Landscaping your garden – where to start
Landscaping your garden is quite an undertaking but done properly, you’ll not regret it. Here are my tips on how to start a landscaping project.
Start with a plan
How does that saying go? “Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail” and it’s never truer than when landscaping your garden. It’s OK to have an idea in your head, but unless your garden design is on paper (or on a screen), it’s very easy to lose track of your original vision.
A professionally produced 3D garden design really does help you to visualise how your new garden could look and how you might use it.
Without a doubt, hiring a professional garden designer to help translate your ideas into a firm plan is a worthwhile investment. A trained pair of eyes can spot and plan around any potential snags before you start work. It’s always good to brainstorm your ideas with somebody else too. Very often that will lead to little tweaks that make life a lot easier during the build and into the future.
Choose materials that you love
A well-built garden will last for decades. You’ll be living with your choice of materials for quite some time. Remember too that if you do choose to move house, the garden will have a big influence on the value of your property and the speed of the sale.
It’s great to have a garden that truly reflects your character and makes you feel happy and relaxed. But if your taste is somewhat eclectic – perhaps go neutral with permanent features and splash out on accessories. That way you (or future garden occupiers) can change things relatively easily.
When it comes to landscaping materials the choice can seem overwhelming. Using online tools such as Pinterest will help you to decide which colours and styles you love the most. Alternatively, your garden designer or landscaper will be able to show you product samples and pictures of past work to help you visualise your new garden.
Just a tiny selection of the materials to choose from when landscaping your garden
Sometimes, your first choice of material is outside of you budget. My advice would be to avoid compromise – if you spread the cost of your new garden across its whole lifetime, the extra spend will be almost insignificant. Remember too that if you are hiring a landscaper or garden designer, they will be able to help you source products. Local DIY stores are not your only option for a supplier – neither are online stores where you cannot see and feel the product before you buy.
Hire a professional for any hard landscaping work
Landscaping your garden is not something you can learn by watching YouTube videos. It may look simple on the TV Makeover shows but unfortunately they tend to edit out the “boring” bits. Things like setting the levels, creating a sub-base and checking that decking joists can cope with the weight they’ll be asked to support.
Building any wall – but particularly a retaining wall like this one requires careful calculations
For hard landscaping – ie anything that isn’t a plant – I strongly recommend hiring a professional landscaper. It truly can make an enormous difference to the lifespan (and the long term safety) of your garden.
Useful articles on landscaping your garden
What does a new garden cost?