Depending on their condition, outside spaces and gardens can fill homeowners with equal parts of elation and dread. Of course, it helps if you love your garden and spend many hours there, enjoying the scenery and the stunning landscape you’ve created.
However, if you’re not much of a garden enthusiast, it’s understandable if you’d be put off redesigning your outdoor space. Many aspects of landscape garden design aren’t as strenuous, stressful, or difficult as you may think. With a little bit of planning and exploring some of your garden design ideas, you may be on the right track to creating the garden of your dreams before you know it.
Here are some valuable tips to help you throughout the process.
Planning and designing your perfect outside space
When planning what you want your garden design to look like, you’ll need to approach it strategically. Landscape design sounds long-winded, time-consuming, and expensive, but it might ease your worries to know that it is much the same as interior design, just for outside spaces and using different materials.
Approaching landscape garden design with an open mind will make the whole process easier. To start planning your landscape garden, it’s important to do the following:
- Identify your needs and wants. Make a list of what your garden needs and what you want out of it. Think about how you want to organise your garden. Do you want to grow vegetables or shrubs? Do you need a safe play space for your children?
- Get to know your garden. When and where does your garden get the most sun? How much wind does it typically get? What direction does the garden face? What are the areas where you spend the most time? Live with your garden for a while before you make any rash decisions. It’s handy to note this information when you begin exploring landscape design ideas.
- Determine the focal point(s). When considering your landscape garden design, you may be wondering what the most significant feature(s) of it will be. For example, many homeowners may want to use gardens to house statement pieces like outdoor kitchens or louvered pergolas, while others might create walkways out of decking with interweaving flower beds and sculptures. Either way, think of what is going to be the most prominent feature of your garden.
- Make small changes. Most beginner gardeners don’t like the idea of overhauling their garden completely. The idea of creating a dream garden design is establishing a long-term plan and starting to make gradual changes. For example, a good starting point is planting some flowers or vegetables, and dedicating little pockets of time to nurturing and growing them. You don’t have to rush your garden design or fix everything right away.
- Be flexible. It’s important to be realistic with your garden measurements and sizing. For many beginners, designing their dream landscape might present some disappointment down the line. That dream piece you wanted might not be feasible to install because of poor foundations. There may not be enough room to fit all the decking you want. The possibilities are endless. It’s wise to be open to change and experimentation. Remember that patience is a virtue and you can always change your mind if you approach your design flexibly.
- Decide whether to hire a landscape designer and gardener. Depending on the scale and complexity of your landscape design project, you may only be able to complete certain tasks. Some of the more difficult and manual work might need to be completed by an experienced, reputable, local landscaping or gardening company. It’s worth bearing this in mind when you factor in how much you want to spend on renovating your garden.
What to consider with your beautiful landscape
To feel the long-term benefits of your outside space, you’ll need to think about more than just the grass and flowers. How far you go will depend on your landscaping ideas and personal tastes, as well as your budget and size.
Once you’ve begun mapping out a rough plan, you should think about the following as the next step (as a rough guide).
- Levelling. Many gardens have uneven gradients or sloping groundwork, which can be tricky to navigate. If your garden level is so steep or uneven and therefore unusable, you’ll need to ideally get this addressed sooner rather than later.
- Materials. Based on what you’re trying to create with your garden space, you may need to source specific materials from special suppliers. It’s worth factoring this in when you shop around, particularly if you’re conscious about using eco-friendly materials.
- Drainage. Garden flooding is often caused by poor soil and increased rainfall. If your garden is susceptible to flooding and waterlogging, you may have a garden drainage issue, so it’s important to get this rectified if you’re planning on using your new garden for extended periods.
- Plant variety. There are no right or wrong plants to choose to have in your garden. Many homeowners want trees, while others simply want a carefully selected blend of flowers to create a colour scheme they love. Depending on your garden design and size, you may – or may not – be able to plant hedges, perennials, shrubs, climbers, ferns, bulbs, annuals, and others. It’s worth exploring the types of plants you feel your garden would benefit from having.
- Privacy. Many homeowners love the idea of creating a safe and secluded space with no intrusion. However, you may not be able to make every part completely private. Consider how you can feasibly and affordably block sight lines from above without blocking any natural light. Are there any trees that would be difficult to excavate or move?
- Wildlife. You may not be explicitly creating a garden to attract wildlife, but there is a good chance that you will see a myriad of birds, insects, and maybe even rodents or pests over time. Water features will typically attract some form of wildlife too. Even if you’re not designing your garden to have wildlife features like bird feeders or bird baths, you may be interested to know that gardens can benefit endangered species and creatures like bats, sparrows, hedgehogs, and more, without it impacting the quality and aesthetics of your garden.
- Furniture and seating. Your garden furniture can range from beautiful, airy gazebos to light and comfortable deck or lounge chairs, tables, and even fire pits. Think about what products could complement the materials you choose to have in your garden. Are you looking to create a rustic, traditional garden with wooden decking and a row of bright colour schemes with greenery, or do you want to have neatly-laid tiles to house an outdoor kitchen, barbeque, and dining area for the warm summer nights? All of these will need to be considered when you decide on your garden features.
Everybody deserves a lovely garden. Don’t be dissuaded by the idea of creating a garden from scratch – it’s within your reach. With some preparation and careful planning, you’ll be well on your way to bringing your perfect garden ideas to life.