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Allerton Landscaping Services

Established in 1981


General Information

Think about what you would like from your garden.design
  • Is it to be formal or informal.
  • Low maintenance.
  • To attract butterflies, birds, bees and other animals.
  • Utilitarian to withstand the rigours of children and animals.
  • Would you like to grow your own fruit and vegetables.
  • Patio and barbecue area.
  • Would you like a play area for children / grandchildren.
The size and shape of your garden will dictate to some extent what you can do with it. If your garden is on a slope then divide it into smaller 'rooms' with terracing. Try to keep the size of lawns, paths and borders in proportion with each other. If you have a busy road, an unsightly building or want some privacy in your garden then include a hedge (or fence and trellis with climbers growing over it) in your design, this will deaden any noise and act as a screen.

Keep your garden design simple, the more complicated your design, the more time you will have to spend on maintenance. Large borders will take more plants to fill it, thus increasing the amount of effort that you will have to put in to keep it looking good. Placing garden furniture, ponds and borders in the middle of a lawn will slow down lawn mowing.

Base your garden design on who and when people are going to use it. If you sit in the garden eating your breakfast or reading the morning papers then a nice sitting area in the morning sun would be preferable to sitting in the shade, similarly if you have barbecues or parties in the evening, plan you patio to catch the evening sun. If you have young children then don't include a pond in your design, Children are drawn to water like a magnet, and you will be forever worrying about what they are up to. Children's play areas should be in a position where you can see what they are doing.

Ensure that your patio or seating area is large enough to incorporate garden furniture, barbecue, garden lounger, patio planters etc.

Greenhouses should be positioned in a sunny position. Remember that the greenhouse will cast a shadow, so should be positioned away or behind (in relation to the sun) from the patio or sitting area.

Ponds should be placed in a sheltered, sunny position, away (15ft or more) from overhanging trees. Make sure that this area is not a frost pocket. The shape of your pond should reflect the style of your garden design. A square, rectangular or circular pool in a formal garden, pond shape is less important in an informal garden.

Visit local established gardens to get design ideas on style, structure and form, and visit garden centres and nurseries to get ideas about plants (shape, height, colour, soil type, shade or sun loving, price etc.).

Deceiving the eye
Curves, zigzags or diagonal paths can trick the eye into thinking that the garden is longer or wider than it actual is. Horizontal lines make a garden look wider, whilst vertical lines make a garden look longer. If for example you have a long narrow garden, then plan a curved or zigzag path, a straight path down the middle will make your garden look longer and narrower.

Don't include too many varieties of plants in your garden, group a number of the same variety of plant together (this includes bulbs) and try to have the same colour scheme in a particular border. Single plants of mixed colours can confuse the eye. Note that strong bright coloured flowers foreshorten a garden, while softer colours lengthen a garden, create a false perspective by planting vibrant colours near to the house and muted tones at the end of the garden.

Make sure that your garden design flows from one area to the next. Try to balance the garden. Lead the eye from one side of the garden to the other with large staggered features (planters, fountains, trees, shrubs etc.), this will give the impression that the garden is larger than it actually is. Placing a large feature at the end of the garden is like a full stop, this is where the eye comes to rest, if you can incorporate a distant feature, into your garden design, such as a view of a church spire, then your garden will again appear deceptively large.

Choosing the plants
Create year round interest, by planning a flowering calendar, this will enable you to have blooms spring, summer and autumn. Include evergreens and shrubs, that have interesting leaf and stem shape and colour, in your design to add interest in the autumn, winter and early spring.

Larger shrubs take less time to get established but are typically more expensive to purchase.

Choose plants that are suitable for the environment that they are to be grown, i.e. shade loving plants out of the sun, moisture loving plants in wet areas, wind tolerant plants in exposed areas, etc.

Plants will inevitably grow so although your initial planting may look sparse, the plants will merge together when they become established.

We hope that the above pointers will help you design your garden. However, we are more than happy to come out and help you in person. If you thought the above was useful just think how much help we can give you when we see your garden. You'll find our consultancy rates very competitive.

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