Your garden may be looking a little dog-eared after winter, and you’ll want to improve it so you and the family can get the most out of it this summer. Whether you’re making a few minor improvements or giving it a complete makeover, there’s a lot you can do yourself without it costing too much. And perhaps the kids can have fun helping.
Landscape architecture may sound rather grand, and it can certainly apply to massive projects. At root, though, it simply means planning how the various parts of, or any open space, such as a garden, are going to be used and adapting them to fit.
This could be a patio for entertaining, a lawn for the kids’ games and flower-beds to provide colour and scent. In a big garden, they can be equivalent to separate rooms indoors, but if you don’t have much room, you can make the most of your garden by multi-tasking each area.
For ideas and inspiration, why not check out award winning landscape architect Liz Lake?
- Your patio can reflect your own style as much as any indoor room. Besides the choice between decking and paving (certainly paving if you plan on having a barbecue or fire-pit), a few simple touches can make your patio traditional or modern, chic or natural. House to Home offers a number of patio suggestions.
- Your flower display can be as simple or as complex as you choose, depending on how much work you want to put into it. The Telegraph has some ideas on how to make flowers and shrubs architectural, but if you want to reduce the workload, stick to plants that cover a lot of ground without needing too much maintenance, such as evergreens and hardy perennials.
- If you have young children, the garden will be their playground, and to make it child-friendly you have to think like them. Their games will need focal points that can be transformed in their imaginations — trees and water features are ideal for this.
- Speaking of the kids, they’ll also want a lawn to play on, but if you don’t want to spend all your time mowing, keep the shapes regular and the edges straight, or else go for artificial turf.
- If your garden is small, make every space do double or triple duty, such as placing flower urns around the patio. The Guardian describes how one couple made the most of their small garden.
If you need advice, feel free to get in touch with Liz Lake Associates – professional landscape architects for London and the surrounding areas. www.lizlake.com