Nothing says luxury and relaxation quite like a well manicured and maintained garden. Your outdoor space is important to the overall look of your home, so it’s only natural that you will want the space to be absolutely pristine and perfect. Of course, perfection is a difficult thing to reach, especially since there are so many different ideas out there about what makes the perfect garden.
If you’re wondering how to create the ideal garden for your home, you need not fear. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about making the garden or outdoor space of your dreams. All it takes is a little bit of time, patience and an artistic vision, and you’re all good to go!
How To Start Creating Your Perfect Garden
Often when it comes to creating the ideal garden, starting off is usually the hardest part. Things can become a lot easier when you know exactly what you’re doing next. When you have a plan, you can have an easier time making your perfect garden a reality. When you don’t know what you want or how to execute the plan though, things can be a little trickier.
Doing Research Beforehand
The key to making a successful start on your garden is doing your research. This will help you to find the right design for you.
One way you can start is by looking into the current garden trends and seeing what you like. This can help to give you a little more inspiration about the kind of thing that you want. If you enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, then you can also rest easy knowing that your garden will be up to date since you have done your research. If you would prefer to have a different style of garden then look into the styles that are out there.
The internet is a pretty wonderful thing. If you spend enough time doing your research, you are almost guaranteed to find some inspiration for the kind of garden that you want. In the event that you can’t find anything that’s perfect for you, then you can always ask a garden designer to give you a little bit of guidance too. You don’t just have to stick to the internet, either. You can also find inspiration by visiting places like public gardens, garden centers or anywhere else you can think of.
When you find ideas that you like, write them down. You could potentially make a garden sketch of what you want with your particular garden shape and size in mind. Consider things like what it’s going to cost for you to achieve the garden, and make sure that you budget for everything that you need. It’s also a good idea to measure your garden before you start buying or building things, as this will help you to ensure that you have all of the space necessary to do the things that you want to do.
Elements to Consider
When you have done some research and figured out some of the things that you want, it’s time to look into the more specific elements of perfecting your garden. Here are a few of the things that you should think about.
Walls and Boundaries
For the most part, people aren’t overly fond of open gardens when they live close to other people. Walls and boundaries will give you a little bit more privacy in your garden, and will create a neat divide between your garden and your neighbor’s garden.
The first thing that you will want to think about is the materials used to make the walls and boundaries. The materials used can make a huge difference not just to the longevity of the walls, but it can also influence how they look in the garden. As such, they are important to take into consideration. We’ll discuss more about the materials a little later on!
In addition to that, it’s important to think about whether there are any building regulations that you need to adhere to. Check the regulations in the place where you live to see what you can do. Make sure that the boundaries aren’t encroaching onto your neighbor’s property, either.
Hedges and Fences
Rather than creating walls, some people like to use hedges instead. Now, it’s actually possible to have a mix of both if you prefer! In many cases, hedges tend to be better at ensuring noise is blocked out from the outside of your garden. This is because the greenery will trap the soundwaves and the dust. Not only that, but the hedges will also look luscious and green, adding to the relaxation of your garden.
It’s important to remember, however, that a hedge may take some time to fully establish itself in your garden. It needs to have time to grow. Not only that, but you’re going to need to trim it fairly regularly, so you will need to set aside the time in order to do that. This is in contrast to fences, which you can put up straight away and are fairly low maintenance. They’re also fantastic for the sake of security. They cost much more money though, and they can look a little cold in comparison to hedges.
Whatever the case, the decision whether to have a hedge or a fence installed in your garden is an entirely subjective one that’s up to your personal tastes. Have a look for some images online and consider how much maintenance you are willing to put into either option to figure out what’s best for you.
Paths and Patios
Next you need to think about the paths and the patios. These can have a big effect on the overall look of your garden. Consider where you will put your paths and where they will lead. What will the paths be made out of, what will they look like? Then think about your patio, since this is likely to be where you will spend most of your time when out in your garden. Make considerations such as these with your garden size in mind, and consider the sort of look that you want to go for.
A lawn is a cornerstone of the perfect garden! Without the right lawn, the entire garden loses its magic. Consider how much of the garden is going to be made out of lawn space. Think about the kinds of grass that you will use, since there are many to choose from that will differ in terms of how they look and what sorts of environments they thrive in. Think about how much maintenance you are willing to put in, too. If you want to keep your grass looking good, then you’ll need to take the time for proper lawn care.
Why not add a little extra life to your lawn by adding in some water features? Water features look fantastic in a garden. They are serene and peaceful, and you can even introduce water life into some of them like fish or frogs. Water features can be anything from small ponds to fountains, so there are a lot of different options out there if you are interested. They aren’t super high maintenance either. You will need to speak to a professional about getting them installed in most cases though – they should be able to advise you of the best location for your new water feature.
Zoning Areas (dining, playing, shading)
When you are creating a plan for your garden, you should be making a plan for zoning too. Consider where you are going to have things like outdoor dining areas – places like patios are usually a good choice for this. Where will children play? What about places where you can get shade? Take all of these things into consideration since they will impact the overall layout of your garden.
Planting: trees, shrubs, pots
It’s time to bring out your inner green thumb! No garden is complete without greenery such as shrubs and trees. Do your research into the best kinds of plants for your garden to get the best results.
Finally, think about the lighting for your outbuildings. This is important so you can still relax during the light. There are a lot of different lights that you can use, so make sure that you do your research based on what will work the best for you. Things like fairy lights can look particularly wonderful in a garden!
Materials to Consider
The next thing that you need to think about is what materials you will use to build up your garden. Here are some of the most common ones that you should consider.
Bricks are used for all sorts of things in a garden, from garden edging and walls to making paths and stairs. At some point when you are making your garden come to life, you are almost certain to use bricks in some capacity. Make sure that you buy plenty of these if they are needed for your garden. You can often buy some second hand since people will often buy more bricks than they actually need. This will save you some money. If it’s not an option, you can go to your local garden or building store instead. If you have any leftover bricks, don’t despair – you are sure to find something you can do with them. You can sell them online, or get creative with them!
Timber and Decking
If you are making a deck for your garden, then you are going to need timber and decking in order to do it. Remember – the type of wood that you use will make a massive difference to how it looks so you will need to consider that in addition to your plans for the rest of the idea. Woods like treated pine, iron bark and jarrah are great choices for a deck, but it depends on what you are looking for. Visit your latest home and garden store for some decking, or you can sometimes buy it online. It’s a good idea to look during sales too, since timber can cost a lot of money!
Paving and Block Paving
You’re going to need paving for your paths. This can be made out of all sorts of different materials, so give it careful consideration before you buy the paving. Don’t lay block paving right on top of soil either – you will need to prepare the ground for it in advance. Block paving looks fantastic, but it needs to be laid correctly.
Aggregates and Sand (check that the chemicals included are suitable for horticultural use)
Aggregates are fine bits of material that look a little grainy and they are commonly used in construction. They tend to be made out of things like crushed stone, and are often used in a garden to give it more diversity. If you like the look of aggregates in your garden, do some research since there are lots of types out there that are used for different things. Likewise, with both sand and aggregates it is important that you ensure that the chemicals inside of the sand and aggregates are going to be okay to use in your garden. It should be specifically designed for horticultural use.
Concrete, Mortar and Render
If you’re going to build things, you’re going to need some good ol’ brick and mortar. Gather some mortar, concrete and render for things like walls and other structures from your local construction or garden store. You may also be able to get some second hand online, since people don’t always use all of the materials that they buy.
Damp Proof Membrane and Landscaping Fabric
Your garden is, in most cases, outside. That means that it’s exposed to the elements. In order to protect the structures in your garden from the rain or other inclement weather, it’s a good idea to apply a damp proof membrane to any potentially vulnerable areas. You are also going to need landscaping fabric – it’s incredibly useful for gardening and keeping your soil in optimal condition.
Exterior Paints and Finishes
Finally, it’s time to give your garden the finishing touch! To do that, you’re going to need to add paint and finish to any structures in the garden, such as walls. Don’t get the kind of paint that you would use to paint your interior walls though! It needs to be specifically designed for the outdoors so that the paint and finish can handle the weather changes.
Different Ideas For your Garden
Still stuck for inspiration? Here are a couple of ideas that you can use for your garden to get you started!
Go Big or Go Home
Have you got a small garden but you want to make an impact? Well, you can use larger items in the garden to give the garden a little more diversity. For instance, you can use large plant pots with a variety of different greenery, and you can make it seem like a more tranquil space.
The same goes for larger spaces. Large items will take up more space, so it’ll seem like you have less dead space in the garden. Obviously there’s a right and a wrong way to do this – you don’t want it to look gaudy, after all. Look up some inspiration on sites such as Pinterest or on Instagram to see how it’s done and how you can implement the ideas in your own garden.
Soften a Sloping Garden with Grass Steps
It can sometimes be a little challenging to design a garden with lots of different levels. You may find that it’s a little more challenging to divide up the space appropriately in a way that will actually look good. In this case, you may want to experiment with adding some steps in. You could use stone steps here with some walls around to make them look less out of place. Alternatively, you could use some grass steps instead. This makes them blend into the lawn seamlessly, and it softens the lawn a little, an effect that is more difficult to achieve with stone steps. It’s a great way to join together two different parts of your garden.
Consider a Path
Pathways are great for gardens since they help to make it look more organized. They allow you to make designated zones in the garden, and it links these different areas together. If you have a grassy lawn then it’s very practical too, since you can walk on the harder path in order to ensure that you don’t get your feet muddy after a rainy day.
Paths look fantastic, so you should definitely think about getting some for your garden. It’ll protect your garden in the long run, and protect your feet from mud! You can choose all sorts of materials and designs for your path, so you will surely find something that will be a good fit for you.
Plant for Privacy
Trees and greenery are pretty important for ensuring that your garden looks lush and vibrant, but do you know why else they’re useful? That’s right – they are a good way to ensure privacy. Putting a hedge up around your garden not only makes it look good but it also adds extra privacy to your garden. It’ll blend in well with your garden too, which is always a bonus. Plants are a great way to add some privacy to your garden without building things like stone fences and walls.
Consider a Flowering Roof
Roofing has changed a lot over the years – green roofs are definitely trending right now, and they will fit in with your garden like a dream. You can allow for some extra greenery if you create a flowering roof for the structures in your garden. You can also use it to experiment with all sorts of new plants too. You can do this on pretty much any kind of roof that you can think of, too.
Hard Landscape Dedicated Levels
Hard landscaping is a good choice if you want to create specific levels in your garden. This is different from the soft landscaping we mentioned earlier – we’re talking stone and brick and mortar! This can be great for making your garden look more organized, creating specific zones that give your garden a truly seamless look.
Stick to a Simple Design
You may be tempted to play around with overly complicated designs, but this really isn’t necessary. Sometimes it’s the simplest designs that can have the biggest impact on how your garden looks. Keep the details simple, rather than overthinking it – it’ll look much cleaner and more pristine this way.
Go Hard on the Detail
If you’re going to go with a specific design then run with it. Do your research into the designs that you want, and this will help you to add more detail to the garden. The main thing is that you need to keep the garden consistent while adding that level of detail.
Why throw away the materials you haven’t used? There’s really no need to do so – you can simply recycle them and turn them into something new. You can even recycle things from your own home – for instance, are you throwing away a bathtub? Why not turn it into an artsy looking plant bath and make it a garden centerpiece? There’s a whole world of possibilities out there – you just need to get creative.
Change the Shape of the Garden
If you’re getting bored of the shape of your garden, change it! You don’t need to stick to one particular design. Play around with different shapes for your garden to make it look more interesting. There are so many different ideas you can use. You don’t need to stick to the status quo if you don’t want to.
So now that you know all of the basics, it’s time for a quick frequently asked questions section! Here are some questions you may be wondering about when you are in the process of creating the perfect garden.
How Do I Keep The Neighbors Onside?
We all like to think that we don’t have to answer to anyone when it comes to what goes on in our home or in our garden, but this isn’t actually the case. The neighbors can sometimes be a bit of a pain when you’re trying to work on your garden.
For that reason, you will need to make every effort to keep the neighbors on your side when you are working on the garden. Ultimately this all comes down to communication. Make them aware when you are going to do things – if you’re having loud construction work done, let them know. Make sure that no parts of your garden plan encroach onto their property, such as fences and walls. If this is something that you can’t avoid then you are going to need to get their permission written down in writing, otherwise you simply cannot do it. By communicating with the neighbors, you are far less likely to run into problems later down the line.
How Do I Get Rid of Hard Landscaping Waste?
When you’re done with the work on your garden, you’re also going to need to get rid of any hard landscaping waste that you have. There are a few ways that you can do this. To start, you can ask neighbors or friends if they need the waste or can recycle it for another purpose. This won’t be possible in most cases though. You can instead speak to your local authorities about getting a large disposal bin that you can put the waste into. This will likely cost you money to hire, so be prepared for that, and you may even need a license for it. Get a junk removal service to help you out too. If you are unsure, then you can always speak to your landscaper if you have one – they should be able to give you more advice in relation to the rules and regulations in your area.
How Do I Landscape a Garden the DIY Route?
It can be incredibly daunting to landscape a garden completely by yourself. As you may have seen already, there are so many different things that you need to think about right off the bat, and sometimes there are even legal factors involved. If you are going to landscape the garden completely by yourself, then it’s best to start off by doing some research. Look online or read books to tell you what to do. There are even construction courses online that you can do to give you a bit of guidance. Know where to get materials for a good price too, or else you are going to be spending a lot of money.
Likewise, think about hiring machinery. You may need to do things like mixing cement, in which case you’re going to need a cement mixer.
Do I Need Planning Permits?
It’s best to do your research before you get started on working on your garden. In most minor garden renovations, you aren’t going to need a planning purpose for the job. In some cases though, such as if you are going to be creating outdoor buildings, you are going to need a planning permit. Check the rules and regulations in your area online in order to figure out what you need. Likewise, you may also need to ask for permission from your neighbors if any part of your garden is going to creep onto their property.
How Long Will my Garden Landscaping Take?
In most cases, you are going to need to take time off work in order to do your garden landscaping, whether you are doing it yourself or getting someone else to do it for you. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to know how long it’s going to take. Unfortunately though, there’s not one specific answer to this question – different projects will take different amounts of time. That’s why a professional will give you a quote based on the work that needs to be done, rather than a flat rate for the whole garden.
You are most likely going to need to get the hard landscaping done first, and this may take some time. Large structures will also take some time to complete. Then you will need to plant grass seeds and other plants for the garden. It’s worth breaking it down into steps and looking online to see how long each part will take, as this will help you to get a rough estimate.
Which Plants Should I Choose?
Plants are pivotal to pretty much any garden, so you are going to want to consider the kinds of plants that you are going to use very carefully. It’s a good idea to start off by figuring out more about what kind of soil you have in your garden, and knowing more about the sun conditions.
It’s a good idea to get hedging if you want to add a little more structure to the garden. If you want more color, then flowers and bedding plants are a good idea. If you’re stuck, look at what those around you are doing for some inspiration. Look online at what sorts of plants will work for your big overall vision.
Now you know everything you need to know about how to create the perfect garden! With some patience and plenty of elbow grease, you can create the space of your dreams. All it takes is a little bit of research and knowing where to start in most cases. If you have a plan, you can create a garden that you can definitely be proud of. Now, get looking for some inspiration and start working on that garden!