With the New Year resolutions either successfully adhered to – or well and truly forgotten by now, the onset of Spring heralds the need to divert some of that positive “fresh start” thinking into the official launch of the “gardening” year.
So as Winter comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking how to go about restoring the somewhat muddy scene outside to its full potential glory.
Garden Improvements are Tops
With garden improvements edging their way up to the number two slot in the top ten of home enhancement initiatives undertaken by the UK public (according to the 2007 Halifax Home Improvements survey), it’s quite clear that getting our outdoor room in tip top shape remains a popular priority amongst current homeowners. Addressing the make-over needs of the garden into shape is only superseded by redecorating, underpinning the fact that people are beginning to see their garden as a genuine extension to the home and as a result, are keen to apply their commitment to interior style to their exterior space.
Planning Makes Perfect
Once you’ve made the decision to change your garden scenery, make sure you allocate a portion of time to the planning process. Think how each room in a house serves a specific purpose (sometimes more than one), and remember the same principle applies to your garden – so it’s important to consider the various functional needs your garden will be expected to cater for. The majority of home owners view their garden as a place to relax and unwind, and if there are kids around, somewhere totally safe for the children to play. In addition to these requirements it’s worth thinking about the following:
- do you plan to do lots of entertaining in the garden?
- how important is it for you to catch some sun rays during the day?
- will you be spending a lot of time in the garden once the natural light fades?
- is there a need to create shade within the garden?
- are there any on-going safety issues which still need to be quickly addressed? eg existence of ponds with young children, unreliable boundary fencing, uneven paving
- how important is it that you incorporate environmentally friendly strategies into your outdoor room?
- are you keen to split your garden into “rooms”, creating specific zones for different functions?
- do you need to re-think your garden’s existing access points?
Then it is time be realistic about how much time you will have to maintain your newly designed garden. There’s no point in lusting after lusciously planted gardens which feature exotic horticultural specimens if you’re not prepared to dedicate – or just simply don’t have – the required time available to care for the plants. Similarly, don’t go for a terrific expanse of perfect lawn unless you can regularly find the man hours required to keeping it looking fabulous. There are a multitude of time saving initiatives which can be incorporated into your design (such as mowing strips, irrigation systems and the use of gravel / paving to name but a few) which will help reduce the time spent labouring and increase the time spent savouring your new garden.
Talking on a one-to-one basis with your garden designer will soon provide a clear picture of what garden will be the right fit for you and your family.