Planning your garden
Whether you are planning an entire new garden for your new home, growing your own foods, creating a safe area for the kids or planning the perfect space to entertain, getting the garden right is vital if you want to make the most of the outdoors during the summer months.
To help you on your green-fingered journey, we have put together some helpful tips and advice that will see your outdoor space turned into a green haven in no time - or those of you who are less ‘green inspired’ can find out how to maintain a simple-to-manage garden.
Planning your garden in a new build
When you buy a brand-new home, as standard, the front garden is usually turfed and the back garden is left untouched except for top soil.
For some, this bare and open space might seem rather daunting but if you follow the same steps as you would when decorating your home you won’t go far wrong.
As with most new projects, preparation is key so get out on the pen and paper, laptop or tablet and start your research by asking yourself what kind of garden would you like to create? What will be the main requirement for your garden? Do you want a large planting area to show off a wonderful variety of flowers and colour? Do you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables? Maybe you want somewhere for the kids to play safely.
The list really is endless but by thinking about what your garden will mean to you, you will be ready to create the perfect outdoor space for yourself and/or your family.
B&Q offers some great step-by-step guides and advice on planning a garden.
Most people will opt for a lawn if it is a family home as this creates a safe and soft place for the kids to play. If your new property only has top soil, make sure you check the quality and then you can start to turf and create a lovely lawn.
If your budget allows, you can employ a professional gardener or landscaper who will take care of everything for you from design to planting.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) offer some great advice on what you need to consider when hiring a gardener/designer/landscaper.
If you want to design the garden yourself, think about how much sunshine it gets and at what time of the day. Make sure you do plenty of research and get good advice – experts at your local garden centre are often happy to help. You can find an abundance of magazines, blogs and websites that will both inspire and offer practical advice.
Again, make a visit to the RHS website for ideas and inspiration.
Grow your own food
Growing your own food has never been more popular as home-owners are opting to turn their green spaces into a self-sufficient food haven.
If you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables, the best advice is to start small with herbs and then you can build up to a mini-market in the garden! Once you have tackled the ease of herbs, you can then start on strawberries, tomatoes and other tasty totally organic food!
Seeds are easily available and it really is quite simple to start. You just need soil, water and some containers to germinate the seeds.
For a step-by-step guide on what to grow and when, visit the RHS website.
How to create a safe place for the kids in the garden
Children love playing outdoors. Your garden should give ultimate freedom for them to run around and be complete loons but you must make sure you take precautions in your garden so that they stay safe.
Safe Kids.co.uk is a very informative website that highlights the dangers in the garden. From trampolines to barbeques, kids’ safety needs to be paramount.
How to create the perfect garden space for entertaining
If you want your garden to be an extension of your home, entertaining al fresco will be at the top of your garden priority list.
There is now a fantastic choice of garden furniture and accessories - so all that is required from you is the fun and creative role of colour and accessory matching.
Do you favour a coastal look with neutral soft furnishings and cool wooden accessories? Or maybe you would like your garden to look like a vibrant Mediterranean dream with multi-coloured throws and bright plant pots. Whatever your style, check out Pinterest for some cool and creative ideas. You will need an account but once you have signed up (it’s free) you can start to explore design ideas that will make your garden as unique as you are.
What should I plant in my garden?
You need to make sure that you choose the right plant for the right place. Some plants/flowers are much happier with a little bit of shade whereas others will quite happily flaunt their petals in the sunshine. Do you want the garden to be full of colour in spring but also have some presence of life in the autumn too? Think about what works well and when.
The RHS has published a fantastic month-by-month guide of what you can plant and what jobs you can do monthly.
How to create a simple-to-manage garden
Not everyone can or will want to be out in the garden every day tendering, pruning, watering and trimming! If this is you, you will want a garden that can still be enjoyed but with little maintenance.
If this is the case, you are best having a nice lawn with a few plants that require little water so that you don’t have to be out there daily during the summer months. Hardy evergreens, once established, will require little care.
Accessories such as fairy lights always make the garden look amazing in the evening so instead of focusing so much on plants, a good idea would be to look at garden ornaments and ways you can make your space look dazzling without the need to do very much gardening!