How to build a garden – from A to Z

Creating a garden doesn’t have to be complicated. The trick is to not overcomplicate things, and to plan everything well.

It’s also a good idea to think about every little detail at the start of the project, that will make it easier to look after your lawn and flowerbeds in the future. Take inspiration from our little guide that will take you from sketching designs, to planting.

First and foremost, your garden should bring you joy. Some people want to grow vegetables and enjoy carefully planted flower beds, others just want a place to barbecue with friends. So when starting, always think about the purpose of your garden – don’t try to make it something you think it should be, make it something you want!

Trethowans
Trethowans

That’s the only way to turn an empty plot into a place where you can relax after even the busiest of days. All you have to do is pick up a pencil and paper, and get plotting! Plot all existing buildings and features first. Then, get creative. Think where you would want a pond, a BBQ area, a vegetable patch, a new shed, and so on. Make multiple drawings, and try to think of the space cohesively – so it has a nice flow, and doesn’t feel mis-matched.

Plan your garden down to the last detail

Always consider how much time you can devote to the garden, and never underestimate. Intensive planting requires intensive maintenance – even if you don’t think it will.

If you don’t want to spend your time watering and weeding your beds, invest in handy tools like a sprinkler system to take care of the garden maintenance for you. Also mark on your plan where there is more shade and sunlight in the garden. This makes it easier to choose the ideal location for a garden shed, pergola, swimming pool, or rose beds.

Building a garden is just as challenging as renovating a house. If you’re doing intensive renovations – it’s always best to hire a professional. Because planning is half the battle in a smooth renovation, make a list of all the minor and major improvements you want to make. Try to get the person you hire to plan the dates of each job so that they don’t pile up and get rushed at the last minute.

For swimming pools, pergolas, new terraces, and other big structures, always look at the small print, especially the materials used, the completion date, and the service guarantee.  

Garden for happiness!

The most common mistake when renovating or establishing a garden is the wrong choice of plants. We mentioned before to plan where the light hits – this is really important for planting. Generally, larger trees and conifers that provide shade belong at the side of the garden, to create privacy. Watch out – they grow quickly, and can block out all the natural light when too large.

Good alternatives include flowering shrubs such as honeysuckle, quince or lilac. They are softer, and will create a beautiful and undemanding hedge that doesn’t require too much care. Smaller shrubs and flowering perennials should ideally be planted in front of these. Do not plant them on their own, they do best in groups of the same species.

Let stand out plants such as conifers, magnolias or ornamental cherries stand tall alone, instead. So there you have it – set up a chair, and bask in the joy of your new creation!

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