Landscaping your garden doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing operation. Yes, you can start again from scratch and change your entire outdoor space.
Alternatively, you can work on one element at a time. Replacing old paving that’s cracked or discoloured will give your paths and patios an instant pick-me-up. So will refreshing your lawn with new turf or laying a new driveway.
Whether you choose to overhaul your whole garden in one go, or break it down into smaller projects, here are seven insider tips on how to create a compelling and contemporary look.
1) Avoid generic design
Don’t choose something just because it looks good in someone else’s garden. Will it work in your environment and will it suit the appearance and period of your property?
Think about the landscape you have to work with. Make your design unique to you. After all, why go for a generic look?
2) Think shapes
Forget traditional square or rectangular lawns and uniform paving, it’s easy to go round corners. You can have any shape you desire, to fit any space you have available.
Remember, go for circles and curves for a softer look. Or angles such as triangles and diamonds for an edgier, contemporary feel.
3) Move mountains
Okay, maybe not mountains, but things you think are insurmountable obstacles can often be easily moved or removed. Drains can be relocated; trees can be taken down, and large plants can be moved to new areas. Uneven surfaces can be levelled out.
Talk to a garden designer to find out what’s possible and what’s not.
4) Work with features
A severely sloped garden can be divided into individual flat terraces to create a chic multi-layered effect. Lawns can be cut around trees or shrubs to create wild, curvy contours.
The idiosyncrasies of your landscape can be the very elements that make your garden design so original.
5) Follow a plan
It doesn’t have to be drawn precisely to scale, just as near as you can get. This really will save you a lot of pain later on. Outline your space and all its components so you have a clear overview. Some problems will become apparent when viewed on paper (or screen).
Unfortunately, other issues may come to light when you’re actually in the process of renovating your garden, but a plan will help to keep you on track.
6) Allow for growth
Stating the obvious, but plants grow. As mentioned above, it’s impossible to foresee every obstacle you may encounter or to draw a 100% accurate plan. However, be aware of the potential height and width each plant could reach and give them room.
Although this may make parts of your beds look bare to begin with they’ll soon be covered up.
7) Have fun
Your design is all about you and the members of your household. Throw out any preconceived ideas on how you think a garden should look or what you think others might expect.
Build a garden that’s fun for you, and your family and friends.