What To Consider If You Want To Create a New Garden

So where do you start when you want to re-design or revitalize your garden? A good garden will come from a good design and careful planning, so don't be tempted to rush into this enterprise or get an idea built in a day. In fact, if you have just moved into a new property, it is worth living with the garden for a year to see what plants and bulbs are already there and to allow yourself time to experience the garden and establish how you naturally move around it.

Whether you want to design the garden yourself or commission someone to design it for you, firstly you need to think about what you want to use the garden for, its function. For example, you may have children or grandchildren that need lawn space to play, or you may want to use all or part of the garden as a practical space to grow vegetables.

Secondly, think about what style of garden you would like. You may like formal garden styles with lots of box hedging and topiary, or you may like the country cottage approach with plants spilling over onto brick paths.

Thirdly, think about your budget. If you are using a garden designer, it is important to let them know how much you intend to spend on the design and build of the garden. They won't be able to design to the nearest pence, but they will be able to estimate what will be outside the budget and will design accordingly. If you are designing yourself, you will have to do some research into materials and features to roughly work this out.

Here is a useful checklist of things to think about before beginning the design process:

  • Who will use the garden, and how?
  • How many people will use the garden at any one time?
  • Are there existing pets or plans to get one?
  • If a patio is required, what will it be used for - relaxing, eating out, sunbathing?
  • If dining out, how many people will you want to seat/how large is your table?
  • Do you want to build any garden structures e.g. conservatory, shed.
  • Do you require a seating area in sun or shade or both?
  • Will you require a BBQ - built in or mobile?
  • Is a lawn required?
  • Do you need garden storage, compost bins, washing line, wood store, greenhouse or other buildings?
  • Are there any particular requirements for children?
  • Would you like a water feature?
  • Do you require lighting?
  • If you have little time to water, do you require an irrigation system?
  • Are there any good views that need to be exploited, or ugly views that need to be hidden?
  • Would you like any overhead structures such as a pergola, arbour or archway?
  • Do you prefer an informal or formal style?
  • Would you prefer a traditional or contemporary style?
  • Do you have an interest in encouraging wildlife in the garden?
  • Do you have any particular preferences of hard landscaping material - paving, fencing styles?
  • Do you have any likes and dislikes in terms of particular plants and colour schemes?
  • Have you visited any other gardens or seen photos of any that you like?
  • Who will be looking after the garden and how much time will they have?
  • Do you want to grow fruit and veg?
  • When do you require the garden to be ready?
  • What is your total design and build budget?

“We were really impressed with the design service offered by Jayne. Jayne was able to take our initial brief and translate this into a stunning contemporary design that really made the most of the small space we had and provided a great backdrop to our new kitchen extension. The combination of hard landscaping and planting have completely transformed the garden. Over several meetings she was able to communicate the concepts and hone the design and even sample materials. She then recommended and then liaised with the landscaper to ensure the implementation went to plan before completing the final planting.”

Mrs Fenner
Marston Moretaine

"I found Jayne to be very friendly and pleasant to work with. The design is lovely - very attractive. I was impressed with Jayne's willingness to adapt to and take account of our cost constraints and likes and dislikes regarding plants. All work was carried out efficiently and pleasantly. Jayne was always ready to discuss and advise about design and plants and has transformed a boring and rather difficult small garden into an interesting area which will only improve as the plants grow and mature."

Mr & Mrs Barwell
Welwyn Garden City

We love our garden now. Our two dogs had pretty much destroyed it and it had become an embarrassment. We never used it, not even just for ourselves. It now has structure and a proper patio area and is always good to look at even in this bleak weather!

This will be our second spring with it and I'm really looking forward to seeing everything grows again and how it will change this year.

Mr & Mrs Crooke

Jayne was always totally reliable, whether coming out to look at the garden or providing plans and ideas, and is a very knowledgeable plantswoman.

She had a good understanding of what I wanted to do with the garden, and always listened to my ideas and then made suggestions that were appropriate to the location and aspect.

Mr & Mrs Townsend
Houghton Conquest

Jayne's ideas of how to transform a long straight garden into something more interesting were quite inspirational. By introducing shape and perspective the garden now has structure.

The planting plan she suggested has added interest and constant colour which changes with the season.

Needless to say we are delighted.

Mr & Mrs Collier

We were delighted with Jayne's approach to our garden and her understanding of what we were trying to achieve.

Her knowledge of plants and what will actually work is fantastic.

Three years on we are still delighted with our garden.

Mr & Mrs Bryant

Jayne has a real passion for gardening and her knowledge of plants is highly impressive. She seems to know exactly which plant will thrive in a particular part of the garden - sunny, shady, soil type and so on. She also thinks about the proportions and overall effect.

To work with, she is extremely flexible and happy to give you just the bits of advice or help you need.

Mel Henson
Welwyn Garden City