Whether a space is large or small, comprehensive garden design is at the core of any beautiful exterior. However, before you begin putting any plans into action, first consider these key aspects.
Finding fitting ideas
Exteriors come in different shapes and styles – from sleek and contemporary, to a traditional cottage feel. But, there are some easy ways to ensure you unearth garden designs that will suit your needs.
If you’re struggling with inspiration, then you’ll find plenty of images online. There are also lots of gardening magazines which have an abundance of visuals that will help boost creativity.
When you spot a style you like, don’t just observe it – note it down. Perhaps you’ve seen turf or paving that you think would look good in your exterior. Collecting your ideas into a Pinterest mood board can be useful.
Consider your current features
With any new ideas, it’s important to make sure that none of them cause you to have any similar issues that you currently face. For example, if you have features that require lots of garden maintenance, selecting alternatives which still need a high level of care won’t solve your problem. In this instance, gravel, bark mulch or a weed membrane would be ideal as they’re low maintenance.
Ask yourself what isn’t working – not just with maintenance, but also your current layout, planting and other elements of your garden design.
Your ideas will need to have longevity too. For example, there are specific plants that are only suitable for some seasons. Some plants are toxic, so may not be appropriate if you have children or pets. Similarly, if you’re considering installing lighting at a later date, then you could ensure cables are laid during the landscaping work.
Know what you’re working with
Some big ideas are great in theory but not so much in practice. Consider the key things that will impact how your exterior is designed.
Inspect the aspect and sunlight
This is one of the first things to consider with your garden design. A south facing garden will receive the most sunlight, whereas one towards the north will get the least. The aspect impacts when the exterior encounters sunshine too – east facing ones experience it in the morning, and those towards the west will find more in the afternoon and evening.
Depending on how you use your exterior, the aspect may influence the features you select. A north facing garden may require patio lighting or a fire pit if you host gatherings in the summer evenings. The aspect will also inform how you position your chosen elements, such as a patio.
Check soil conditions
Additionally, the aspect may impact your plants. Gardens towards the south will be especially affected as extra sunlight often causes the soil to be drier, requiring additional watering. Soil conditions can trigger this too. Those which are sandy and light will need more water as they’re free draining.
Clay soils can often experience drainage issues, and so some plants may not work in these conditions. A way around this is to install specific drainage.
Look at site levels and boundaries
Another thing to consider is an uneven, sloping garden. Instead of seeing this as a flaw in your garden design, you could use it to create multiple levels in visually appealing ways. Construct distinct spaces via steps or a deck, isolating areas for planting and your patio.
Remember boundaries and windbreaks too. If your garden is exposed and at risk of damage, you can create a boundary with a fence. Hedges can also be planted as windbreaks.
Designing a garden border
If you have a fence, then there’s the option to create a garden border. To ensure it’s at its most attractive, consider a style that suits the colour and form of the fence. When it comes to grouping your plants, don’t just choose one of each. Sets of 3, 5 and 7 will have much more of an effect.
Think about heights as well – you don’t want plants obstructing the views of the border so consider carefully what you put in the back, middle and front. On top of this, know the growing habits of what you’re planting – it will be highly inconvenient if they end up too large for the space!
Cost of garden design
Whatever design features you choose, you’ll want to ensure that the designer is reputable. Request examples of their work, and ask questions so you know they will definitely meet your needs.
We’re happy to show you the transformations we’ve performed for our satisfied clients here at Dreamscape Gardens. We tailor our design packages to suit your individual space, so you’ll get exactly what you require. Whilst costs vary depending on requests, garden design typically starts at £1,800.