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Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your garden.

Your garden design project, sorted

Eye-catching garden water feature. Photograph by Water Garden Ltd

Now we're in February, it's the time of year to start thinking about planning garden design projects, so you're ready to begin work in good time before the spring growing season kicks in.

The new year brings the promise of spring to come and beautiful summer days to spend outside in the sunshine, but is your garden in need of an overhaul? Or have you decided it needs a full makeover, as many gardens do after a while? Perhaps you'd like to set up an area for vegetables, or a wildlife garden, or maybe your plans are directed more towards new garden buildings, patios, or water features.

The possibilities are endless, so if you haven't already decided what you want to do, have a think about what would make the biggest difference to your outside space.

Start with a vision

In a small garden, a good design can help the space look bigger, or you could divide a larger garden into sections to lead the eye to new vistas when it's completed.

If you're the head gardener in your family, it's still a good idea to ask everyone else what they think, and what they'd like - after all, it is their garden too. For example, if a new sandpit would keep your toddler happy, then maybe that's a project you should consider.

Set realistic budgets

Once you've decided on the project, you need to draw up a plan of what's required to achieve the result you're after, and how much it's all going to cost.

You need to be confident about your budget because if you start without securing the necessary funds, you could end up with a half-finished patio or a half-empty border because you've run out of money - and that's a depressing sight to live with over the time it takes to save up and finish the job.

Research suitable suppliers

One of the fun parts of a garden project is choosing what you're going to put into it, whether that's paving materials, water features, gravel or chippings, rocks, sculptures, or buildings.

Work out how much you want to spend and do some research to find the best suppliers. In many cases, you will want to find a company that knows their business and can offer you guidance; for example, if you're installing a water feature, it's helpful to be able to talk to experts like Water Garden who can advise you on the kind of pumping equipment you'll need, as well as liners, filters, water treatments, plants, and so on.

Bring in help if necessary

You should always be realistic about how much of the work you are genuinely capable of doing yourself, and how much time you have to spare.

If you love doing DIY and home maintenance, you should have the skills to carry out most types of garden projects. However, if you don't have the skills, you either need to learn them or look for someone who can carry out the work for you.

An unsafe or poorly finished job is not worth the cash you'd save, so unless you're truly competent, find a professional!

When you've decided on the design of the project and the materials you're using, you can draw up a time plan for either yourself or your contractor, and start work on your garden transformation, knowing that you've got everything sorted.

Author: The GLD Team, 6 February 2019
Photo credit: Water Garden Ltd

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