1. Get to know your garden
Find out everything you can about your garden now, its health and condition, problems, what is there, what should stay, what must be removed. Think about neighbours and views, condition of built structures, drainage, climate and soil. This is the most important part of the process and you should seek professional help if it’s not you own area of expertise.
2. Don’t be satisfied with someone else’s tastes
If you have recently moved into a new home, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must live with someone else’s tastes, interests, personality, and their level of care and maintenance. Think about your own likes and dislikes. Take inspiration from other people’s gardens, and those that you see in magazines, books, TV and the media, and online. Use these images when discussing ideas with family, friends, and professionals.
3. Match your garden to your lifestyle
Consider your garden as a venue for your lifestyle choices and make sure that it is the best possible place to allow you to enjoy and develop your interests. Think about what you want to do now and might want to do in the future. How will your garden need to develop as family members get older or their interests change?
4. Make your garden contribute to your health and well-being and don’t let it become a burden
Your garden should give you an emotional lift every time you enter it. It should contribute to your physical and mental-health and certainly not make life more difficult. Colour, shapes, materials and textures, simplicity and complexity will all affect your mood. Think about how you want to feel in your garden.If your garden takes up all of your weekends and evenings and this makes you resentful, plan changes to reduce maintenance and release more leisure time or consider employing a part-time gardener.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Changing your garden is exciting and daunting at the same time. Engaging professional help can be reassuring and will ensure that you get the best value for money from your budget. A good garden is the result of asking the right questions.