Hi, I am Rachel Mathews from Successful Garden Design. In this short video, I am going to show you the difference that design can make to a garden. Now if you’re like most people, you’ve probably been led to believe by books, and magazines and garden centers that it’s the plants and features that really make a garden look wonderful, but that’s only true to a degree. Plants and features are the finishing touch to a great garden, they’re no the starting point. Unless you have a good design structure in place first, you can spend all the money in the world and you won’t achieve really good results. In fact, I’d go as far as saying the more money you spend on your things for the garden, the more cluttered and disjointed the garden is going to look.
Now as a professional garden designer, I am bound to say that design is the most important thing, but I want you to see this for yourself. So I am going to show you some example gardens, and then you can make up your own mind as to just how much difference design can make to a garden. So let’s start by looking at a fairly typical front garden. But if we look at what we did with the design, just a very simple, clean shape put in with a few cobbles, has made a tremendous difference. It’s transformed something that’s just a regular shaped lawn and you’ve got something to look at that is complimentary to the front, it doesn’t need to be anything wildly fancy, but just a simple shape makes a dramatic difference. And then if we look at this property here, it just got box standard paving.
If you put a little bit of design into it, here is what you can achieve. Now you know, if we just use decking or we just use paving on its own it wouldn’t have had the wow factor that mixing of the materials in a design way achieves. And then this garden in Spain, you can see the wall is quite an angle here and that really is the most dominant feature. Now with a little bit of design put in, by rendering the walls, and creating these planters, it helps take your eye away from this wall here.
And you can see a few years later when the planting is established even more, you barely notice the sloping side wall of the garden. And then here is it from another angle. And the design is what makes it interesting. You know if we just pop the plants in, without having the design shape in place, it really wouldn’t have been anywhere near as effective. Now if we look at this garden with the awkward angles both on this wall and this wall, here is the difference design makes to that. So if we just put in a square deck or patio, it really wouldn’t have achieved what putting in a good design can do. Now this garden very typical with just standard paving, and lawn and a few plants. Now the clients wanted a minimalist garden, but even so, design does make a big difference even with minimalist.
You can suddenly see it all comes together just by the shapes we’ve used. And again, when you’re dealing with changes in level like this garden, it’s not very exciting, but when you put design in, you can actually change the shapes and positions of the retaining walls. And do all sorts of things with it. Again this here comes to design shapes and materials. And in this garden quite big on two different levels. Someone had already attempted on doing some landscaping with this path, but it didn’t really pull the garden together very well.
So again putting in a design shape, a main lawn, and then putting in the landscaping, suddenly makes a dramatic difference. And this simple cottage garden is nice enough in the summer when the lavenders were flowering, but the rest of the year it looked dull and uninteresting, but once the design is done, then it all come together. And just the few little design tips and tricks that are used to pull this together, makes all the difference. The long, narrow garden all lawn. Now the client didn’t want any lawn, they wanted completely low maintenance, and you can start to see it’s getting more interesting. And then a year or two later, when the plants have filled up, it all really comes together.
But it’s coming together because of the underlying design shapes that he used within the garden. You see it needs the design layout because the planting is pinching in the key areas which makes the garden more interesting and wider. And these clients wanted a modern look garden. And they had a driveway running right the way down the side here to get to the garages at the back. So it was important the we help screen that and make it more interesting. So these design elements that you’re seeing here which i’ll explain more in the next video is really what makes a big difference when you’re wanting to create a stunning garden.
It’s not all down to the planting, the planting is the finishing touch. So hope I’ve been able to demonstrate just how important design is in a garden. In the next video, I am going to show you what you can do yourself without needing to hire a professional garden designer..