Whether you want to enjoy your own home more, or whether you’re trying to enhance its value on the market, there’s no point making the interior exquisite if you ignore that vital space outside your door. A garden can make or break a house and, like interior design, it doesn’t just happen.
What Do You Want From Your Garden?
The two most important things to decide first of all are what you want from your garden and what’s going to be possible. Do you want a wildlife paradise, a place for entertaining outside, or a playground for the children? Or a combination? Only when you know that can you start planning.
On the other hand, it’s no good deciding you want sweeping formal gardens if you don’t have room to swing a cat. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on having a great garden but, as the Guardian explains, a small garden has to be carefully planned.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, this is where professional help can be valuable. You can find out about landscape architects Liz Lake and how they can help you on their website.
Some Layout Tips
It’s important to match the use you want from each part of the garden with the right surface. In general, a patio can be either paving or made of wooden decking (paving if you want a fire-pit or barbecue, obviously) but the choice can depend on how well the material coordinates with what’s on the other side of your patio doors.
Grass looks great in a garden, but it’s very time-consuming to keep up. For easier mowing, avoid irregular shapes for your lawns — or, as Gardenista suggests, consider artificial turf, which can look as good as the real thing without the need for maintenance.
A water feature can enhance most gardens and will be a magnet to wildlife. If you have young children, though, make sure it’s safe for them.
Some Flower Tips
A garden needs flowers. Even if you want your garden mainly paved or gravelled, you can still have hardy perennials and conifers in planters or small borders.
If you want a garden that will team with wildlife, though, the BBC website recommends a series of plants to attract the birds, butterflies, bees and the rest.
It sounds easy, but nailing down exactly what effect you want and how to achieve it can be confusing. That’s exactly where advice from a professional landscape architect will be worth its weight in gold.