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2014 - The year of the garden



  • I'd agree with Verdun (on just about anything really, but specifically about digging the water feature first). You're inevitably going to end up with a huge heap of soil, which then could become your raw material for borders, beds and/or a rockery. It's going to be difficult to move that soil around without making a 'mess' so better to get that out of the way first imo.  Can't wait to see the in progress photos!

  • Water feature first, roger that.

    It'll please SWMBO no end as we'll hire a little digger in for the day! image


  • Hi Simon & Shelley 

    Lovely to see you posting up your proposal and laying it all out there
    for everyone to comment on. A brave step especially in the world of
    horticulture and design.

    I do like your concept and especially your use of water.

    You have created some nice arcs which is good and their intersections which each other creates pleasing angles. You would be suprised how many people get that bit wrong and end up with angles that are extremely hard (and costly) to landscape.

    Posting it on here I am sure you would like some constructive critique
    though to help your design along. More importantly I am sure you would
    like it to be successful. Landscaping is a costly affair these days!

    Please do not think I am in anyway belittling what you have put
    together. The very fact you are making the effort and have avoided the
    50cm plant border down each side and the rest to lawn is fantastic.You
    have instinctively got the balance between mass and void spaces right (so
    long as the green areas are not all lawn).

    My first reaction on seeing your sketch is the use of 2 geometrical
    shapes. The rectangle and the circle. This should be avoided as it lends
    itself to be conceived as a messy and confusing space especially in a
    smaller garden. I feel the space has better potential to 'flow' more.

    The general rule is we stick to one shape in smaller gardens and play
    with the interlinking. This inturn creates interesting spaces leading
    ultimately to a much more pleasant space and a garden that feels larger
    in size.

    Before you commit yourself to this design grab a compass and try your
    concept in circles and arcs with no straight edges. I promise you will
    find it a much more pleasing shape if the water rill was also in your
    chosen geometric shape.

    A good glass of wine and some music really helps it the concept stage as
    it can be really frustrating at times, even for a garden design
    professional. You might go through 40 or 50 sheets of paper but you will
    hit on it and when you do it will be extremely satisfying.

    Please feel free to drop me an email if I can help further. Would be
    happy to give you some free pointers via email.

    This year I was a finalist at this years Grand Designs Show. I produced
    a  water garden in a tiny 4 x 5m space. The pictures are not yet on my
    website but I would be happy to send you a couple for inspiration.

    My scott lawrence garden design is here and my contact info.

    Best regards, good luck and Merry Christmas.



  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I do agree with Scott, one of my clients has a small London garden, a rectangle but designed as 2 circles with some large pebbles connecting them; the further circle has the round table and chairs on paving, and the near circle is decking; all surrounded by glorious planting with large old pots spilling flowers out in all directions.image

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    ''A good glass of wine and some music really helps it the concept stage as
    it can be really frustrating at times'' - I love this highly practical quote from Scott Lawrence!

    Just caught up on this thread again, my own experience in planning our garden was also lots of wine, music and paper sketches!

    My starting point was where to sit in the evening sun, ie: how we as a family use the garden. Next was how to incorporate my own love of gardens with the necessity of trampoline, hot tub for OH, and play spaces for the children. I wanted to see as much planting as possible from the house (before starting the garden the priority was to see the area where the children played, I waited very patiently).

    you may one day know the soil and location requirements of the 'purple one', or your garden 'style/taste/requirements' may change.

    Above all aim for perfection (take professional advice on-board) but be comfortable with never quite getting it right and being able to adapt (and put your personal stamp on it) and deal with whatever course your garden decides to take (nature's always right).



  • A good glass of wine solves all sorts!

    Scott, thanks for the tip. (love what you did in the Roehampton rooftop, by the way!) I have started scribbling down designs using circular elements.

    My only concern is actually creaing the smooth circular form in concrete. In an angular form, I could build and then render. Curves may offer a different challenge!!

    I really do like the idea of a circular seating area, everyone will be looking to the same centre point. I think it could offer a more sociable experience...

    No pictures of designs to share just yet as I need to see how it would fit in the garden, curves are turning in to a highly considered option!

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