A Time To Plan

In these first weeks of the year, after the distraction of Christmas and the New Year, the summer feels a long way away. Warm, sunny days to laze about in the garden, friends round to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with a long, cool drink and a bbq, children playing in the sandpit or treehouse, these are just dreams as a cold snap is forecast and the sky is grey and leaden. 

All we really feel like doing is hibernating. Maybe we will take a little walk to see what might be stirring – some snowdrops poking their dainty heads above the parapet. Cyclamen coum, with its delicate pink flowers, braving the cold and Helleborus orientalis, the Lenten Rose, throwing up their demurely, drooping heads. Then quickly back inside for a sustaining cup of tea or coffee.

Snowdrops, cyclamen and the hazel tree

But, in fact, this is the very time to think about our gardens and decide whether they are giving us everything we want. Sometimes it’s just easier to accept that how your garden is, is how it should be. But does it fulfil all you want from it? Do you have somewhere to sit outside that is handy for the kitchen or catches the afternoon sun perhaps? Do you have an unsightly shed that is all you can see even though you need it for all the garden clobber? Does your garden path take you on a journey through your garden? Even a small garden can be made more interesting if the path doesn’t go straight from the back door to the back of the garden. 

Hiding the garden shed

I am now a fully qualified garden designer. That’s not to say I know it all. I think even with all my gardening experience and now three years training under my belt, there is still more to learn. What I do know is that designing a border or garden starts with listening. A client needs to be able to tell me what they have in mind. What the current garden is lacking and how they would like to change it. Of course that may not always be easy to do. Listening to the client’s needs and wants I can pull their bucket list together into a coherent whole. 

Elevation of contemporary back garden
Contemporary back garden

A garden designer is able to look at your outdoor space and re-design it to create a Unity of Ideas and Style – whether the client wants a formal, asymmetrical or informal design. The site may have limitations – the garden shed or narrow lawn. Simplicity and Balance bring calm and harmony and making sure Scale and Proportion are achieved by, for example, choosing trees and shrubs that will be in scale with the site, the architecture and the areas to be planted or creating a generous patio that provides a visual base for the house. Rhythm and Repetition in the garden can bring a design to life and creating Focal Points – anything that stands out and maybe draws attention away from features in the garden that are not so valued – that garden shed for instance!!’

Focal points

At a time when all you want to do is shut the front door and forget the outside world, maybe a little thought now and by the summer you will have the garden you have always wanted.

I am always here if you need my help!

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