I don’t know what style of garden I want: How to choose a garden style which reflects your personal tastes.
Every garden must reflect the personality, style and tastes of its owner. Equally importantly it must reflect the owner’s lifestyle. People often do not give enough consideration to what style of garden they would actually like. When faced with an endless selection of plants, paving and garden features, it's easy to become bewildered by the latest trends, and conflicting advice from friends, TV shows and gardening magazines. The garden can become an ad-hoc mixture of unrelated impulse buys. Careful consideration needs to be taken right from the start about you, the individual owner, your expectations and lifestyle.
Garden design trends come and go. Before even thinking about selecting materials, I recommend sitting back and carefully considering what is your final image you have in mind for your garden. I find that for most people this is not something which they've seen in the latest magazine, but often is a deeper longstanding preference which they've held for some time.
By turning an initial blind eye to the glossy magazines, the enticing promotions and the well intentioned advice of friends, one can consider what type of garden would bring the most joy in the long term. Often this stems from pleasant spaces which you may have experienced or visited in the distant past.
People often find inspiration in the interiors of their house. A loose informal cottage garden style generally wouldn't suit someone who has fitted out their interiors with sleek modern lines and minimalist furnishings. Similarly a sharply defined paved garden with a modern water feature would not suit someone who has gone for soft natural textiles and organic shapes inside. It is important that your garden space should run seamlessly with your interior. The link between your house and garden then becomes more cohesive and the garden becomes a true outdoor room, visually and stylishly connected to the house.
Often the style of garden that you may want is dictated by the surrounds to your property. If your property is located in a modern development of extensively glazed units, then a garden based on Victorian ironwork, bedding plants and red brick would not suit.
See the photo of the garden: a Woodie’s garden exhibit which shows three contrasting design styles for the identical neighbouring plots.