Common sense for the garden

Bet you thought this was going to be yet another blog about garden tips and techniques?

Well, it isn’t because there is any amount of those about. You don’t need me to tell you how to weed! This blog is a short weekly one, in which I’ll give an idea, observation or suggestion about how to avoid the most commonly made gardening or garden design mistakes, which I see over and over again. The irony of this is that most of them happen due to a lack of common sense rather than a lack of specialist horticultural or design knowledge.

Enthusiasm Is Good But Must Be Focused.

The mistake I see the most often is that people don’t think through or clarify what they want to do in the garden. Lots of people go straight to the garden centre to buy plants without any idea of what they are trying to achieve which often ends up as a waste of money, time and energy. I think this happens because people are enthusiastic to get going and think it’s going to be as easy as ‘sorting’ the house out has been. What they have failed to take into account is that the purpose of each room has probably been pre-determined by previous occupants or the architect, so no thought has to be given to what actually happens there.

Give It Some Thought

To avoid making this most common of mistakes, go and sit outside with a notebook, talk with anyone else who regularly uses the garden so that they can contribute to the discussion. Think about all the things you like to do outside and then make a list of around five things. Here are some examples of what previous clients have put on their lists, which have then guided how their garden became to be designed in a particular way. Eating out, chatting with friends, bbq-ing, enjoying the evening sun, playing with grandchildren and/or dogs, gardening, growing vegetables/cut flowers, sun bathing, reading, enjoying the wildlife and many other things.

You will note that these are all ACTIONS – Not specific features such as patios, raised beds, paths etc.

Before Any Feature Comes A Great Idea.

Work out what you like doing outside and the design and features will follow. To give you an example of what I mean is this: a client wanted to enjoy a glass of wine, after work, in the evening sun so the only place this could possible happen was in the part of the garden that faced the setting sun. There is absolutely no option of this happening anywhere else, not being able to change the path of the sun (as yet!), so a bench with access path was put in to that part of the garden. So you can see how the desired outcome dictated where the bench went.

Where To Start:

Be clear about what you like to do outside, then determine what the single most important element of your current garden needs to change for this to happen better.

If you’d like to email me with any questions click here and I’m very happy to help you if I can.


If you would like to talk the garden through with someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and objective get in touch by ringing 01904 623 343 for more information about our 2 levels of FIXED PRICE garden packages.

We’re also very happy to visit you and your garden for an initial discussion. The first visit is FREE to anyone living in Yorkshire.

Get in touch today, call 01904 623 343

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