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Where to Start

Recently we've been asked the question “where do we start?” Landscaping can seem like quite an overwhelming process if you are new to it. We start by identifying some key physical characteristics of the garden and one key question: How do you currently use the space?

Step 1: Usage

During our consultations we get to understand you and your garden. One of the key things is usage. If you have an under-used area, can you identify a use for the space? Is it for sitting, for playing, growing, privacy? etc. By clearly identifying the usage for a space we can help to create an aim

for the area. For example, if you have a cold or shady part of the garden in winter but it has been designed as a patio area for seating, will this be used for more than summer? Or if you have a morning coffee and read the news, where can you enjoy this comfortably in the garden.


Step 2: Orientation

Your property is in a fixed location so identifying the orientation really helps link up garden usage and plant selection.

Having a garden space in the east for mornings, or garden space to the west for evenings, will help you identify where you want to make changes. If you have an outdoor dining space to maximise summer sun or views then western is best, however, if you’re looking for a break from the sun by dinner time, or shelter, then a more eastern layout would suit.

Orientation also impacts the number of sunshine hours certain parts of your garden get. This impacts how your plants will react to where you place them in the garden. The orientation of the property can also steer plant themes. If it is a full-sun spot or particularly hot and dry in summer – then this will rule out shade loving plants. I find this a nice way to help limit the number of plants available to us in the region. If you know your orientation you may have a couple of styles available to you just because of the sunshine available here, this really helps when selecting plants or shopping in the garden centre.


Step 3: Elevation & Views

With the hilly topography and amount of sea views we have in the region, staging your garden for the elevation is important.

We regularly visit properties which were planted out when the property was built and have several trees or large hedges in the wrong location once they are fully grown. Elevation in the garden is important due to the sun, how rainfall moves on the property and how the roots behave in the soil.

Typically, the larger the elevation, the larger the plant we can grow. However, if the house or garden has views to add to your property’s feel or use then it is really important not to block or negatively impact these. In addition to this, having large plants near the house can shade the property, add to

your general maintenance and potentially be a fall risk. When considering garden layout, try to imagine rooms, viewpoints, and access around the garden.

These are just three of the many factors we consider when planning or designing a garden. When planning your garden, there’s always a place to start — but it is also good to know when to stop.

Want help knowing what would suit your property best? Book an on-site consultation with Tim and we can give you the expert take.

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