Like Brexit, landscaping can be either ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ creating very different results. Whether you have a small courtyard or a lavishly lawned garden, whatever space you have to work with, there’s always room for some improvement, so why not review your current landscape to see if you could add value. You don’t need a Landscape Architect to do this just some basic knowledge to produce a haven for you and some wildlife. Below are some options to help you create the correct landscaped environment, which can be formal, rural, rustic, informal, modern or traditional.
Our Top 6 Landscaping Tips
1. Hard Landscape Material
Hard landscaping describes the construction materials which are used to improve a landscape by design. The hard landscaping material forms the structure of the space and sets the foundations for the softer landscaping to fit into. Using paved areas, timber, concrete, brick walls or dividers within the garden, pergolas, sheds, fencing, shingle, rocks or stone work, all act like the walls and surfaces in an outside room. By using walls and fencing or even plants as a boundary, you can create numerous outside rooms all for different planting or activities.
2. Soft Landscape Material
Once you have designed the area, you will have to decide on the best planting for your space. Take into account the amount of sunlight that comes into the garden and which direction your garden backs as this will determine where the shady areas will be. Some plants hate shade and others hate sunshine so this is very important information to have to hand prior to buying any plants/trees/hedging. It is also a good idea to do a soil test to see what you are dealing with as well as deciding if you want all year round colour or not.
There are numerous products available for driveways but remember to keep the look ‘right’ for your age/type of house. The options include shingle, screed cement, crete print, tarmac, crazy paving, brick/block work, gravel/stones, or bound/bonded resin. Remember to always use a reputable company if having this work done or use a firm that has been recommended to you.
4. Environment Issues
It might be very tempting to remove all your grass and plants so that your time spent gardening is reduced but this will reduce the wildlife entering your space, as birds, bees, butterflies, etc., all want and need plants, trees, hedges and grass to survive. The wind can be useful in gardens to distribute seeds but if the prevailing wind is strong it might blow down delicate or new plants so make sure you know the direction it usually blows from.
5. Outside Furniture
These too are hard landscaping but can have softer edges. Again it is important that any outside furniture is in-keeping with the style of property, so small and dainty for a cottage style garden to large loungers and dining table around a pool with a large decking area. Plant pots scattered around the furniture would work to soften the look and bring in colour.
6. Water Features
These come under hard landscaping but it is a large enough topic to cover in a later article. Watch this space.
TOP TIP: Plan before you buy – knowing exactly what you need and where it will go will help you to avoid wasting money.
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