Designing the garden around your abode may seem a daunting task to those who have little knowledge of gardening. Yet a well designed garden will enhance your living space and set off your house in the most pleasing manner. Most people get their ideas from watching TV programmes, reading magazines or visiting stately homes in other countries, but have no idea how to put them into practice and what might look magnificent in a huge space, would probably dwarf your small plot!
Engaging a garden designer will solve all your problems as his or her training will be able to convert your dreams into a real garden. Decide on your budget and see if your ideas can be achieved within that amount. The style of your house will probably dictate whether you should have a formal or a cottage garden. Your plot may be empty in which case you will have a blank canvas to play with. Or you may have mature shrubs and trees already in situ that you would like to keep, thus creating structure and form and a sense of maturity in the garden from the beginning. Places to relax in are important too and the designer can advise you where best to site them, taking into account the mid-summer sun and any prevailing winds. Your soil will also be assessed as to which plants would grow best, and irrigation of the eventual garden should be considered at an early stage. Any slopes or awkward angles must be taken into account before the plan is finalised.
Having walked around the site together and discussed where you would like any features such pergolas, statues or even fountains to be, turn around occasionally towards the house to see how they would blend in with the landscape. The garden designer you choose should be fully in your confidence and be able to oversee the work force, so that between you, the garden of your dreams will become a reality.