Give yourself something to look forward to after lockdown
Social distancing offers a time for reflecting, restructuring and nurturing hope. So why not give yourself something to look forward to? Something that you’ll be able to enjoy for a very long time.
We’re blessed with some beautiful landscapes in the UK. But it IS possible to celebrate the great outdoors without leaving your property. I’m talking gardens. Anyone with a garden can enjoy great weather and the natural world whilst following social distancing guidelines. The better your garden, the more you’ll enjoy spending time in it.
Not 100% happy with what’s outside your door? Here are my tips for making more of your garden.
Visualise your perfect outdoor space
What would your ideal garden look like? That’s a pretty big question for anyone to answer so when I’m helping somebody with garden design, I always break the question down into small chunks.
I love to design outdoor spaces that can be used in any weather and at any time of the day or night. To me, a mix of hard and soft landscaping, lighting and beautiful plants is just ideal.
Look forward: How do you see yourself using your garden in the future?
Growing fresh produce? Keeping chickens? Working from home? Entertaining friends and family? Exercise and/or sporty activities? Relaxing with a good book and a drink? Perhaps you’d like to experiment with outdoor cooking? The possibilities are endless and the choices are all yours.
Stuck for ideas? This article might help
What’s stopping you from enjoying your garden more?
If your garden isn’t the perfect space for you right now, what do you feel is wrong with it? Most of my clients don’t know exactly what they do want – which is OK because it’s my job to help people see different options. However, nearly all of my clients know what they don’t want. Knowing what you don’t want, is a good place to start.
Perhaps the garden doesn’t have a sunny place to sit. Maybe it’s too difficult to maintain. Some feel that their gardens are stuck in a previous era. If your garden is under-used there’ll be a reason for it. Find that reason and you’re half way to finding a solution.
Coronavirus lockdown is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what you really don’t love about your garden – and then to take action to resolve the problem.
Spend some time doing nothing
The more time you spend in your garden doing nothing, the easier it will be to identify its strengths and weaknesses.
Do you feel self-conscious because the garden is overlooked by neighbours? Have you noticed how the sunny spots change position from morning to noon to evening? What time of the day do you love being outside the most? Do you need more shade? Less clutter? A comfier place to sit?
With a few pro’s and con’s to work with, you can start to find ways to enhance what’s great and solve what’s not so good.
Gardening –do you love it or hate it?
Gardening, it’s the biggest reason for not giving your outdoor space the love it deserves. So many people see colourful and leafy “designed” gardens at the big shows such as Hampton Court or Chelsea and they think that all of those plants mean impossible amounts of gardening.
Here’s the thing, The RHS garden shows are all about plants and how to display them. At Silver Birch Gardens, garden design is all about people and how to help them relax.
If you’d like a more interesting garden but don’t want to spend every weekend weeding, it’s perfectly possible to achieve the perfect balance for you. Hate gardening? Opt for low maintenance solutions like hard landscaping, gravel gardens or artificial grass. Bring in technology like automatic irrigation systems and robot mowers to help with maintenance. Use lighting and water instead of high maintenance plants.
Ready to make more of your garden?
Now that you can picture yourself spending more time outside and enjoying all of the benefits that come with it, it’s time to plan those garden improvements.
Start with a plan
The best gardens are a marriage between meticulous planning and innovative design. Most people are good at either one or the other of these things. Garden designers are good at both.
If you need help to visualise and plan a garden to look forward to, I’d love to help. There’s never been a better time to commission a garden design.
Social distancing makes the garden design process different – but we creative people are very good at finding solutions. (After all, that’s what a garden designer does!). Video conferencing, Facetime, Skype and Zoom mean that “meetings” are safer than ever. And when it comes to surveying and measuring, that can all be done with me outside and you indoors.
You’ll be kept up to date with progress on your design and will be able to see concept plans via your computer screen.
Ready to design?
Get inspired – take a look at some of our recent garden makeovers