Gardening tips and trends: How to design your perfect oasis
Knowing how to design a garden can be the difference between simply having a patch of land behind your house and being able to enjoy brief escape from the world.
We’ve outlined how you should go about planning your perfect oasis, a handful of our favourite garden design ideas, and some tips for gardening yourself and whether you should hire a professional landscaper.
What to consider before you start
Before starting work on your garden utopia, it’s crucial to check off all the appropriate considerations, particularly around planning, permissions, and materials, or else you could find yourself having to overcome some tricky hurdles a little later down the line. Take on our gardening design tips to avoid stumbling into difficulty.
Planning out your garden design ideas
Planning your project can be as exciting as seeing the final touches put in place, as you let your imagination run wild and picture the green-fingered haven you’ve always dreamt of. However, bold passion is only half the battle, and it’s important to ensure your garden design ideas all work within the practical limitations of your existing space and available budget.
With this, consider how incorporating further soft (plants, grass, trees) and hard (stone, timber, metal) landscaping features will complement your current arrangement. Whether you’re working with a tidy suburban plot or countryside expanse, there’s always room to express your creativity.
However, if achieving a mesmeric oasis includes interfering with your home’s shared boundaries, that is the fences, hedges, and walls, you’ll need to run your garden design ideas through your neighbour first. A polite practice that’ll hopefully go a long way towards building a positive neighbourly relationship, this is also a legal requirement. This notice should formally be given between two months and a year ahead of any work taking place, and you should make any agreement in writing.
Working out what you need
No matter how complex your landscaping dreams are, you should first make sure you have sufficient building materials to complete the job. Failure to properly prepare can prolong the process and ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Whether you’re simply relaying your lawn and touching up on existing features or planning to restyle your entire space with decking, paving, and pebbling, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from your merchant or a friend who’s taken up a similar project if you’re unsure on quantities.
Similarly, make sure you’ve fully considered how you’ll be disposing of any garden waste. Your brown garden waste bin is only suitable for smaller loads, such as grass, clippings, and leaves, and will quickly fill up, so it’s important to make sure you have an appropriately sized skip to suit your requirements.
You can either arrange this yourself or through your landscaper, and, depending on the size you opt for, it will usually cost around £100-200 for a week’s hire. However, your provider may allow you to keep it a little longer if they don’t need it for another customer. If you don’t have the land to hold a skip, make sure to apply to your local council for a permit to keep it in a public space, such as at the side of the road.
Garden design ideas and trends
You might have an abstract idea about how you want to shape your garden, but there’s always room for even more creativity. We’ve highlighted three of our favourite gardening trends, each designed to offer a little inspiration for you when creating your own personal paradise.
Embrace nature in your designs
This theme is centred around creating a prosperous haven for birds and bees, as well as yourself. With a heavy focus on plant life and soft landscaping, this is one of the less dramatic gardening trends, instead relying on green structures to create a relaxing retreat.
A garden on multiple levels
Consider how you can, literally, elevate your designs with garden features set at multiple levels. Doing this allows you to create a dynamic space that makes combining contrasting elements and gardening trends simpler. For instance, soft features, such as flower and allotment beds, can sit at a separate level to a canopied and paved social area without either losing the limelight.
Styling a space for all occasions
While the end of lockdown may be in sight, we’ve all learnt the value of having a garden over the last year and the extent to which it can improve a home. So, it might be sensible to consider the ways you can create an environment that caters for all occasions. These additions can be as lavish as your budget allows, but consider an elevated decking platform perfect for socialising, a designated play area for the kids, and a built structure that allows you to spend your office hours surrounded by nature.
DIY or professional?
When it comes to putting your garden design ideas into practice, establish the difficulty of the job in hand, and whether you might benefit from hiring a little help. We’ve covered the benefits of both doing it yourself and getting a professional on board.
Gardening tips for DIY landscaping
The overwhelming benefit of DIY landscaping is, of course, the more affordable rate of completion, which can often mean you either save money or are able to spend more on high-quality materials. With this, though, comes the hurdle of having to overcome your relative inexperience, which may mean your gardening project takes a little longer to finish.
Develop a nous for practicalities, such as establishing an easy-access point for large, heavy, and awkward loads. Similarly, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the materials, machinery, and tools you’ll be using. This information is readily available online, so take the time to absorb any details that might prove otherwise troublesome or detrimental to your progress.
Hiring a professional to make your garden design ideas a reality
It might be a good idea to employ a professional gardener to help touch up your space if your plans are orientated around a particularly complicated arrangement.
After weighing up the cost of hiring outside assistance against the potential for not quite getting it right yourself the first time of asking, you might not feel too aggrieved at the extra cost. To make your budget work as hard as possible, you should compare quotes from trusted tradespeople, but, generally, a large-scale project can cost between £5,000-10,000 (including materials).
There’s no better feeling than stepping outside in the basking sun to enjoy the outside world, but this, often, isn’t an obvious possibility for all homes. Discover how you can create your very own balcony garden to get a slice of paradise from above, or enjoy exploring even more expert home advice from us.