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  • Writer's pictureChris Jackson

5 Design Tips For Your First Garden That Work Like a Charm

It’s such an achievement to buy your first home. But having your first garden can be a bit daunting, especially if you have never done gardening.

Creating curb appeal, wanting your garden to work for you and your family whilst making your new garden stand out from the rest of the street could be easier to design than you think.

Here are some tips for designing your own garden:

1 View From your House

Always look at your garden as a blank canvas. That view will work best if you look at the garden from your doorway. Walk around your house and look at your garden from each window, patio doors etc. 

Prioritise the angle that you are most likely to view. Yours might be the kitchen window when you are washing up. You might have large patio doors into your lounge. This way you can begin with a picture of how you want it to look from that angle.

2 Shapes For Your Garden

If ever you are in doubt with where to start with your garden design, you can always go for straight lines with nice sharp edges. These always look organised and clean looking.

If you are in a row of houses with gardens all the same size and shape you might want to add some soft curves. But I wouldn’t worry too much if you are short on space you can always soften the edges and create curves with the way you arrange your plants in the borders.

If you are literally starting from scratch think about shapes for your lawn and patio. Strong geometric shapes work best and give you a focal point and something to plant around.

3 Creating Privacy

The way most new builds are currently in Bradford, you will be very lucky if you do not have anyone overlooking your garden. 

You can easily create privacy by adding a tall trellis, this will give you a focal point, a structure to grow something up, you can paint them great colours and they still let the light in because they are not a solid panel. 

Think about using trellis on the top of walls or fences as this can create a little more privacy. 

When you have had your garden a while you will learn which areas are best for catching the sunlight. 

Decide where you will have a seating area if you want one and then use solid panels in this area to create total privacy. 

Corner’s work well for this and will save you on costs. 

What type of garden furniture suits your lifestyle? Will you need a table? Do you plan to eat outside with the family? All these need to be considered initially.

4 Planting & Colour

If you can see your garden from where you spend the most in your home, it’s a good idea to make your evergreen plants and winter plants a priority in your design. This will help the look of your garden from all year round. 

Getting some evergreens and perennials will give you a starting point and an area to plant around and build up to your required look.

As with decorating your home with colour and ornaments using the ‘rule of three’ can help keep a good clean garden design. 

This will stop your ideas running away with you and keep you on budget.

So, three ground coverings – patio – small lawn – decorative gravel or a lawn, large pebbles and pea shingle. Stick to three and it will help you contrast them colour wise and for adding texture. It will create a more consistent look and things will look more coherent and not look ‘plonked’ together. It is very difficult to blend lots of textures to make your patios and paths look like they have always been there. Sticking to three helps massively.

Using the same ‘rule of three’ for the colours actually in your garden work too. 

May be choose limited colours for an overall classy design. 

The colours of your garden furniture, the colour you paint your fence and other garden structures can all match the colour of the plants you buy. 

You can try this rule with the variety of plants you buy too. A group of the same plants that are the same colour look just as nice as a mish mash of everything from the local supermarket.

5 What About Light?

As a rule, look at lighting the areas where you are going to be sitting, then look lighting any steps or paths. 

Then think about lighting something that you have as a feature, a small water fountain, or large specimen tree for example.

A nice tree or plant can look totally different with a coloured spotlight under it.

For a more subtle lighting effect, run small lights at ground level along paths that will create a soft glow throughout.

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