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How to design your garden?

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How to design your garden?

Whatever you want from your garden, it should be a place to enjoy that brings you pleasure throughout the year. Before embarking on your garden project, look in books and garden centres for inspiration, or even take a non-intrusive look at gardens around you! Here are some ideas to get you started.

What do you want from your garden?

Will it be a safe haven for relaxing in or a working garden providing you with a source of food? It’s worth finding out what type of soil you have, especially if you are thinking of planting vegetables as you may need to give it a boost with certain composts or fertilisers to get the best out of it. There is something very satisfying about eating your own home-grown fruit and veg and you don’t need a lot of space to do this successfully. Tomatoes can be strung along fences, potatoes can be grown in big tubs, and even the smallest garden can host a tasty range of hardy herbs which will thrive year after year.

Notice where the garden gets most sun to ensure shade-loving plants are not dehydrated and those that thrive in full sun are planted accordingly.

Plan your view

A good strategy is to look out of each window in your home that overlooks the garden and decide what you would like to see from there. From lower levels, you can get a good idea of how tall plants may obscure others further back or whether large shrubs or trees would block out light from ground-floor rooms. From upper storeys you can plan the layout, decide on pathways and which parts of the garden you may wish to accentuate with colour or furniture.

Low or high maintenance?

All gardens require a certain amount of work and commitment and if you have the time (and enthusiasm), that’s fantastic! A high maintenance garden is not practical or preferable for everyone though, and there are many ways you can create a beautiful garden design without needing to put in constant hours of labour. Herbaceous borders can be packed with plants which will take care of themselves and only require annual pruning to look tidy. Ground covering shrubs will keep weeds to a minimum and incorporating perennials and bulbs means you won’t need to plant out new borders each year. Clever use of pathways lined with attractive stone edging will create interest especially when bordered by ornamental grasses, and decorative paved areas can be used for displaying patio pots of flowers or garden sculptures to create a conversation piece.

Bee friendly

Always try to plant some bee-friendly flowers in your garden. These vital creatures are in decline in many parts of the country so it’s important we encourage them into our gardens. Flowers with flat, open heads such as Echinacea are ideal as well as bell-shaped flowers like foxgloves or penstemons. A water feature will attract insects which in turn will entice an exciting range of wildlife and you don’t need to install a lake or a fountain for this! A tub-pond, stone basin or even a birdbath will encourage beneficial insects and birds to your garden which will not only be excellent for your plants, but also bring you many hours of pleasure.

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