Looking to create a new outdoor space? Here's our top tips for planning a new garden design.
Image: Colin Poole
Although summer is drawing to a close, it's not too late to start thinking about redesigning your garden, ready to make the most of it next year.
Whether you're looking for a complete redesign or simply want to mix things up – if you're unsure about the best time to do it or need some general planning advice, we've got you covered!
How do I start planning my garden design?
Start by figuring out what you don't like about your current garden design and why you want to change it. Are there not enough plants? Is your grass in really poor condition? Or does the overall design simply not work for you and your family? Gain inspiration from scouring your favourite Instagrammers, Pinterest and magazines and start with the basics.
Consider the main elements that you want to incorporate into your garden design. Do you want to include an outbuilding such as a shed or garden office? Maybe decking or a patio is something you really want to have in your garden. What's more important for you, a place to entertain or a green oasis to nurture?
Read more: How to make a small garden look bigger
When's the best time to landscape my garden?
The prime time to landscape your garden is early spring or early autumn. If you're willing to hang on until early spring then this would be ideal as the plants and shrubs you choose will be ready to bloom straight away. If not, September or October is a great time to do any returfing that may need doing and planting your garden ready for it to prosper in springtime.
Do I need to hire a professional?
Depending on the design you want to create, you may want to hire a professional. Consider paying a landscape designer to come up with a stylish and functional design for you that makes the most out of the garden space that you're working with. If you're looking to returf your garden, then you will probably need to get the help of a professional due to the tools that are required. However, when it comes to creating your flower beds and planting, then this is definitely something you can do yourself.
Which plants should I choose?
Image; Garden Trading
First consider whether you're working with an urban or rural space. If you're working with a smaller space with little or no grass then creating a container garden might be the ideal option for you. Also work out how much sun your garden gets which will then inform of you of what plants will best suit the environment of your outdoor space.
Read more: How to choose plants for a coastal garden
In general, you want to have a nice mix of flowers, trees and shrubs to mix up the height, colour and texture of your garden. When returfing your garden, make sure to invest in good quality soil for your bedding plants that will help them thrive. If you're planting in the autumn, shrubs are definitely the way forward as you wouldn't want to risk planting gorgeous flowers and then have them being killed by any harsh frosts.
How long will my project take and how much?
For most garden redesigns you want to set aside a week or two for it to be completed, whether you're planning on doing it yourself or hiring a professional, which in that case may be a bit quicker.
In terms of budgeting, you can definitely spruce up your garden with new plants and accessories for £100 but when it comes to purchasing building materials or any decking/fencing your budget should increase to £500-£1,000. Realistically, if you're planning on hiring a professional landscape to redesign your garden and carry out the work, a minimum budget of £1,000 is required and this can escalate quite quickly depending on the intricacy and complexity of your design.
Do you have any landscaping tips? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.