It’s many a homeowner’s dream to create the perfect garden space to go along with their dream home. A professionally landscaped garden can act as an extra room for the home and even add to the value of the property – but the scale of the project can often come as a surprise. Many internal design projects are straight forward in comparison.
While it might be tricky to select the perfect wallpaper for your snug, it’s easy enough to get it applied once it is selected. Even for projects as large as a kitchen, once you have designed and chosen your dream kitchen, getting it installed by a reputable company is often only as painful as being without your kitchen for the duration.
But landscaping your garden is an entirely different type of project affected by all sorts of variables that wouldn’t affect an internal project, such as weather or your local soil type. On top of this, the scale of the problems that can occur if the job is done to a poor standard can end up costing you thousands in the long run, so this is a project that you need to be ready to put a lot of effort into before committing to it.
Starting to Plan
It’s incredibly important that you know what you want your finished project to look like. Getting a garden rebuild isn’t like choosing what hairstyle you want at your next appointment. If you haven’t planned or designed your space properly, you are going to be disappointed and the mistakes are incredibly expensive to fix. The level of detail you want to go into doesn’t matter. You can get by with a rough drawing, or you can render a full 3D model with precise detail. Both approaches serve a purpose, but the important thing is you do something.
If the first time you are planning your project is when you sit down with your professional landscaper, it’s going to be a confusing conversation for everyone involved and the chances are you are going to end up with something you are not sure you want. A good professional is worth their weight in gold, but they aren’t going to magic a design from your own mind onto the paper for you. Preparation is essential in order to give them something to work with.
Quick Note: It’s important to remain flexible with your designs. You may have to compromise on a few things in order to make it work, but a clear idea of your ultimate goal is a great place to work from.
The first decision you need to make is to set the direction for the rest of the design. What kind of space to you want to create?
- Do you want to create a private space to get lost in?
- Do you want to design a space perfect for entertaining?
- Do you need a manageable space that’s easy to maintain?
- What about a child friendly garden?
The answers to all these questions are really important and will help you to plan the rest of the space effectively. Gardens for entertaining need more open spaces and flat surfaces; private gardens need tall plants and narrow pathways. If you know you want to entertain guests, but you design a garden with no patio space, you are going to be very disappointed in the result no matter the quality of craftsmanship.
Make sure you decide early the main function and purpose of your dream garden, so the remainder of the design stage is focused on those key points. Once you’ve decided on the purpose of the new space, you can move onto the physical design and make-up of the space.
Marking the Perimeter
Once you’ve decided on the purpose and function of your dream space, it’s time to begin planning how it is going to look. The easiest way to do this is to create a flat drawing outlining how you want to divide the space up. You should use a scale drawing of your space as a reference. You can simply get this from google maps – by using their new ‘measure distance’ feature you can easily mark out your garden on google and get all the accurate measurements before transferring these onto paper. We recommend using gridded paper such as graph paper, or even squared paper designed for maths workbooks!
This helps you keep your drawing to scale and allow you to really visualize the result much more accurately than a rough drawing. Mark out the perimeter using the squared paper to help keep it to scale. Remember to also include the position of your house, as well as ensuring any doors/windows are marked on the drawing also. These will come in handy later and allow you properly place paths and divide up your garden. Once the perimeter is drawn up accurately, you can begin to mark out the contents of your space.
Planning the Contents of Your Garden
This is finally where you can flex your creative muscles. Once you’ve accurately outlined the perimeter, it’s time to decide on the layout of your space and what it’s going to contain. This will completely depend on the desired purpose of your garden. As a rule, remember: Wide, open spaces are better for entertaining & lots of smaller nooks are better for a private, mindful space.
- Entertaining spaces are going to need larger spaces for patio areas and garden furniture. Maybe space for a day bed?
- More quaint spaces for you to enjoy on your own are going to need narrow paths, plenty of plants and high fences.
Spend lots of time thinking about exactly what you want from your space. Tweak and tweak and tweak! You want the overall layout to be perfect before moving onto any next stages. If you have this part nailed, it’s going to make working with your professional landscaper frictionless. Your professional will be able to advise on how realistic your vision is and give you an estimate on how much it is likely to cost.
Remember to be flexible – your perfect design may not always be possible so keep an open mind to avoid disappointment.
In Conclusion – You should have a clear picture now
This isn’t designed to be an exhaustive guide of how to get your garden renovated – but it should give a very clear idea of how to begin to visualise what you want your new garden to look like. By following all these steps, you should be ready to seek out a professional to help you complete your project.
Going to a pro without a clear idea is like going to a hairdresser without knowing what you want. You could end up with something you are disappointed with, with no way to rectify it. But this is simply a much more expensive mistake to make than a haircut. So follow these steps and you should be good to go!
Written by Kelsey Brace at Primethorpe Paving