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Garden Solutions - July 2014

Posted by on in Garden Design
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Moving into your new home can create an extensive list of things to do and a garden usually features bottom of the list unless you are a keen gardener. However in my most recent project, my client had the foresight to consider the garden first before renovating her basement flat.


Restricted access to the garden was one of the main reasons for completing the garden first, as all materials had to be carried through the flat. Putting your own identity on your garden is very rewarding and this garden was taken to the limit, being cleared of everything except a lovely birch tree. There was an extensive dig out of soil around the existing protruding building, which involved the contractor bagging soil and rubble to carry through the property and upstairs to a skip. As you can imagine, this was a soul destroying task undertaken over a few weeks.

All the work is nearing completion including the planting, so finally my client can begin to enjoy using the space over the summer months. This has been an expensive and challenging project to create a space specifically designed for my client’s needs. There was to be no grass and maintenance kept to a minimum.


All gardens require a degree of upkeep and removing grass from the equation greatly reduces time spent on maintenance. Of course this is not always possible or indeed desired. Deep borders will eventually cut down maintenance time but until plants fill the border, weeding is inevitable. Lack of light to soil in large, mature borders prevent weed growth and work is only required along the front of the border.

The time required to maintain your new garden can be overlooked when considering a purchase. Ponds, herbaceous borders and grass create high maintenance as does narrow borders between paving and grass, as heat from the paving dries out the soil and grass cuttings germinate in the space. It’s worth asking the seller how much time they spend on the garden each week and then consider if you can commit the same time or what can be done to reduce maintenance. The other point to think about is the tasks that you find a chore as everyone has a preferred task. I dislike cutting grass and as I have a small garden, I decided to remove all the grass and now my maintenance is reduced to 5 days/year. The most daunting task for many is pruning shrubs or maintaining herbaceous borders, but you can always call on the experts to teach you how to look after your garden or employ us to take it in hand!