Is your garden ready for the summer?

It is around this time of year as the temperatures begin to warm and the days lengthen that we often start to look forward to spending more time in the garden.   However, as you gaze out of your window in to the wild wilderness left from the long winter it may seem like a near impossible task to quickly and easily transform your own bit of the world in to that peaceful and tranquil haven or outside entertainment area for family and friends.  So the first question you must ask yourself is; what do I want out of my garden?  Whether it is to provide a place for barbeques and a paddling pool, to sit quietly in the sun or to help sell your house, all garden makeovers start with a good design.

From my own experience when we came across this very issue 8 years ago we decided to call in 2 garden designers.

Making the best out of a small walled garden - Source: John Wilson Gardens
Making the best out of a small walled garden – Source: John Wilson Gardens

The most important thing in our decision making was that it must be low maintenance, as both my wife and I worked full time. We didn’t really know what to expect, just that we knew we needed to make more out of the small terraced back garden area we had. We both like the outdoors and yet hardly ever spent time outside in our own backyard. It was very enjoyable talking to the designers about different options and trying to visualise how each one would fit and work with the space we had available.

The next phase was the costing, and although neither quote was expensive with a little bit of haggling here and there we were soon able to agree a very reasonable price for the work.  With little to choose between the quotes we went with the trade who we felt most comfortable with, someone who clearly defined all the work required and listened carefully to our expectations.  The makeover lasted 4 days and once it was completed we were extremely happy with the results.  It transformed how we used the space and for the next 2 years we not only lived more in our garden but kept the maintenance up as well. Not only did it increase our enjoyment of the property but when we came to sell the estate agent’s feedback was that it had helped sell the house quicker too.

Contempory decking area perfect for garden entertaining - Source: Appletree Garden Designs
Contempory decking area perfect for garden entertaining – Source: Appletree Garden Design

If you are thinking about having your garden re-designed or landscaped there are a few things to take in to account. Firstly the size of the area you have to work with is very important in determining the designs which are available to you. Secondly the direction the garden faces and any objects outside of your boundary which may block sunlight.  It is also advisable to follow a theme, just like you would when redecorating a room. Unless very large, a garden with different styles often just ends up looking confused.  Finally space is very important, although features such as flowerbeds, rockeries, ponds and trees give an area your own stamp, don’t over crowd it.  Sometimes a simple lawn, patio or decking area which is well thought out and presented is just as important.  These open areas are also easier to maintain over the winter months so that it does not make too much effort to get your garden ready for the spring and summer again the following year.

by Paul

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