I thought I’d write a blog to show the fairly typical design process that I went through recently for my latest garden commission. The brief was for a family garden, with screening for privacy and to hide the children’s play equipment and trampoline. The family also wanted to include a small vegetable growing area and more planting in general than they have now. They liked the idea of a fairly formal style, but with a contemporary feel. The garden is quite long and narrow - 40m x 8m with a garden storage building at the end. The garden as you will see from the ‘before’ photo has a long path down one side, a small amount of planting at the edges and is quite overlooked and not very inspiring. The clients didn’t want to spend a fortune on the garden, maybe building it in stages which had to be considered in the design too.
I surveyed the garden which was fairly simple as on one level and surprisingly exactly at right angles to the house, which is very unusual, the last few gardens I’ve designed have been very odd shapes and have had a significant slope somewhere.
I decided to divide the garden up with a formal hedge, which will give the garden a more interesting layout, an enclosed feel and encourage movement through the different areas. The couple wanted timber decking, which has been included surrounded by a lavender hedge. An arbour near the children’s play area will allow the existing vine to scramble around it, giving a secluded and quiet place to sit, children permitting! I have suggested Marshall’s paving near the house, with brick edging around the lawns to add definition. I did play around with other ideas and came up with more flowing, curved shapes, but a design based on squares and rectangles will make the garden easier to implement and less expensive to build. A simple lighting layout with specification for the fittings and LED lights was provided.
I am happy to say the clients really liked the design and commented on how well I had fulfilled their brief and made use of the space, which is always the best outcome as far as I am concerned.
I would normally ask a landscaper or two to quote for the whole of the landscaping work based on my design and specification (apart from the planting), but on this occasion the clients want to arrange everything themselves, as their budget allows. They wanted a design /plan to work from, rather than making the garden up as they went along. If only everyone did this- garden designers would have a lot more clients!
I provided them with a list of suggested small trees, shrubs and perennials, detailing the preferred aspect, eventual height and spread, but they have indicated that they would like me to draw up a planting plan and supply the plants once they get to that stage and I will be very happy to do that for them.
When the garden is under construction, or finished I am hoping to be able to show some ‘in progress’ or ‘after’ photos for a 2nd helping of the blog.
BEFORE PHOTO- SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT!
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