Milltimber garden project offers homeowners a low maintenance, modern space to relax

Milltimber garden project - Papillon Designs & Landscaping

Milltimber garden project offers homeowners a low maintenance, modern space to relax


To create a contemporary garden space that will make for easier living with low maintenance, whilst providing a space that looks good and can be enjoyed.


- More parking
- Easy maintenance
- Nicer path leading to the back garden
- A larger patio area
- Furniture to make it easier to watch the children play
- A hot tub

What we did:

Papillon re-designed the front garden and removed the grass altogether, making it easier to maintain. Doing this made way for a driveway extension, which now has space to park up to five cars.

To the rear of the property, we added Millboard decking, a sunken hot tub and constructed a modern cream and grey porcelain paving area, which runs along the length of the property. A bench will be added to the front of the house to make it easy to watch the kids.

Dry-river beds were planted throughout the garden and offer a modern look. They are easy on the eye with sporadic planting adding a pop of colour. This, along with the extended driveway, makes the garden low maintenance for the busy homeowners.

Dry-river beds were added to the boundaries of the garden with evergreen planting.


> Hot tub
> New patio in porcelain paving
> Extended lock-block driveway
> Dry-river beds with planting
> Bench (to follow)
> Bollard lighting

The outcome:

A contemporary garden full of interest and ready for fun.

We have created a space that is manageable for our clients, with a design that makes for a relaxing atmosphere in a space where hobbies can be enjoyed, serenity can be found, and family memories created.

View more pictures of this garden in our portfolio page.

For more information on garden design by Papillon, please contact us directly.



Sporadic planting
Lock-block driveway
Porcelain patio in cream and grey. Papillon Designs & Landscaping.

What will 2019 hold for your garden? Is it time to write a Garden Plan?

How to create a garden plan in 2019

What will 2019 hold for your garden?  Is it time to write a Garden Plan?

It’s that time of year when people start thinking forward and putting in place New Years’ resolutions. When it comes to your garden, a garden plan can be a great tool to help you think ahead and given that its ‘tools down-time’ for most, January is a great time to do it.

As well as giving you something to look forward to, your garden will benefit from a bit of attention and it’s good to set goals and to keep control of your garden before it starts taking control of you.

Papillon has experts to help you with this process...making the process quicker.  By using our years of experience in design and construction, we can come up with ideas that are innovative.

What do you want from your garden?

So, let’s start thinking about what you want from your garden, not just in the short term, but also the long term.
To help you create a garden plan, we’ve pulled together ten steps to help:

1. Draw a plan

Start by drawing out a map or plan of your current garden to scale. Once you’ve gone through many of the points below, you can start to draw a plan of your new garden.

2. Make a list

Write a list of what you like and dislike about your garden, as well as what your aspirations are and your ‘big dreams’.
Some examples of problem areas:

  • A need for more plants/vegetables/colour
  • A desire for an outdoor room to enjoy the garden all seasons
  • It’s not private enough
  • There’s nowhere for the kids to play
  • There is a damp patch in the garden
  • No sitting space
  • The garden is too exposed to wind, so I never get out to enjoy it
  • I have a big slope in the garden (see our previous blog on what to do with a sloping garden).
  • My plants aren’t growing

3. Lifestyle - how can your garden work around you?

Being aware of your lifestyle will help you work out what is realistic and what will conflict with your plan.
Some areas to consider:

  • No time for gardening
  • Having young kids
  • A lifestyle of entertaining
  • No gardening knowledge or skills
  • A disability that impacts on the time spent in the garden
  • No time to learn about gardening

4. What are you going to do about it?

What actions can you set to help you combat the problem areas and build your dream garden? Write them down.

5. Consider the variables

Go through your action list and consider each of the factors below – do they have an impact?
Are your actions practical solutions?  Will they work in YOUR garden?

  • Wind
  • Sunlight
  • Heavy foot traffic areas
  • Shade
  • Maturity height and width of plants
  • Soil
  • Drainage
  • Views
  • Access to Water

Choosing plants, as an example, can be difficult. Not every plant will take to the soil it’s planted in, so more research may be required. For damp areas, you might want to use thirsty plants to help dry out the surrounding areas. Ease of care is another factor that could influence choice. Native plants are recommended, as these will take less care and are likely to give you the best results. However, be aware as these can take over and overcome other ornamental plants.

6. Resources – people, materials, budget

People: think about the resources you have and the people you know who could lend a hand. Many of the actions will be easy enough to undertake yourself, but for some, it might be best to seek professional help and advice. Speaking to an APL accredited garden designer, such as Papillon, can help.

Materials: what materials will you use and how will you source them? Carry out your research and consider different materials for the elements they’ll be exposed to.

Budget: how much do you have to spend on your garden? This could have an impact on the materials and plants that you use, so it’s good to understand this at the outset.

7. Upcycle & recycle

If you can upcycle old goods and bring new life to them, then that is great! This will help to protect the environment and reduce emissions. Think hard about what you need for each project and have a look at some of the second-hand sales websites out there to see if you can source second-hand goods. If throwing things out, be sure to check if they are recyclable and dispose of them ethically.

8. Prioritise your list

Refine your list by highlighting the tasks that are ‘do-able’ within the next 12 months, as well as the ones that are causing problems. Tackling the real problem areas first may bring you the happiness you need to plough on. If your big problem areas are too big, then look for some ‘quick-wins’ to keep you motivated or get someone else to help.

9. Hire the right people

Ensure that your construction company have the relevant qualifications and a warranty period. A good place to look is Association of Professional Landscapers (APL).

10. Get started

Once you’ve outlined your actions and considered your resources, materials, waste, etc. it is time to get started! Do one thing at a time and don’t forget to take before and after pictures to help you see and monitor your progress.

Good luck!

For more information on garden design, please contact Papillon directly. Good luck with your garden for 2019!

New town garden offers low maintenance with a contemporary look

New town garden offers low maintenance with a contemporary look

Papillon has recently completed a town garden design & construction project in Garthdee, Aberdeen.

The design was built to fit with the lifestyle of the owner, giving them a garden to relax in, without the burden of a high maintenance space.  The steeply sloped garden was transformed into a relaxing open space to include planting beds, retaining walls, stone paving and a patio.


Garden design for Garthdee project
Decking area in Garthdee project - Papillon Garden Designs
Stone globes in town garden- Papillon Designs & Landscaping

To add to the contemporary style, a stone globe water feature was positioned as a focal point next to the main patio.  To complete the look, black decorative screens were added to create interest and screen the main patio area. On sunny days, the sun can be enjoyed on the composite Millboard decking that has deliberately been positioned to maximise sunlight.


Garden features:

  • Retaining walls with contemporary bricks
  • Natural sandstone paving area & steps
  • Composite Millboard Decking area
  • Composite Decorative screens
  • Stone water feature with light built-in
  • Planting to soften the hard landscaping

Before pictures...

Before pic - Garthdee garden project, Aberdeen
Before Garthdee, Aberdeen

For more information on garden design and landscaping, please contact Papillon directly.

5 Great ideas for outdoor garden rooms

5 Great ideas for outdoor garden rooms

The addition of an outdoor living space within a garden can bring many benefits for home owners. Probably the most obvious benefit is that they provide a welcome shelter from the elements. Whether seeking shade on sunny days or shelter come rain, sleet or snow, they offer a place within your garden that you can enjoy in comfort all year round.

However, they offer much more than simply a place to retreat to in bad weather. Indeed, outdoor rooms will often become a focal point within a garden; a popular place to entertain and dine with friends and family, or to escape to for peace and tranquillity. For younger family members they can be fantastic playrooms and great for parties.

For keen gardeners, the addition of a glasshouse or an orangery, will provide them with their very own indoor botanical garden, creating opportunities to grow and protect all sorts of flowers, plants and vegetables; the perfect place in which to pursue their horticultural passion.

It’s also worth noting that an outdoor living space will very likely increase the attraction and value of your property, so it can therefore be a good investment too.

In short, there are numerous benefits to adding an outdoor living space to your garden. If you are keen to do so, then what are your options and what should you consider before deciding what to go for?

Here are our garden room ideas…

1. The Biossun Pergola

The innovative and elegant Biossun Pergola offers a contemporary outdoor living space with unrivalled flexibility. Whether it is weather to be enjoyed or to take shelter from the wind or rain, the Biossun can be adjusted for your comfort. The structure, which comes in all colours, can be situated within your garden or can be attached to your house. Made from strong and weatherproof aluminium, they are a fantastic addition to any home or garden.

Featured here, is a Biossun that Papillon installed in Bishopton recently.  It adds character to the property, as well as additional outdoor living space. The electronic blind feature gives the owners the flexibility of closing off the west-facing section to create privacy or opening it up for more air on warmer days.

Although the Biossun comes in many colours, the black chosen here works really well with the style of building and natural stonework.

ossun installed at Bishopton by Papillon Garden Designs & Landscaping
Papillon blog - example of orangery by Vale Garden Houses

2. Orangeries

From the Biossun’s innovative design and technology, we move onto an outdoor room with a long heritage and an enduring appeal, the Orangery. Indeed, the origins of Orangeries can be traced back to 15th century Renaissance Italy, when the concept of bringing the garden into the home became popular. Orangeries, as the name suggests, were primarily used for the growing of citrus trees, although are now widely used for plants of many varieties. Modern day Orangeries retain many of the Roman features and will add a classical elegance to any garden or house.

The Orangery shown to the right is a bespoke design by Vale Garden Houses.  Adjoined to the property, it creates additional space for the home and a sitting area for the garden, which is accessible through French doors.

3. Victorian Glasshouses

Victorian Glasshouses make a lovely addition to any garden. Of course, for gardening enthusiasts, as with Orangeries, their primary role will be for growing and protecting plants, flowers, vegetables and fruits. A British design icon, the classic features have changed little since the Victorian era, however, modern glasshouse are made using superior materials and methods, making them sturdy and weatherproof.

Pictured (right) is a Victorian Glasshouse that Papillon built earlier this year in Hatton of Fintray, Aberdeenshire.  The glasshouse was part of a complete garden design and construction project that included both hard and soft landscaping. Adding further character to the garden, this beautiful Victorian glasshouse was built in blending colours.  As well as adding visual appeal, it provides an area to grow further plants and vegetables and offers its owners a relaxing sitting area to enjoy the garden in all seasons.  Working with suppliers, Hartley Botanic, Papillon built the brick base in advance of the glass panel installation.

Summer house in Ballater built by Papillon Designs & Landscaping

4. Summer Houses

As with gazebos, summer houses come in many forms and styles, from rustic wooden huts to sophisticated living spaces, fitted with all the mod-cons. As such, they can be used in many ways. Whether you’re looking to add an outdoor room to your garden for work, rest or play, then a summer house could be the best solution.


The summerhouse pictured, was built by Papillon in 2017 in Ballater, Aberdeenshire.  It provides a sanctuary for the owners to enjoy all year round.  Used as additional living space and an art studio, it is tastefully decorated and fully fitted with lighting and heating for extra comfort.

5. Gazebos

Gazebos come in various guises, but are generally stand-alone temporary structures, situated within a garden, that provide shelter from the elements. Traditionally, they were positioned within gardens in spots that offered a panoramic view, with the name gazebo derived from the Latin to gaze.

Pictured here is an example of a temporary gazebo, used as a patio cover to provide shade on those lovely hot days.

Papillon Designs & Landscaping - Example of a Gazebo

We hope that the options we’ve looked at here give you some food for thought if you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to you garden. As you can see, there are many different options available. The important thing is to consider carefully which option is most suitable for your needs and your garden space. Get it right and you’ll have an outdoor living space that you and your friends and family will enjoy for years to come.

For more information on garden rooms, please contact Papillon directly.

Biossun patio covers – as seen on TV

Look out for our latest Biossun promotional video that is currently being show on STV.  Don’t worry if you missed it, you can view it below!

The Biossun offers flexibility for outdoor living. It comes with an innovative patio cover design that includes adjustable louvres, electronic blinds, glass panels and LED lighting.

The future of outdoor living!

Available from Papillon. Visit our Biossun page for more information or contact us directly.

How to prevent frost damage in your garden this autumn

How to prevent frost damage in the garden

How to prevent frost damage in your garden…

‘Jack Frost’ is on his way and so those luscious greens and precious plants are under threat in our gardens. With the first early frosts expected in October, now is the time to work in our gardens to prevent frost damage and make the most of autumn.

Papillon Plant Specialist, Aarron Long, has put together some tips to help you care for your garden this autumn…

1. Lift and store non-hardy plants

Make sure all non-hardy plants, such as Dahlias are lifted and stored over winter in a dark, dry, frost free cold environment like a garage or a shed.


2. Protect Olives and Vines

Plants such as olives and vines need frosts to set the fruit for next year but will die at temperatures lower than -5 degrees centigrade. These plants can be left outside but need light protection such as horticultural fleece. Bringing them into an unheated greenhouse is ideal.


3. Plant bulbs, shrubs and trees now for spring/summer

Bulb planting is best done in autumn for spring and summer displays.

The bare root season is about to start, so shrub and tree planting will be more cost effective and will yield better results when done at this time of year.


4. Harvest fruit and veg before the first frost.

Harvest all your fruit and veg before the first frost.


5. Feed the roots, not the plant.

At this time of year, the foliage on plants stops growing, but the roots carry on. So, be sure to feed new planting with ‘root food’. Bonemeal is the best feed for autumn. Try to avoid feeding plants with multipurpose plant food, as you’ll encourage new leaf growth that’s susceptible to winter frosts.


6. Use mulch for protection

Mulching in autumn is a great way to protect new planting from surface root damage from winter frosts. Bark chips, leaves, compost, hay or even manure are the best mulches you can use.


7. Mow your lawn

Change the settings to a notch higher than summer months to help protect your lawn from frosts. Keep mowing once per month until November. You can even do a ‘tidy up’ mow in winter if there’s no lying snow.


8. Plant out winter bedding in beds, baskets and pots

Primulas, Early Wallflowers, Cyclamen, Bellis and even Ivy are great winter bedding plants. You can also use plants with winter berries such as Gaultheria or winter stems such as Dogwoods.


9. Dig over new beds

Dig over new beds, adding lots of compost. Follow in the tracks of farmers and turn over your new growing areas in autumn. You don’t get as many new weeds till the spring and the frosts will further break up your soil nicely for winter, creating a fine tilth.


10. Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs

Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs and let them root in a warm place over winter. Make sure you use this year’s growth for cuttings as that is the most viable material.


Lastly, it’s not only your plants and flowers that you need to consider as temperatures drop. Many people wait until Spring to varnish and paint outdoor wood, but the damage may already have been done. If you have time now, varnish/paint your outdoor wood to protect it from the harsher weather. Remember also to clear all leaves off your paths before they rot and stain.

Following these tips will help prevent frost damage and make life easier for the green-fingered come Spring.


Watching your garden change over the seasons is worth appreciating. Every day brings a different twist and the autumn colours are beautiful to watch. Enjoy the last of this seasons’ flowers and the turning of leaves before the frost takes them away for another year…. make the most of it!


Watching your garden change over the seasons is worth appreciating. Every day brings a different twist and the autumn colours are beautiful to watch. Enjoy the last of this seasons’ flowers and the turning of leaves before the frost takes them away for another year…. make the most of it!

Autumn colours

Papillon celebrates 10 strong years

Papillon celebrates 10 strong years

Papillon celebrates 10 strong years

This year, Papillon celebrates its 10th Year in business!  It’s been quite a journey with many, many highs and lows along the way.  Here, we look back at the Papillon story to reflect on the last 10 years…


From Drilling Engineer to Garden Designer

Papillon was set up by founding Director, Angelique Robb. Angelique’s interest in garden design started as a hobby, working around her day job. She worked as a Drilling Engineer in Louisiana and then Texas, before moving to Aberdeen in 1999, where she worked for various companies in the Oil & Gas industry.

In 2007, Angelique decided to take garden design more seriously when she embarked on a Diploma in Garden Design. The course confirmed garden design as her calling and in 2008, a month before her first child was born, Papillon Designs & Landscaping was born - the first garden transformation started two weeks prior to the birth of her first child. The firm has grown significantly over the years, currently employing eight members of staff. In this time, Papillon has designed over 520 gardens.


The ethos

Papillon’s ethos is ‘deep-rooted’ – we aim to encourage people to enjoy their gardens through clever design and architecture. “Design to fit with lifestyle” is a big part of the process, as well as educating homeowners on planting, to work with the garden surroundings and soils.

Angelique has gained great satisfaction from her garden design work. She comments: “I feel very grateful to be doing a job that I love and although I enjoyed the work I did in oil & gas, I never found it as rewarding as garden design. Seeing clients’ faces light up on completion of a project means everything to me. It’s also great to help people enjoy their gardens more and make better use of their outdoor space. There’s so much that goes into garden design; the process starts with careful analysis and design, which we try to fit with the environment and the lifestyle of the homeowners. We then realise the designs through the construction phase before planting and finalising the softer landscaping side ahead of completion. We’ve had so many thank you cards and email gratifications from clients - it is truly rewarding.”



Papillon keeps on top of current trends and innovation through various mediums.  Many of the gardens we’ve constructed have included novel features and many have used innovative materials to add different dimensions.  We’ve designed unique pieces of furniture and shields for gardens to combat wind and different ailments and we are proud to have introduced the North-east to many new concepts in garden design.

In 2016, Papillon became the sole Scottish distributor of the Biossun pergola – a French-built weatherproof patio-cover frame with adjustable slats to direct sunlight, electronic blinds and LED lighting.  The contemporary unit adds, not just style to any garden, but a sitting area to prolong outdoor living come autumn/winter.


Environmental stance

We love outdoor space and we love our environment.  Where possible, we add eco-friendly twists to our garden designs to help the planet.  We recycle and upcycle where we can and we try to help others to do the same by educating and advising on environmentally-friendly materials, processes and techniques.



We run a professional business and are proud to have fully qualified and experienced staff, as well as robust management systems in place.  We are members of the Federation of Small Businesses and are also the only firm in the North-east to accredited by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL).

Accolades along the way

We’ve felt truly honoured to have won many awards along the way.  This year, Papillon was recognised by the APL, when it won two gold awards for garden designs in Aberdeen and Ellon, at its national awards ceremony in London. Earlier this month, Papillon was also successful in the North East Trades Awards, winning the Garden Design and Construction category.

Our eternal thanks….

We, quite frankly, wouldn’t be here without the backing from our clients, past and present, and our friends, family and supporters.  Thank you so much for all of your support…Here’s to the next 10 years!


Special offer to celebrate

As part of our celebrations, we are offering 10% OFF all Muztag outdoor fires.  This offer is valid until 30th November 2018.  For more information, please contact us directly.


Thank you from team Papillon!

Papillon's founder, Angelique Robb

How to water your garden using as little water as possible

How to water your garden using as little

How to water your garden using as little water as possible

This summer has been one of the hottest recorded and as a result, water stocks are low, with some counties introducing a hosepipe ban. In Scotland, we’re lucky to have avoided these restrictions so far, but that is no excuse for not preserving water and being vigilant of our usage.

We all have a role to play in saving water and when it comes to watering your garden using as little water as possible, you may be surprised at what can be done.


Why bother saving water?

Water is a natural resource that we need to live. Saving on water usage helps to save our planet by preserving water for future years, but also it saves on the energy that is used to process it, which reduces pollution.

Top 10 Tips for watering your garden in a drought:

1. Only water the areas in need

Try to reduce waste by watering the areas in your garden most in need. Check the soil about a foot down to check moisture levels and only water those that are dry. Try also to avoid watering leaves and focus on getting water to the roots, where it’s most needed.

2. Consider droughts when choosing your plants

If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, it may be worth considering drought-resistant plants when planning your landscape. Check out this list of less water-needy plants from the Royal Horticultural Society.

3. Avoid Sprinklers

Sprinklers look great and the kids love them, but once they are set up, they will water the same sections of the garden, which is not necessarily the areas in need of attention. Instead, why not consider an automated watering system or a plant feeder system, such as Mono Plansava, a watering trough for varying sizes of planters.

4. Collect Rain Water

Rainwater can be collected from roof drains by diverting water from the drainpipe into a water butt. This can then be used to water your garden and is probably one of the simplest and most eco-friendly ways of collecting and storing water.

5. Re-use bath, shower, washing machine water

Most household soaps and detergents are harmless to plants, so it is safe to recycle household water. Caution: do avoid water that contains stronger chemicals, such as bleach, dishwater salt or disinfectants. This can be done again using a diverter, such as a greywater diverter valve, to send water to a butt or bin.

6. Water at the right time of day

Try to avoid watering a lawn and plants in the evening. On a lawn, this water will sit and create the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Instead, water first thing in the morning, while it’s still cool. If you struggle to do this, consider an automated system to help.

7. Use a brush to clean the driveway or paths

Save water when cleaning driveways and paths by simply using an outdoor brush instead of a hosepipe.

8. Mulch those flower beds

Mulching flowerbeds, planters and hanging baskets will help conserve the moister in the soil.

9. Care for your soil

Look after your soil by adding organic matter to improve the structure. Consider also adding water-retentive gel or granules in planters or pots.

10. Shade your lawn

Shade the soil in your lawn by keeping it around 2 inches high. Cutting it back will assist the evaporation process and make for a thirstier lawn.

These tips will help keep your garden healthy, whilst looking after our planet at the same time.

Enjoy your garden this summer!

Papillon wins Garden Design & Landscaping Prize at Trades Awards

Papillon wins Garden Design & Landscaping Prize at Trades Awards

Papillon is delighted to have scooped a top prize in Garden Design & Landscaping at this year’s Trades Awards.

The Trades Awards is an annual celebration of trades businesses in the North-east of Scotland. This year, after a rigorous application process, the finalists were gathered at the Ardoe House Hotel on Friday 8th June to learn their fate.

Garden Designer, Zuzana Habsudova (pictured centre), picked up the accolade on behalf of Papillon. She said: “We work really hard to come up with garden designs that work for their owners and fit with the environment around them. It’s what we do best and it’s great for the whole team to be recognised for all of our efforts in these awards.”

For more information on the Trades Awards, visit

Vera Efimova, Zuzana Habsudova and Angelique Robb of Papillon, pictured ahead of the awards ceremony.

Papillon’s Biossun to showcase at Ideal Home Show 2018

Ideal Home Show 2018
Ideal Home Show 2018

Papillon's Biossun to showcase at this year's Ideal Home Show

This week, Papillon will be showcasing the Biossun at Glasgow's Ideal Home Show, which is being held at the SEC from 31st May - 3rd June.

Pop along to our stand at G220 and meet Papillon Director, Angelique Robb.  Angelique will be hosting a Garden Design Drop-in each day of the event to talk design, share experience and offer tips & advice.


Anyone for Pimm's?

Enjoy a glass of Pimm's (if you're over 18!), whilst checking out our Biossun and browsing our portfolio for garden design ideas.


Star of the show:  The Biossun

The Biossun is an innovative and stylish patio cover with adjustable louvres, a rain and wind detector,  Electronic Zipsun blinds, led strip lighting and more.  Everything needed to enjoy outdoor living for longer.  The 100% eco-design is manufactured in France and exclusive to Papillon in Scotland.  It will be exhibited in its full glory at the Papillon stand - not to be missed!

Ideal home show Biossun
Ideal Home Show Biossun pergola
Ideal Home Show - Patio cover from Papillon
Ideal home show - Patio cover Scotland


For tickets to this year's Ideal Home Show, click here

We'll look forward to seeing you there!