Designing your garden: 6 must-haves for any garden

3 December 2020
By Roger Jones

The key components of the perfect garden will vary depending on the person using it. It might need plenty of deck space to accommodate a hot tub, a big lawn for the kids to run around on, or plenty of sunlight to grow award-winning roses. No matter what your ideal garden looks like, there are some things that everyone needs and we’ll go through them all in this article.

1.   Somewhere to sit

One of the best parts of your garden is the place where you can sit down, relax, and recharge. It’s ideal to have a seating area on a terrace or deck so that it’s separated from the ‘working’ parts of your garden, where you might be growing vegetables or children might be playing. It creates an informal barrier between the different parts of your garden, whilst allowing you to look out on all of it.

2.   The showstopper

There has to be a little bit of a ‘wow’ factor to your garden. The sort of thing that estate agents would photograph for the brochure, should you ever sell your house, and the thing houseguests will notice right away. It could be a water feature, a gazebo, colourful flowers, or even the fully decked out patio with built-in barbeque. But most importantly, it should be something that makes you happy.

3.   Plenty of space

Now, clearly, this is somewhat limited by the amount of land you own, but it’s not about buying a big garden. Rather, it’s about using the space correctly to give you the most room for the main purpose of your garden.

By cleverly creating layers and playing with different plants and materials you can create perspective and an impression that even a small garden is more spacious than you would think possible.

If you’re planning to entertain, for example, a bigger deck could be useful to allow space around the patio table, so no one’s pressed up against the house or railings. If you’re creating a vegetable garden, make sure there’s enough room between plants for them to grow without suffocating each other.

This is also true of pathways because no one wants to squeeze through a narrow space, where they can catch themselves on overgrown plants or fencing. If you’re growing tall plants, make the walkways wider to avoid a feeling of claustrophobia.

4.   Steady ground

Speaking of pathways, it’s essential to make sure that any area specifically designed for people to tread on, whether it be paving stones, patios, or stairs, is safe, even in wet or icy conditions.

Smoother surfaces won’t offer the right amount of traction and could lead to an accident. Unsifted gravel walkways are ideal (and also a burglar deterrent), while patio stones should have a 1-2% slope to avoid water from pooling.

It’s also not wise to have stairs that are too steep. If you have more than 10 steps in a row, having a landing every five steps or whenever you change direction to allow a safe resting area.

5.   A place of shelter

If you have a back garden, you probably need a shed. They are essential for storing gardening equipment, products like fertilizers or pest repellents, and power tools away from kids and pets, but also give you a place to store patio furniture and toys when it rains. (It’s a great place to keep the less aesthetic garden essentials out of sight.)

Sheds can even be used to give you an extra room, with electricity running to it, which can be used as a home office or even as a playroom for the kids during the winter if there isn’t enough room for them to run around in the house.

There are hundreds of different types of sheds to suit your needs, but a steel shed gives you the most for your money. Check them out on this website.

6.   Useful plants

When choosing your garden plants, look beyond their colour, size, and shape for a minute to choose the ones that will be useful.

  • Grass is labour intensive to maintain, but the best surface for children to play on
  • Food-bearing plants will often display fruit and flowers at different parts of the year, meaning they are both beautiful and delicious
  • Broad-leaved evergreens, like conifers, can protect your garden from strong winds
  • Ornamental shrubs can provide  extra privacy

By integrating these 6 tips into your outside space you’ll be able to create your perfect garden by taking into account both style and substance.

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