Landscape gardening ideas
Want to revamp your garden but don’t know where to start? Then check out our stylish landscape gardening ideas.
The UK is by no means the sunniest or warmest country in Europe, but there’s no denying that most British homeowners take immense pride in keeping a neat and inviting garden area. Making the most of your garden does, however, involve a lot more than planting a few bulbs and clearing away any old rubbish.
Before getting started on landscaping, take the time to think about the primary purpose of your garden; what is it currently used for? Secondly, you will need to have your garden area accurately measured too; that way you prevent yourself from making any costly purchases that might look out of place. Once you have found a clear direction and understand the design limitations for your garden, you are ready to start looking into the more adventurous landscaping ideas.
Patios and decking
If you plan on using your garden for summer BBQ’s or as an alternative dining area, you might want to look into having a new patio or wooden decking installed. Wood designs offer a classy, natural look that blends neatly into the garden environment, but unlike paving stones or slabs it will decay over time if not maintained. Wooden decking is, however, significantly cheaper than stone and much more DIY friendly, so think about what is more cost effective and tailor your final choice to suit your budget. Either way, a patio area is a great way to build a transitional spot between the home and the garden – you just have to make sure you get the size right before ordering anything. If you only plan on kitting it out as a two-seater lounge area, a 10×10 foot area should be sufficient; for larger dining areas or barbeque spots, however, something like 20×25 foot will be more appropriate.
Plants and trees
It may sound like an obvious consideration, but too few homeowners take the time to think carefully about the flowers and plants that will best suit their chosen garden design plan. If you are unsure about what sort of greenery you like or are unfamiliar with rarer and exotic plants, you could always take a visit to the numerous plant or flower exhibitions on offer, such as the Chelsea Flower Show, The Eden Project or Kew Gardens. That way you gain a comprehensive understanding of what is available before making any purchases. Think carefully about what colours work together, and what sort of design you are going for too – certain ferns or palms, for instance, look great in oriental garden layouts, while brighter tulips and chrysanthemums reinforce a more traditional atmosphere. You should determine your soil type too, as a way of knowing which flowers will grow well where you live. If you want the lushness and colour without the hard work, you might prefer potted plants as an alternative to extensive flower beds.
Elaborately designed water features often look out-of-place in smaller, confined garden areas, but if you have the room they can be a great way of adding a little sparkle and luxury to your final garden design. From tall, standing bird baths to fish ponds with shallow, sloping sides, water features are fantastic for attracting natural wildlife into your garden. A water feature can bring not only sparrows, robins and frogs into the area but also draw hedgehogs, mice and (depending on where you live) even wild rabbits closer to your home. If have a natural dislike for these creatures but still want the added style of a water feature in your garden, you can always put up fencing or wire-meshes to prevent the animals from gaining access to the area.
Eco-friendly landscaping options
Of course, if you are a greener sort of person who enjoys seeing wildlife directly outside of your home, there are a number of environmentally friendly landscaping design features you can choose from. Nesting boxes are a great way to attract birds, while rain barrels and compost bins save you from wasting water or purchasing additional fertiliser for your garden maintenance. Inserting solar lights also add a little glamour and cosiness if you plan on using your new patio into the evening, and if you want to be really good you could even make sure your decking is fully or partially recycled – just make sure it is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
Hiring a landscaping company
If all of this sounds a little too much to handle, don’t panic – you could always hire a landscaping professional to help get your project underway. Set up an initial consultation meeting with your landscaping company to be certain you are both on the same page; otherwise you might end up with a garden design that simply isn’t you. The cost of renovating your garden will vary considerably depending on the size of the area and what features you opt for, but a complete landscaping project can often come in at under £10,000 if you’re careful – a surprisingly cheap way of getting the new garden area you and your family always wanted!