compensating, ensuring uniform output over a wide pressure range and include a built-in anti-siphon mechanism, to prevent dirt being sucked into the drippers at the end of the irrigation cycle. These features make it ideal for sub-surface use and for use on sloping sites. The emitters also have a large inlet filter and unique, continually self-cleaning design, giving excellent resistance to blockages. Dripline of 0.5m dripper spacing was used, being laid out in lengths spaced every 0.5m apart, to ensure even watering.
Our project has resulted in a lush and intriguing garden that is a joy to visit. We are delighted with the result and are proud to play our part in helping a beautiful garden flourish.