Friday, 5 February 2010

1. What do You want in your garden?

Have a fantasy – an idea, go for it all and then trim it down, to suit your budget (next instalment). You really do know what you want but have probably never asked yourself the right questions.
The most popular retort to this is ‘well that’s why we got you along, you’re the expert’. True, but designers have to start with you first and find out what you actually help us out! The designer needs a ‘brief’, and without one there can be some quality time and money wasting.
Any designer worth his/her salt will give you a wish list sheet with ideas for you already written down to help you along which can be a great exercise for you.
Try and figure out:
· How much sun your garden gets (where the sunny spots are when you get back from work and in the morning)
· If you want an area to eat out on – a paved or brick or gravel area.
· Do you want flowers and herbs- Likewise to grow vegetables or fruit.
· A lawn to play on or a formal lawn (or both)
· A pond or a water feature or other features.
· Things you want to hide.
· Views you want to enhance.
· Bigger things such as Tennis Courts, Swimming Pools, Croquet lawns, Children’s play areas.
· A new drive or parking area
· A wildflower – habitat area.

The list can go on and on. I think that understanding why you have a garden also helps you understand what it requires.
Many people will sell you the idea of your garden as an outside room. This is fine except the carpet grows, the walls grow, the sofas grow – and then, however hard you try for three months of the year it is unliveable in and looks dreadful.
All gardens require work and that needs to be understood but not feared. Even the low maintenance garden needs help if it is to have any merit. But it can be the most rewarding of all places, your little Eden shaped and performing for you alone. It is tranquil and peaceful, fun, exotic and most of all its yours. Enjoy it, visit my web site to understand some of the feelings gardens can generate.

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