Archives for December 2012

Landscaping Disasters – How to Avoid Wasting Money in Your Garden

Landscaping a garden can be a costly business. There are certainly ways keep costs down but there’s one thing that will really screw up any landscaping work you have done…

Not having a design.

I see this all the time. People hire a professional landscape team, pay out several thousand to create their dream garden only to find it doesn’t look a great deal better at the end of it.

Undesigned v designed garden - good design doesn't need to be complicated

Undesigned v designed garden – good design doesn’t need to be complicated

It’s NOT the landscaper’s fault!

Really it’s not. They might have built you a fantastic patio, using lovely materials, laid to perfection but unless the shape is right, it can end up making your garden look smaller and very dull.

Landscapers on the whole just build. Very few consider themselves to be designers.

Building and designing, very different skills.

That’s not to say all landscapers can’t design, some can, pretty well but most aren’t schooled in it. They will try their best for you but the results aren’t likely to be on a par with a good designer, especially if they’ve provided you with a free sketch or budget design.

In fact I came across a really horrific example of this just yesterday!

This Really Upsets Me…

So I’ve come back to the UK for Christmas. Whilst out on our traditional Boxing Day walk a friend of mine points out the back garden of someone in her village that’s recently been landscaped. She excitedly tells me “They had landscapers in for three weeks, must have cost them a fortune!”

Now, I’m on a break, not thinking about gardens at all but as we got closer to the garden, which was near the woods we’d just walked through, I could see there was a gap in the hedge, needless to say curiosity got the better of me…

Oh dear! Really wish I hadn’t looked. I could see that about £4-5,000 (approx $7,000) worth of landscaping work had been carried out. Very good build quality, so the landscapers clearly knew what they were doing on the construction side but they didn’t know about design. It did not look good at all.

They Needn’t Have Wasted Their Money

If they had just spent a little bit of time thinking about the design shape first, they could have created an amazing looking garden for the same amount of money. Such a waste.

The main problem was the pond, pergola, path and focal point had been placed in the garden rather than designed into it. If you just add a pond, pergola or other feature rather than ‘designing’ them into the scheme, they tend to look like they’ve fallen out the sky and landed in your garden. They will never look like they belong there.

Design can be so SIMPLE, if you go about it the right way. That’s the part that really gets to me. So many people add ‘stuff’ to their garden rather than planning it properly. It’s so important to start with the overall shape of your lawn and patio areas BEFORE you add the features (you can do this retrospectively, if you’ve already added lots of features, it’s just a bit trickier to do).

My biggest wish for the upcoming year is to demonstrate just how easy it can be to transform a garden, without spending a fortune. So I’m planning on doing a lot more FREE stuff – particularly video tutorials and online garden design classes.

If you’d like to learn more about design, attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

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