In this article we will be looking at the 10 most common mistakes people make when designing their own garden
1: ignoring flow
When people start to plan their garden, they often concentrate on siting objects, such as a shed, trampoline or bbq. It is far better to stand back and assess the space as a whole before you start.
It is recommended that the whole garden be split up into different areas depending on the family’s needs and then about how the space will work in an interconnected way.
2: Making things too busy
In their efforts to create the perfect garden, many people try to cram too much into their design when really the key is simplicity.
Choosing materials that complement the house and limiting the number of different materials will create a sleek design which is pleasing on the eye.
Also when creating a planting plan try to stick with a common theme running through it with swathes of the same plants instead of lots of different ones.
3: Treating the garden as separate from the home
The best garden designs are ones that treat the garden as an extension of the house.
Proper planning of where each individual area is going to be situated within the overall design is key.
Splitting the garden up into rooms and having focal points to draw the eye out to the wider garden will give the feeling of interest and mystery.
These focal points don’t just make the garden view from the house more interesting, they encourage people to use the whole space.
Mistake 4: Planting without planning
When creating a planting scheme, all too often people cram in all their favourite plants without a thought to situation and favoured conditions.
This usually results in many plants either underperforming or dying off completely giving an unbalanced and seemingly haphazard scheme.
The solution is to do research before you start planting. List plants that will thrive in the local conditions and try to place plants in the situation where they will thrive.
So set your sights on growing plants that will like the conditions in your garden, water generously until the roots are established.
Soil improvement, mulching and regular feeding will all help the new plants to thrive and give the best display.
Mistake 5: Getting Side-Tracked
It’s easy to get side-tracked when designing a garden, particularly if you envisage how the whole space will look. Many people tend to go off-piste and cave in to the latest trend, even if it doesn’t suit the style of home and surroundings.
The solution is to establish the look and feel of the overall design from the outset and stick to it. It is important to spend your time and budget on the structural elements before you start on anything else. These are the elements that will be in your garden for the longest and will determine the atmosphere of the space.
Mistake 6: Thinking small spaces need to be bland
It is not necessary to keep a small garden uncluttered to make it feel bigger, The danger is to clear the garden of everything, but this only serves to make it feel smaller and uninteresting as everything can be seen all at once.
The solution is to ensure all the elements are designed to the correct scale and placed so they draw the eye around the space fooling the brain into thinking the garden is actually bigger than it really is.
Sticking to these basic rules will ensure the garden looks much more interesting and attractive.
Mistake 7: Thinking a large lawn is essential
Many people believe a large lawn is essential in a garden, but a big expanse of grass isn’t always necessary. Although there’s an understandable reason for having a lawn that’s as big as possible, such as the need for a space where children can play, it doesn’t have be the size of a football pitch.
In actuality most children playing with a ball only tend to play on a small area of grass, moreover they also spend a lot of time chasing, hiding and exploring. So instead of giving them a large, empty patch of boring grass, consider the more interesting option of clever planting, with dens and places to explore. Consider also that weekly mowing a large lawn can become a real chore.
Mistake 8: Skimping on border size
Many people mistaken believe narrow flower borders will require less maintenance than a deeper one but nothing could be further from the truth.
The solution is to incorporate shrubs into the planting scheme, these don’t require a lot of looking after and can deliver interesting structure, flowers, berries and autumn leaf colour – and many of them are evergreen, so look good in winter, too.
Many shrubs are likely to get quite big though, so if they are situated in a narrow bed, you’ll fairly quickly be having to cut them back frequently, as they’ll overhang the lawn or paths. This destroys the beauty of their natural shape, creates woody holes in the foliage canopy and creates maintenance.
By having a deeper bed to start with, the shrubs can develop into their best shape over time with less maintenance required.
Mistake 9: Ignoring the sun
Many people don’t think about the direction their garden faces when planning their overall design. Which can adversely affect how the garden ultimately performs
Knowing the aspect of your garden will help you decide where to put certain things, such as seating and entertaining areas. Also it is essential to know which parts of the garden are in sun and shade so the right choice of pplants can be made.
Mistake 10: Being too hasty
People often want a tall, screening hedge quickly, so assume they should plant fast-growing trees and shrubs, but it is wise to consider your options carefully.
Plants that grow fast also grow huge. A Leylandii tree can grow 75cm a year and reach more than 15 metres in height. So, you may get a quick high hedge, but it will be a battle to keep it under control every year.
Fast growing trees can get very big and very quickly outgrow their space.
If instant impact is desired then it is worth considering planting larger specimens of slower growing species that won’t get out of hand and wont outgrow their allotted space.