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Gardens are the perfect place to relax and smell the roses.

The garden is an integral part of any home. An extension to your living space, gardens provide the perfect place to relax and entertain during the summer months.

Homemaker takes a look at what the builders have to offer.

Shotley Bridge

PLOT 1 of Dunelm Castle Homes' unique Bridge Island development at Shotley Bridge, features a partly decked rear garden

Stretching the full width of the three storey, three bedroom detached Wansbeck home, priced at pounds 335,000, the decked area provides superb views over the small waterfall on the River Derwent.

Constructed in natural stone, the Wansbeck features a single garage, spacious ground floor and kitchen/dining room. There is also a first floor lounge with pleasant river views, and bedroom.

The master bedroom, complete with walk-in wardrobe and en-suite facilities, is located on the second floor, as is the second bedroom.

Bridge Island is constructed on a triangular piece of land between the River Derwent and the Shotleyfield Burn. It will consist of just 20 stone built, three storey homes in a riverside setting.

Only two homes remain for sale at Bridge Island, the Wansbeck at pounds 335,000 and a four bedroom detached Breamish home at pounds 385,000, tel: (0191) 377-4590.

Newcastle Great Park

DAVE Haddock, a landscape gardener for more than 25 years, creates gardens for housebuilder Barratt.

In the middle of busy construction sites he creates an oasis of colour and calm using landscaping which blends well with the showhomes.

At Barratt's Melbury development, the perfect example of instant gardening can be seen in the main show arena. Plants have been used which anyone buying a new home here could grow, and they blend beautifully with the whole green environment of Newcastle Great Park.

To keep the plants healthy a special underground irrigation system has been created to ensure a superb display.

The floral displays in the showhome gardens have also been extended into the show area's car park to demonstrate just how attractive floral displays can be, even when you don't have a garden.

"I like informal garden designs and try to mix a variety of colours with foliage in a natural setting," said Dave. "I use lots of low-maintenance plants and flowers because they are more natural. I don't want to create a garden which is going to be a lot of work when the showhome is eventually sold.

"One method of landscaping I'm using a lot now is container displays such as urns, pots and hanging baskets. With regular care and attention this kind of gardening can bring extra life to a patio or driveway throughout the year." Tel: 08456 080 100.

AT Bett Home's Westhouse development in Durham homebuyers can opt for a bespoke garden design service to ensure that living outdoors is as enjoyable as indoors.

This personal landscape service allows buyers to customise the garden to suit their individual taste and requirements. The layout of the garden can be essential to ensuring that the grounds of a property enhance the home and this can be achieved with the expert design advice provided by Chelsea award-winning landscape gardener, Alan Capper.

Landscape gardening packages are available at all Bett developments and include a comprehensive range of services such as turfing, pine decking and ornamental planting with prices starting from as little as pounds 1,000.

The luxury family homes at Westhouse range from pounds 540000 to pounds 725000, tel: (0191) 384-8470.

Stanhope, Weardale

THE final two homes at Dere Street's Horn Hall development in Stanhope come complete with private gardens backing onto the River Wear.

Typical of these homes is Holly View House, a superb stone-built, three storey, five bedroom executive home available for pounds 479,000. The home features a magnificent first floor lounge, in addition to the ground floor lounge, separate study and garden room. There is also a spacious open plan breakfasting kitchen and dining room.

The first floor also features the master bedroom with en-suite facilities and bedrooms two and three which share the family bathroom. To the second floor, there are two further large bedrooms, which could easily be used as additional lounges or playrooms, and a separate spacious shower room, tel: (0191) 373-6535.

THE buyer of the final three bedroom apartment at Dere Street's unique The Leazes development in the Weardale market town of Wolsingham, will have access to a garden created by the Bainbridge family when Leazes House was built in 1865.

The residents of the four luxury apartments share a spacious garden to the front of Leazes House which is surrounded by a superb variety of mature trees. This includes giant redwoods which were originally imported by the Bainbridge family.

Apartment three at The Leazes is available for pounds 325,000, tel: (0191) 373-6535.

Medburn Village

THE landscaped front and rear gardens of Medburn House and Holly House, Meadowcroft's flagship development of two prestigious pounds 1m residences, offer an idyllic setting in which to live.

Set in the rural village of Medburn, near Ponteland and surrounded by open countryside, both properties have been individually designed and traditionally constructed to conserve and incorporate the stunning natural landscape.

Along a small embankment, the Med Burn flows through both front gardens attracting much local wildlife. High stone walls, automated, wrought iron gates, and a fully paved driveway and forecourt for several vehicles, provide a grand entrance to both five bedroom, five bathroom properties.

At the rear, fully landscaped gardens with paved sun terraces and seating areas provide the ideal location to relax and entertain.

Medburn House also benefits from a utility garden, tel: 07919 410 380.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2005
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