5 landscaping issues and how to solve them

 In Garden Design, Landscaping, Uncategorised

Most people have something that they don’t like about their garden. Here are 5 common landscaping issues and how to solve them.

Landscaping and garden design are all about solving problems.  Maybe your garden fails to add value to your property. Perhaps you don’t feel that it’s a safe place for your children to play unsupervised or could it be that you don’t have enough privacy?

You’d be surprised how much difference landscaping can make to your lifestyle.  A beautiful garden has a positive effect on your wellbeing, creates extra space for you to do the things you enjoy the most and gives you confidence that your home truly reflects your personality.

These are 5 landscaping issues that I’m regularly asked to solve – do any of these sound familiar to you?

  1. My garden is hard work and I don’t know how to change it.
  2. The neighbours can see into my garden
  3. I have a really shaded garden
  4. The garden slopes so steeply I can’t use it
  5. Plants just won’t grow in my soil

My garden is hard work

simple garden layout with all year round interest

A well designed and well built garden is a joy to spend time in. So much so, that the maintenance doesn’t feel like hard work!

Garden maintenance is a joy for some people and a chore for others. If you resent having to mow the lawn every week, weed the flower beds or keep the hedge trimmed, its time to redesign your space and make a low maintenance garden that you can truly enjoy.  

Perhaps you once loved gardening but now find bending or twisting a bit of a challenge? It’s perfectly possible to landscape your garden so that you can still enjoy nurturing it – but in a different way.

Start by identifying how you DO want to use your garden. Then decide which new features you need and which existing features need to go.  A good garden designer will be able to advise you and help you think of solutions that are both practical and stylish.

You may decide to landscape all, or part of your garden to make it feel as though it truly benefits your wellbeing.

The neighbours can see into my garden

garden seat positioned beside a fence to overcome landscaping issues with privacy

Simple tricks like making use of the blind spots in your garden can easily overcome landscaping issues such as a lack of privacy

Ugh! It doesn’t matter how well you get on with your neighbours, the thought of being overlooked can really mar your enjoyment of your garden.

Privacy is one of the most common landscaping issues I’m asked to overcome and there are some fabulous solutions.

Planting trees in the sight line can help to block their view – and to help you forget that you even have neighbours.  Pleached trees are especially awesome as they don’t take up much room in your garden.

Use screens to create small, intimate areas within the garden where you can hide from the whole world.

Work out where there are ‘blind spots’ and place your seating areas in them.

Something as simple as a pergola or a sail can help you feel less exposed

I have a shaded garden

timber pergola with white porcelain paving beneath

Even in the shade of a pergola, this pale coloured porcelain paving creates a light, bright atmosphere

I can’t think of anything more frustrating for a sun lover than to have a garden that’s in perpetual shade. But it needn’t be the end of the world.  Clever garden design and good use of landscaping materials can soon turn low-light areas into a really lovely place to be.

Start by assessing the shade – most gardens do have sunny spots at different times of the day.  Use these to their full advantage.  

Are you able to trim back trees to let more light in? Perhaps you could cut a ‘window’ into the hedge and reveal a great view?

Using lighter coloured surfaces in your garden will help bounce light around.  Look for smooth textures too.

Render or porcelain cladding can brighten vertical surfaces

Bring moving water into the garden, it reflects light beautifully 

Use carefully placed lights to illuminate gloomy corners

Choose shade tolerant plants with large leaves to lend a tropical feel to the area

The garden slopes so steeply that I can’t use it

series of garden terraces with gravelled surface and steel ballustrade

This steeply sloping garden has been landscaped to make it feel more accessible

I love the challenge of transforming a sloping garden. I’ve landscaped several gardens with steep inclines and there are many imaginative ways to tackle it.

Cutting broad steps into the slope makes it feel more accessible.  These needn’t be full blown terraces but instead can lead you from the top of the garden to the bottom without you feeling as though you are mountaineering.

Use retaining walls to create flat areas.  Join the areas with ramps and/or steps

Put something interesting at every changing level.  That way you’re brain will be fooled into thinking the garden isn’t at all challenging to travel around.  

Build in plenty of resting places – ideally with great views or focal points

Don’t forget to include hand rails to help you feel safer.  

Trust me, sloping gardens are not landscaping issues – they are landscaping opportunities!

Plants just won’t grow in my garden soil

In my experience, there is a plant for almost every situation.  After all, if there’s one thing Mother Nature hates, it’s bare ground.  Having said that, working out which plants to grow can be frustrating and expensive. Especially if you are working with the good old trial and error method.

Do you know why the plants you’ve tried don’t seem to be happy in your soil.  Is the soil too shallow? Too dry? Too wet? Or too shaded?  Perhaps your garden is affected by salty winds blowing in from the sea?

One way to solve landscaping issues with plants is to build raised beds and import good quality topsoil. Adding an irrigation system will solve any issues with drying winds. Additionally, if you can select plants that are suited to the microclimate in that particular spot, you will definitely get better results.

Take pictures of your garden in all weathers and at different times of day and take them with you to the plant nursery.  A good plantsman will be able to advise you which species are most likely to thrive there. You can then choose the ones that will achieve the look you want.

Help with landscaping issues

If you are struggling to enjoy your garden – for whatever reason – and feel that it’s time for a garden makeover, talk to somebody who knows how to design and build gardens that work.  SilverBirch Gardens are renowned for imaginative garden design and high landscaping standards.

Talk to us today, or visit our portfolio for landscaping ideas.

Visit our portfolio page


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