Planning and Creating the Perfect Garden with Creative Landscaping Ideas
Utilize different materials to build walls, raised beds, and paths to make your garden abode as unique as your character.
According to the late Rosemary Verey, legendary garden designer, writer, and lecturer, “True gardening is as much about the bones of a garden as it’s planting.” And it is true – a garden will never be complete without proper landscaping because it adds structure and texture to your outdoor space. The decorative edging, paving, and decking materials provide the character a garden needs.
Winter is the most suitable time to rethink and redesign your garden space because plants are likely dormant during this season. However, it is easier to assess outdoor space during the summer. A good idea is to add different surfaces and structures before summer so that you can enjoy them when the summer season arrives.
Thinking of a concept for your garden or redesigning the garden space will inspire creativity. Are you thinking of adding chairs or benches where you can sit and relax, or entertain guests? Is the area going to be suitable for children playing? Maybe you want to redesign the garden to make it easier to maintain or more colourful. The best way to create an attractive garden is through landscaping. It allows you to design a layout that inspires both creativity and practicality or help you create a garden that serves your needs.
Many people find it difficult to know where or how to start garden landscaping. Here we provide answers to common questions on landscaping your garden. Whether it’s aesthetic planting, resourcing, building, budgeting, or planning, this guide will help you in designing the garden of your dreams.
How do I begin with designing my garden?
It is always a good idea to research before starting landscaping your garden. Get design inspiration from public gardens and garden centres. You could also visit other people’s homes or attend annual garden shows to get an idea about what you prefer. Al.ways remember to consider the size of your garden and the purpose of your garden. A drawing board can help you start conceptualising your garden. You can also create mood boards while coming up with your very own garden design.
When planning your garden landscape, here are the elements that you should consider:
- Boundaries and walls
- Fences and edges
- Lighting for outbuildings
- Patios and Pathways
- Plants such as pots, shrubs, and trees
- Water features
- Zoning areas for play or dining areas, as an example
The next thing you must consider is the plot size and shape. What direction does your plot face? Take the house style as a factor since the plot will be surrounding and framing the area. One of the most important aspects of good garden design is balance. Make sure to pay attention to space since plants shape and size as they grow.
After the plot size, you should consider whether you want an informal garden or a formal one. Informal gardens tend to be more relaxed because of organic planting and curves. On the other hand, an informal garden appears more geometric and tidy due to clipped hedges and straight lines.
There are numerous styles for garden landscaping, whether you prefer modern, rustic, or elegant. Contemporary designs will usually involve and feature hard landscaping. There are various materials to consider for your garden such as concrete, metal, mirror, and painted or textured walls. You can use these materials in a traditional garden but it is best if you use a homogeneous and complementary design.
Many successful gardeners will recommend sticking to a simple but elegant theme for your garden. Putting too many patterns or ideas together makes the space look fussy and too complicated, especially if the space is limited.
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What materials do I need for landscaping?
When starting to hard landscape your garden, it is important to focus on the condition and quality of materials. The most common materials for landscaping are the following:
- Aggregates and sand (these should be suitable to use for horticulture)
- Concrete, rendering, and mortar
- Decking and timber
- Exterior paints and finishes
- Landscaping fabric and damp proof membrane
- Paving and block paving
Waste removal is another important consideration. You can choose to either muck away or skip hire. It is best to check with waste removal companies and the local council for the most suitable method. If you will hire a professional to take care of waste removal, consult with your contractor if their service includes clearance.
Who does the work?
There is always a certain amount of upheaval that goes along with any type of construction project. The best way to survive is by planning carefully and strategically.
How can I keep neighbours happy during the process of landscaping?
It’s possible that some neighbours will get annoyed with all the construction activity going on. It is best to inform your neighbours about plans so they know that you respect their side, too. Always verify the boundaries to avoid problems when erecting walls and fences. If you are sharing lines with neighbours, it is best to get their written permissions.
How can I effectively remove waste from hard landscaping?
This stage of the landscaping process should already be clear to you whether it is possible to complete your project in DIY mode. If DIY is not feasible, you should hire a professional garden landscape designer or reliable tradesman with the right skills to do the difficult for you.
Here are your options to remove waste that came with the hard landscaping process:
Talk to your neighbours to request access or check with the local council to verify that the area is available for everyone.
Skip hire is a good idea if you are disposing of a high volume of water (fees will be around £50 to £200). You may also need to apply for a license or permit to use a public road for your skip hire.
If you have a landscaper, check if they can handle the permit request. If your landscaper is going to utilise the commercial waste recycling centre or tip, expect to pay a fee. Should you decide to handle the waste removal yourself, verify with the local residential tip for the process. For more information, visit direct.gov.uk.
Is DIY garden landscaping a good idea?
If you plan to work on landscaping your garden by yourself, you can check out online guides, read DIY books, and watch construction courses to get you up to speed.
The building and landscaping materials discussed earlier can be purchased from builders depot and garden centres. Make sure that there are access points for the delivery of the materials for your garden.
You may need to hire machinery like a digger or a cement mixer for preparing the ground for construction. When your plot has straight lines, using materials such as blocks, bricks, slabs, and timber can save you time and money. When you have a curved plot design, it is best to use gravel, or poured concrete since these are more flexible than the ones mentioned earlier.
How do I hire a professional to landscape my garden?
While some enjoy the DIY route when it comes to garden landscaping, others may be overwhelmed by the entire process of landscaping an outdoor space. For instance, you have to work on the structure, lighting, and planting, among other things. Because the process can be very daunting for many homeowners, hiring a professional garden designer makes a lot of sense. You can get the garden of your dreams as long as your budget fits the plan.
Hiring a professional is also reasonable if there are tasks that need to be done that require the skills and knowledge of a tradesman. For example, water pipes, gas, and electricity must be handled by a qualified professional so that you can be sure the project is done safely and properly. Reliable specialists can also resolve issues that you may have overlooked and ensured that these are all completed following safety standards and regulations.
It is possible to hire skilled contractors near you or ask for a professional referral from garden landscaper associations.
How much do I need to spend on garden landscaping?
Your budget plays an important role in what can be achieved with regards to garden landscaping. The following gives you an overview of what your budget can achieve when planning to landscape your outdoor space.
No cash out: All you need to do is clean up and make your garden as tidy as possible. Remove plants and trees that have self-seeded. Prune shrubs that started to grow out of control. Remove the weeds and edge the lawns. You can try swapping plants with friends to give you the garden a fresh look without spending anything.
£1 to £100: Aside from doing what was mentioned in the no cash-out option, you can get new plants and garden accessories to brighten up space. Consider mulching plant beds to retain the moisture of the soil and prevent weeds from growing. You can also re-gravel and buy new containers to give your garden a new look.
£101 to £500: This budget will let you buy some building materials and new plants. You can also purchase new furniture for your garden.
£501 to £1000: The higher end of this budget will allow you to hire outside help for your garden landscaping needs. If you are adamant about doing things yourself, this budget will let you buy tools to help with DIY landscaping. Otherwise, you can get the services of a qualified tradesman for at least 2 days to complete a simple landscaping project.
£5000-£10,000: You can expect to cover a week’s worth of work from a skilled tradesman and his team, plus the necessary materials. If the budget is towards the higher end of the range, it is already possible to hire a professional garden designer.
£10,000 – £30,000: A huge budget like this allows you to get a professional garden designer and contractor to ensure that your garden project is completed following industry standards. A 10sq meter garden with professional hard-surfacing, installation of barriers and special features, and planting will cost around £25,000. Professional design fees will likely push your budget up to £30,000.
The bigger your budget, the higher the chances of creating a garden that will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Do I have to request permission for planning?
Restrictions vary from one location to another. You need to request permission if you plan to build walls, install or remove hard landscaping. It is best to consult and seek permission from your local council before pushing through with any hard landscaping plans. You can find more information at www.gov.uk.
Examples of regulations on outbuildings:
Outbuildings are allowed beside the property up to 2.5 meters
Outbuildings 4 meters or more should be 2 meters far from the property
Outbuildings and decking should not consume more than half of the total garden space
How long before I complete landscaping my garden?
The time of completion will depend largely on the type of work you need for your garden. Hiring professionals to do the work for you is more time-efficient if your budget permits it. To help you manage expenses, it is best to complete hard landscaping first. It is best done during the colder months so that you can start planting by the time spring arrives. However, it is best to avoid building patios and walls if the temperature is lower than 3 degrees because concrete and mortar may be weakened by frost.
What plants should be in my garden?
It is important to have some planning when it comes to plants in the garden. Whether you are building a country garden or a modern one, you should have an excellent selection of plants to keep your garden alive all year round. A scheme is important when it comes to growing plants so it is best to start understanding what type of plants are good for your type of weather and soil.
For example, if you want a structure, it is best to plant trees and large hedgings. If you seek colour, you should invest in bulbs and bedding plants. You should continue your research online, visit garden centres, and read books to obtain helpful planting information.
One way to add colour to your garden is by investing in potted flowering plants. The advantage of potted plants is that you can move them to another location depending on your mood or preferences. Make sure to keep your potted plants hydrated regularly.
Should I follow trends in garden landscaping?
Someone’s dream garden may be totally unlike the dream garden that you have in mind. Remember that a garden is an outdoor space that should suit your lifestyle and preferences. There are many kinds of gardens to derive inspiration from – but the most important thing to remember about garden landscaping is that you have the power to create an outdoor space that’s unique and special.