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6 questions you should ask your garden designer

House Beautiful (UK) logo House Beautiful (UK) 14/08/2019 Olivia Heath
a close up of a flower garden: Giving your outdoor space an overhaul comes with its own set of questions, especially when working alongside a garden designer or garden landscaper. © Eirasophie Giving your outdoor space an overhaul comes with its own set of questions, especially when working alongside a garden designer or garden landscaper.

Giving your outdoor space an overhaul comes with its own set of questions, especially when working alongside a garden designer. Whether you're looking to make the most of a pre-existing space or extending out, having the right garden design is important to help create a beautiful addition to your abode.

Before giving the go-ahead, you need to realise what you want to achieve, so Marshalls – the UK's leading landscaping manufacturer – explores the questions you should ask to get the most out of your garden designer.

1. What's your area of specialism?

After you've decided what you'd like to achieve in your garden space, you need to discuss this at length with your designer. They generally specialise in different areas, such as sustainable garden design, so choosing someone specific to their area of focus will contribute to your overall outdoor vision.

2. How much will it cost?

It's also important to discuss costs based on your budget. Be honest about what you can afford. Garden designers may be able to work to strict budgets, and it's not uncommon for them to work on the garden over the seasons so payments can be split across the year.

a garden with water in the background: Streamside Garden Spot © wweagle - Getty Images Streamside Garden Spot

3. What should I consider when landscaping from scratch?

Knowing where to start with your landscaping makeover can be difficult, but your designer should be able to advise you on the important aspects. Dave Jessop, operations manager at Marshalls plc, shares his thoughts on starting from scratch: 'One of the most important aspects to consider first is what areas of your garden receives the most sun, you can then begin to work out a plan that will suit your garden. Ensuring you have the right balance between hard and soft landscaping will help create harmony – too much of either can be really overbearing.'

a bench in a garden: Garden with lights and wooden stairs in Sydney © AndrewFurlongPhotography - Getty Images Garden with lights and wooden stairs in Sydney

4. What kind of garden theme should I have?

Choosing a theme very much depends on the atmosphere you want to create – use your interior as inspiration to help blur the lines between both spaces. Your designer will be able to suggest ideas based on how you intend to use the space. For example, for traditional gardens consider curved flowing lines with irregular shapes.

a boy in a garden: Hewstone natural stone effect edgings, Marshalls © Marshalls Hewstone natural stone effect edgings, Marshalls

5. What installations work best in low maintenance gardens?

Get the feeling of the great outdoors without having to actually maintain it. Low maintenance gardens are perfect for the busy, green-fingered individual, and your designer will be able to assist you in realising this vision. If you're considering a contemporary garden, then symmetrical shapes and straight lines work best to create a clean, crisp appearance. Planting hardy flora in raised planters and edging will make a nice green-addition without the effort. Opt for flagged paving over grass to make your space more or less effortless to maintain.

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6. What installations would you recommend for a small garden versus a large garden?

Large, open spaces benefit from raised planters, and a blend of decorative accessories can add height and texture. Your garden designer will be able to give you advice based on the size of your space and what you want to achieve. Jessop says: 'Curved areas of hard landscaping can soften the appearance and create various focal points for you to display your plants. Choose colours that complement rather than match them with the property or with other hard landscaping products.'

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