Sometimes it’s difficult to get to grips with a large garden, especially if you have a large family to match. Garden waste, shed bric-a-brac and general rubbish quickly build-up when you don’t keep track of what’s useful and what’s not, while plants and shrubs are prone to becoming wildly overgrown in what seems like the blink of an eye. And while you might occasionally daydream about landscape gardening options, a new pond or water feature, or even a hefty, full scale clear-out, finding the time to actually plan and proceed with any of these jobs can prove to be a futile prospect.
In reality, however, clearing out some old rubbish and planting a few new bulbs and plants can take just two or three days; even installing a patio or laying a new garden rockery can – with a bit of forward planning and proper budgeting – be completed and ready to use in less than a week! So if you have some time off work, or a few days spare in the kids’ summer holidays, perhaps, there’s no reason why transforming your garden into a brand new outdoor space has to be an impossibility! But where’s the best place to start?
Planning a New Garden
Before settling down to business or running out to the nearest garden store, there are several things you need to consider when planning a garden overhaul:
Firstly, aim to make the most of the space you have. That means figuring out a purpose for your new garden, making sure it works for family members (including pets and children) and using the most accurate measurements to make sure everything fits neatly without appearing squashed or claustrophobic.
Secondly, work not just with the space you have but the existing features too. Is your shed completely dilapidated, for instance, or does it just need a quick varnish? What about an existing patio or conservatory? Can they be modernised or updated without being ripped out entirely? Using what you’ve got is a great way to save time and money on your garden make-over.
Finally: and perhaps most importantly – how much money do you have to spend? Careful budgeting is important on any home-improvement project, but with a garden – where furniture and features can cost a little more than with interior design – it’s important to pay attention to every penny the project might set you back.
Choosing Garden Features
Now you have a plan in place, you can start picking out some of your favourite garden features to adorn your new, updated outdoor space. These might include just a couple or few of the following:
Water Features: Whether it be a pond, fountain or rockery, these water installations (while a tad expensive) add a calming, natural feel and soothing sound to any home garden space.
Lawns/ Astroturf: A smooth lawn is perfect for streamlining garden space and giving the area a sense of cohesion – plus they are pretty cheap to purchase too.
Flowers/ Flowerbeds: Garden stores across the country offer a range of both home-grown and exotic plants for front and back gardens that can thrive if looked after properly. Get the most out of your flowerbeds by contrasting shades, colours and textures where you can – this adds depth and vibrancy to your garden.
Gravel / Pathways : Whether you opt for a gravel or concrete-cladding pathway, these stone walkways are a great way to open up all corners of your garden and provide ease-of-access for tending to plants and flowerbeds.
Shrubs/ Trees: Planting a whole new tree sounds a bit daunting – and you will need to double-check it won’t affect the structural integrity of your property – but they can also add shade and stoicism to an otherwise ordinary garden area. Shrubs can also be potted about in fancy or quirky containers – anything from a house vase to indoor toilet bowl has been spotted even in the most pristine gardens in the UK!
Patio: These provide the perfect bridge between your indoor and outdoor spaces, and although most landscape gardeners are adept at laying a new patio, you can also buy plenty of models that are perfect for DIY home-owners too!
Conservatory: Installing a conservatory is a much more costly endeavour than a simple garden make-over, but if you have the money going spare they can be a great way to add luxury and historical glamour to your garden – especially if you opt for the more ornate Victorian and Edwardian designs.
Hiring a Professional Gardener
Finally, think about the scale of your project and whether it is worth your time hiring a professional landscape gardener to help you make your well laid plans a reality. It might cost a bit more than you were hoping for, but if you lack the DIY skills and experience necessary to do the plans justice you might find yourself paying out more in expensive repairs and follow-up makeovers anyway – with such a limited time frame it’s always better to get it right the first time!