Do you have plans for your garden but don’t know where to begin when it comes to turning ideas into reality? In my experience as the owner of the garden you are the most qualified person to do the design because you live with it. That is the key to a good design, to intimately know the garden. Are there particular problems? Like drainage, shade or nowhere to sit. Does the space suit your needs? All of our circumstances change. The arrival of children can completely change a garden from sun a bathing haven into a mud bath.
After a realistic look at what we need from the garden then we can begin to make plans. When it comes to structure the key things to know are. Aspect in other words what direction does the garden face. Where and when do you get the sun? This will affect where seating, planting and play areas go. Movement, how do you move around the garden? This is important in both a practical and aesthetic sense. Paths can be laid out in a way that gets you from A to B while influencing how parts of the garden are viewed.
Aspect, movement and what we need from the garden are key to the design; they determine the way the garden is set out. Other important things to look at are; Does the style of the materials, plants and colours go with the architecture of your house. Are there any views you would like to hide or expose? Is the garden balanced? Sometimes a garden can have all the tall or heavy things on one side. A new garden can often be flat. It makes sense to create a height dynamic in the garden with structures like pergolas or maybe an investment in a semi mature tree. Planting is essential to a beautiful garden and really determines the level of future maintenance. If you don’t know much about plants then some research would be wise, the trick is to have the right plant in the right place. So often I see a garden of blobs where large shrubs are cut to size losing their natural form and engulfing all the other plants. Sometimes it’s best to go to a small garden centre and ask the staff’s advice about the final size of a plant. The great thing about planting is that you can move things around and experiment, nothing is final.
At secret garden we have noticed that we are developing a distinct style as opposed to other designers. One of the main reasons for this is that where possible we like to go with the flow and create gardens that meet the needs of the people we are designing for and the land that we are working with. For instance a bank instead of a wall can often look really natural, support a change in level and cost a lot less than a retaining wall. Creating a flowing garden that feels good to be in.
If you have any questions about garden design or other gardening issues please drop us a line or give us a ring. In the meantime enjoy your little piece of the countryside which is you garden.