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Garden Design Tips


Good garden design should involve the creation of outdoor space in which you and your family, feel comfortable, relaxed and safe – particularly in the case of younger members of the family and, inevitably, will reflect aspects of your lifestyle. 

A garden should obviously include plants that you like and which are suited to the environment, in terms of their growing characteristics, but other `lifestyle` considerations may include your landscaping budget, the time that you have available for gardening and the use of your garden for outdoor entertaining, or by children, or pets. 

Environmental concerns may play a part, too – garden design and environmental awareness are not, after all, mutually exclusive – and be reflected in your choice of materials, and the presence of, perhaps, a vegetable patch, and/or composting facilities.

City & Suburban Garden Design

The design of a small town, or city, garden probably requires at least as much forethought as a larger garden. 

Clever devices and structures, such as arches, pergolas and trellis, can be used to create separate areas or `rooms`, even in a small garden, without the need to introduce imposing walls, or hedges. 

The location and orientation of the garden – which may affect the amount of sunshine that it receives – need to be considered carefully in relation to the choice of suitable plants. 

Tropical flowering plants, for example, are able to withstand constant sunshine – in the unlikely eventuality – while ferns and other woodland plants, are better suited to shady environments.

Carefully chosen planting means that a town, or city garden can maintain its interest all year round;  Michaelmas Daisies or Chrysanthemums, for example, bloom in late summer and autumn and provide an injection of colour to the garden at these times. 

ferns in a wood

Typical suburban gardens, on the other hand, tend to be long and rather narrow. This layout tends to focus the eye on the furthest extremity of the garden, effectively ignoring everything in between. The `trick`, therefore, is to divide the garden – physically and often by function too – into distinct, although not completely separate areas, which are experienced one by one. 

path and flowers This can often be achieved by the strategic positioning of low hedges, herbaceous borders, or trellis planted with climbing plants, or simply by changing the level of the garden slightly.

You may, for example, like to have a patio area for dining and entertaining, a lawn area for children – soft textured plants, but hardy plants, such as ferns, or ornamental grasses, are recommended for surrounding areas – and a quiet, secluded area for pets. 

A larger garden also opens up the possibilities of more major construction projects, such as garden ponds or garden sheds, but these, too, should be considered in the overall context of the garden and its intended use. 

A garden pond, for example, is difficult to alter once digging has taken place and requires maintenance broadly equivalent to a flower bed of the same size. 

Safety is, of course, paramount when it comes to garden water features of any kind, so if young children are involved, consider whether a pond or any other form of standing water is actually appropriate. A wall fountain, for example, may be a much safer alternative. 

Even when choosing a garden shed, you need to think how it will fit in with your overall garden design. If a shed is to be visible from anywhere in the garden, you may want to match its material – wood, metal, plastic, etc. – and finish to other structures in the garden, or to your house.




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