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  • Alan Pritchard

I've just bought a house but what about the garden?

So you have just moved into your new home and you are over the moon that you are finally in. The house looks great but what about the garden?

The garden looks okay, the grass is green but there is no particular interest or a reason to go outside and enjoy it.

To brighten up the garden, you decide to plant a couple of shrubs and flowers and realise when you put a spade into the ground that it is rock hard. The grass is growing on an inch of topsoil and then it's just hard clay underneath - which is rock hard in the summer and dries out and wet and claggy in the winter where it becomes waterlogged.

But you are not disheartened, you get your spade, fork and barrow and dig a hole then fill it with compost and topsoil and with a bit of luck, some nice plants will grow. But something is still missing, the garden has a couple of shrubs but it hasn't brought it up to the standard of your new house or your own expectations. You look on the internet looking at award winning gardens and wonder why yours can't be like that.

So what can you do first?

Well, think about what you would like to use the garden for.

Have you got young children that would love a levelled out garden so that they could play football?

Do you love entertaining in the spring and summer?

Would you like to use the garden in the evening?

Do you need the garden to be a screen for a backdrop you don't want to look at anymore?

Once you have a list of what you would like to use the garden for, this is the time to talk to a garden designer as he or she will be able to take your ideas and turn your ideas into a well crafted garden which you can enjoy.

Once the garden designer like myself has come up with a concept for the garden, this is the point it gets really interesting as so many elements of design are incorporated to produce something wonderful and unique. Very simply we start looking at how the propery and the garden interact with each other, in order to chose view points and areas of intrigue for example, along the client's functional and aesthetic reasons for the space. Once the concept plan is presented to the client, the fun can start with changing ideas to suit their needs by selecting materials, soils, plants, lighting and so on.

Every garden that is created should relate to its surrounding environment and property so when the garden is completed, it looks like it was always there.

Now you have a reason to go outside...

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