Now to plan the garden
If nature takes a break and shrubs and trees are bare, the structure of a garden is particularly visible and new areas and vistas can be planned. Ideally this should be done along with a professional only because gardens that are designed to emulate nature require an autonomous guiding hand.
When the temperatures rise slightly and the sun shines onto the Saturday breakfast table, the garden outside the window is in great danger! That’s because the urge suddenly becomes overwhelming: to fill the car at the nearest hardware store or garden centre with panels, pergolas, water features and all sorts of plants. In all honesty, we speak very little about the indulgent outcome of such spontaneous actions.
Gardeners and horticulturalists know the pulse of many homeowners all too well. No one would publicly scold potential customers though such eloquent complaints may be heard behind closed doors: that plants are placed in the wrong location where they can’t thrive is only one of many. The wrong soil, too little or too much sun – in this case, money is buried in the truest sense of the word.
So what does planning a garden depend on? The key issues include the following:
- Location analysis: which plants are suitable in which areas?
- The user need: does the owner love to garden – or does he or she not have enough time or desire?
- Where should the seats, a grill area, a swing or beds be placed for easy supply access from the kitchen?
- What paths connect the various parts of the garden?
- Which vistas emerge as a result, or how can they be accentuated by hedges or beautiful trees, for example?
- Should there be a water feature or perhaps even a (swimming) pool?
- And finally, what is the budget?
And above all looms the question of what theme to choose: should it be a family garden, a nearly natural garden, a cottage garden, a Japanese or Mediterranean garden? The more precise the idea, the more precise the planning must be. The right plants must also be selected and planted. It does help considerably if the planner studied landscaping as a profession.
How should you go about finding the right person for the job? Do yourself a favour and get some references. Horticulturalists or garden planners are not unlike architects: the more the designer’s personal style suits the clients, the happier they will be with the result.