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» Garden Design and Landscape

[Top»] What is a garden…….

What does the word ‘garden’ mean to you?  The word, ‘garden’ actually originates from the old German term ‘gart’ which means enclosure……so what does it mean to you?  Generally speaking, a garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature.  The garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials. 

 

Whether you live in a large home with a big yard, or a small apartment, gardens and gardening are great for the soul and the eyes.  Many people love to garden simply because it’s a relaxing hobby, and others enjoying gardening for its aesthetic quality.  From the majestic Japanese gardens with bonsai trees to elaborate English gardens with topiary, gardens make your home look beautiful. 

 

After a hard days work, there is nothing more pleasing and relaxing than sitting out in your garden, enjoying your hard days labour, watching the children play amongst the flowers, hiding behind the trees, whilst you enjoy a well deserved glass of wine or a refreshing orange juice, on those balmy summer evenings. 

 

A garden can extend your home considerably and even a few simple plants on the patio, can make you feel so much happier.  Before you plan your garden, spend as much time as you possibly can in it and before you set about building walls, or paying turf – check out where the suns rises and where it sets, think about the elements, the rain and the wind and be careful where you plant certain shrubs and flowers.

[Top»] So what shall I do with my garden?

If you have just started to design your own garden, there are several things to keep in mind.  The first is to be sure you know what will grow easily in your particular part of the country.  Various things like weather (temperature, average rainfall, etc) along with the soil contents and quality can have a big impact on what kind of plants and flowers you can grow.  You can ask your local nursery or garden centre which plants will do best for your area, so you can be sure your garden looks lovely all year round.  Ideally ask a local gardener or designer to call and discuss your requirements with them. 

In addition to knowing what plants will grow best in your area, knowing how to care for them is equally as important.  There is nothing more upsetting than spending hundreds of pounds for beautiful plants and flowers and forgetting to water them each night or not feeding them correctly.  In the world of gardens and gardening, you should always be sure that you know what kind of requirements the plants will need including the amount of sunlight and how damp the soil should be.  Most plants that are bought will have an information tag that tells the species of plant as well as various requirements, so make sure you read how to plant them before you throw the tag away. 

A garden does not always have to have a lawn, some people prefer flagging or decking as it is easier to maintain and simply preferring “container gardens”, patio or house plants.  It really is a matter of preference, but either way these plants will add a lovely touch of life and colour to your home.  The art of gardens and gardening has been around for years and with a little bit of knowledge and practice, you too can have a lovely garden you will enjoy for many years to come.  For a few pounds why not pick up a few gardening magazines and have a look at the pictures in there – you will find many choices of garden designs, with ideas of what to plant and where.  Have a look at other peoples gardens, keeping a camera at hand to take that all important photo.

[Top»] Choosing a Good Landscape Designer

If you have decided to employ the services of a Landscape Gardener, then you have made a great decision.  A good, experienced Landscape Gardener will call to your house and discuss your requirements and ideas with you.  They will organise a survey of your garden, making sure they have highlighted any drains, cables and other restrictions that may be under the surface of your proposed garden area, which will then give them a plan to work to.  At this meeting you will be able to clarify the process and any time schedules.  Your Landscape Gardener will need to know what you intend to use your garden for, do you want to use your garden for relaxation, dining, recreational purposes or merely to admire the view?  Are you looking for a contemporary look or a more period style effect?  Will you like to see some timber decking, natural stone terraces or a water feature, for example?  What about some lighting?  Will you need any car parking areas?

A consultation will usually include detailed notes and photographs of your existing garden, showing boundaries, existing trees and other features, including garden buildings, views and aspects and soil conditions.  They will then be able to gauge the complexity of the design and how much construction work will be required.  They will then be able to provide you with a budget and a price for all the works.  A Landscape Gardener will have access to other tradespeople, such as builders or paving specialists, who will carry out the work that they may not already do, allowing you to leave the whole project in their capable hands. 

Once you are happy with your chosen design, your Landscape Gardener will agree a planting schedule with you and source the plants accordingly.  The plants will be chosen for their quality, their position in the garden and drainage and soil quality, if necessary.  Your Landscape Gardener will arrange delivery of the plants and shrubs and along with the other construction works that will be required and he will carry out the work as in accordance to the agreement and designs that were chosen by yourself.

Most Landscape Gardeners will also provide a consultation and design service only.  By using this option you can still achieve great designs but at a fraction of the cost.  If you feel that you can carry out most of the construction work yourself then this is a great alternative.  Your Landscape Gardener can provide the same service as above, but will exclude all the labour elements and subsequent costs associated with these areas.  You will still receive the same professional service and you will still receive a layout of your proposed garden area, showing existing features, underground cables and planting schedules, along with any tree reports, planning application or engineers reports that may be required.

If you are not sure which option is best for you, then simply give your local Landscape Gardener a call and arrange as meeting to discuss your ideas and hopefully agree a way forward.  Why not have a look at the tradespeople on our website, check out their ratings and give them a call? 

[Top»] Seasonal Maintenance Work to your Garden – What needs to be done?

Throughout certain times of the year, decision2day suggests you give your home the once over to keep it in ‘tip top shape’, from checking for drafts and clearing your guttering for leaves to prevent blockages in winter, to repainting your timber window frames in summer, to that good old spring clean……well your garden is no different.   If you have not done so already, then nip out into your garden and have a look around.  Why not follow a few basic tips from decision2day to help keep your garden in ‘tip top shape’ too?

In Autumn, you should have started to dead head a few fading flowers, removed fading annuals and plant hardy varieties of shrubs.  Plant a few spring flowering bulbs and plant a few evergreen shrubs.  Continue to water the garden during dry sunny spells.

In Winter, you need to start digging over the soil, preparing for the frost.  If you have a garden pool and it ices over, create a small hole in the ice to allow any gasses to escape.  Protect your valuable trees and shrubs in harsh weather and plant out new trees in containers.  Remember to shake off any heavy falls of snow from your hedges and bushes so that they are not weighed down.

As Spring approaches, why not give your garden a complete wedding, digging over where required.  April is a good time to start planting trees, shrubs, roses, strawberries and perennials.  After the last chance of frost has gone, usually this time of year, you can start planting hardier annuals, fertilising them with a bloom starter as you plant them.  Any leave that are appearing on your trees, check them for mites etc and give them a spray too.  By the time May arrives, you can plant virtually anything, so why not start?

So you have spent all year doing the hard work and you may be thinking that you can sit back and enjoy your labours, but unfortunately Summer is when the hard work is just beginning.  Think about the lawn that needs constant cutting, the flower beds that need constant weeding - it’s a good job that we as a nation enjoy our gardens, because this is the time of year that you can be really busy.  Be sure to water the plants early in the morning, so the foliage can dry off before the summer sun sets in.  Don’t forget to dead head the flowers as they fade and keep giving that garden bed a general digging over when needed.  Remember to take cuttings off your shrubs, pick your ripe fruit and keep ponds aerated by adding fresh water.

Maintaining your garden over the seasons will help to keep it in perfect condition, giving you the appreciation and the enjoyment that a lovely garden can bring.