If you have never tackled planning a garden layout or landscape design before, you can easily get overwhelmed by all the choices. But if you follow certain basic principles, even beginners can design a garden to be proud of (remembering of course that the easiest way to design a garden is to call in professionals!). The first thing you need to do when planning a garden design is make a list of needs and wants, then do some very rough sketches. Get to know the sun and wind patterns in your garden, so your design can take into account what the sun and wind do at different times of the day and year.
If this is your first garden project, start small, don't be swayed by those DIY TV shows where they transform entire gardens seemingly in just three days. These shows are heavily edited and/or they have a huge crew to work on the project. A garden makeover that takes a few days on a TV show, could easily take you months working on your own, so don't be too ambitious to start!
Part of creating a landscape is slowly developing a garden and enjoying the process. Start small, working on one small part at a time, when you have the time, don't worry about getting everything down right away. Try starting from a single focal point, a good garden design will have a focal point such as a sculpture, a water feature or a tree, get this completed first and work away from it. Be really open to change, as you progress in your garden some things you loved in the planning stage, may no longer reflects your desires.
Some things seem like a great idea on paper, but in practice are too time consuming or simply don't look right. Even if you are a competent gardener, you may consider hiring a professional to help with the design and planning stage, plus any time intensive landscaping, particularly any hard landscaping required - remember you don't have to do everything yourself, nor do you have to get a gardener in to do all the work.
Turf can be laid all year around, however avoid laying when ground is freezing or in extended seasons of hot and dry weather. Turfing requires just a few basic tools such as a wheelbarrow, a rake, a knife, a spade, a garden hose and a sprinkler. Turf requires four things to prosper; sunlight, air, water and nutrients. Three of these important factors come from the soil, so ensure the topsoil is in good condition before seeding or laying turf on top. Prior to turfing a lawn you need to dig over the topsoil then rake it to a fine tilt.
Grass should always be laid out straight away, as when rolled up it begins slowly fading. When laying turf use planks for walking along and working on. The grass can be simply cut using a knife or spade to fit. If you are not sure that you can take care of turfing your lawn yourself, remember that there are plenty of professional gardeners out there to assist you!
Water is an essential element in any garden, especially during dry and hot weather, as most plants need regular and frequent hydration. By installing an irrigation system you can have a lush, healthy-looking garden, allowing plants to thrive. there are bespoke irrigation systems available which are tailored to your garden's unique requirements, including fully automated irrigation schemes which will require little or no supervision and can conserve large quantities of water when compared to the alternatives of watering by hose or by sprinkler.
Drainage is also important for lawns, plants and use of the garden itself. There are a number of solutions available for draining waterlogged ground, from simple drains to automated sumps, local gardening contractors can offer advice on any drainage or irrigation issues.
Small garden design projects, such as a border design requiring around half a day of a designer's time, will typically cost around £200. A complete garden scheme will normally cost around £500 to £600 for the drawings alone, once the a structural and planting plans have been added the total cost will be £1,000 to £1,200. A complete garden makeover, including the design and planning, price of materials and employing contractors, will be a minimum of £5,000, with many gardens designs costing excess of £20,000 once complete.
When discussing ideas with a garden designer, be clear from the outset about your planned budget to avoid the final price spiralling. Get in touch with local garden designers near you by using the free quote service on this site, just enter in brief details of your garden project along with contact information and let local companies get in touch with you.