When it comes to planting the garden, the first thing to do is make a plan! I’m all for lists so I draw up a shortlist of suppliers and tradesmen who can make my life much easier. We live near Birmingham now so our favourite tree specialist is Solihull Tree Surgeons and they always top the list because trees are such a major feature in any garden.
We start by assessing trees and hedges on the property because we like to retain these whenever possible. However, hedges have often been neglected and sometimes we need to replace with suitable fencing. Some of our properties have had quite large gardens with feature trees and we always try to plan around these and incorporate them into the landscape in a sympathetic way.
Once the boundaries are sorted and trees placed on the plan, hard landscaping is next. It’s important to use pathways in a subtle way to bring interest to the garden and if possible reveal hidden areas as the walker wanders.
Next comes the planting of larger shrubs and bushes to build an infrastructure and give shape to the garden, then infilling with smaller plants. Using this procedure we’ve been able to design any number of different gardens without resorting to expensive garden designers. I have nothing against them and they often produce stunning results, but our budget never stretches that far!
Once you have the outline of your plan, the next thing is to fill in the details. Decide what stone you want for the pathways and whether the patio is to be natural or an artificial surface or maybe wooden decking. There are a myriad of options and each one will produce an entirely different look to the garden.
So eventually it all comes together and you can instruct the companies you’ve chosen. I’d always go with recommendations for suppliers whenever possible – which is where Facebook can come in handy if you post in your local group and ask.
The real fun comes when you go to the garden centre to choose your plants and the colours you want. Using different shades will make a huge difference to the overall look so take that into account and decide beforehand whether you want a subtle look or something more bright and “in your face”. If you’re doing up a property to sell, then I’d advise choosing something fairly mainstream and not too extreme because people can be funny when they buy a property and the look of the garden can have a big effect on their decision.
If you’re doing your own garden, of course, you can go for it! Choose what you like and feel you can live with. Go for bright and vibrant plants if that’s what you like or maybe something even more funky. The world’s your oyster so choose well and enjoy your garden.