I'll be doing the work myself: Professional tips to assist you in creating a wow garden
Many years ago, creating a garden involved going to a local nursery man who dug up the plants out back for you, then going to a paving supplier to get some pavement, then to the local hardware to get some timber, next getting the local carpenter to make the trellis. All of this was very time consuming and off putting.
Nowadays there is a modern DIY store such as Woodies within easy reach of most. In one single store, you can get advice of suitable plants and select from a wide range of varieties, get your trellis, paving, garden features, furniture and hardware. With convenient access to all of this, coupled with a little know-how, creating a DIY wow garden has never been easier.
If you are doing the work on the garden yourself, here are some tips on how to go about creating that wow effect.
Get advice before starting
How many of us have started a project hoping we would learn as we go. This can be very time consuming and frustrating as incorrect work may need to be undone, we may not have the right tool just at a crucial time when we need it, or we may not discover the errors for a number of years. Just as the garden design needs to be planned so does the work. It is import to become familiar with what is involved, how long each task takes, precisely what materials and tools are needed. One of the first questions to ask is where I get advice and information. Woodies in-store horticulturists can be a great source of knowledge and assist you in planning and timing the work so that you can complete the work as efficiently as possible.
Plan and simplify
There are endless ways to plan a garden, the secret is to work out a well balanced simple design on paper first. Designs can become very fussy with the addition of complicated shapes, level changes etc…All of this can become very difficult to coordinate and implement. If you want the best looking garden and the minimum amount of work - keep the design simple.
Create a strong 'backbone' to the garden
One simple shape in your garden is enough to create the ‘backbone’ of the design. This can be a circle, a rectangle or a very informal shape to suit your particular site. This outline shape can then be furnished with complimentary materials and planting for best effect.
Limit your material and planting selection
The more limited the range of materials you use the easier it is to execute and coordinate properly. It is important to stick to one or two pavement materials only. The pavement and hard structures in a garden generally define the shape. Too may different types of pavements result in substantially more work, cutting and blending. The ‘soft’ planting elements then soften this hard layout. A well balanced and appropriate but limited rang for your space will be far easier to implement and manage and will look far better than a range of uncoordinated elements
Realistically assess the construction work
Building or hardscape work can be very labour intensive and time consuming, particularly if you don't have assistance. It can consist of laying pavement, building retaining walls, stone/ brickwork, fencing, trellis, water features etc... Quite lot of preparations are needed even before laying a single slab. In addition there is considerable disruption and cleaning up afterwards. Your garden essentially becomes a building site, so if you're doing the work, it's best to factor in from the start how much construction work you can practically complete yourself.
Let nature do the work
Soft-works it not quite so disruptive as hard-works. This consists of shaping the ground, planting and lawning. In general softwoods put a finish on the site and every bit of work that's done contributes instantly to the finished look. Planting in general is not so labour intensive. With minimal effort the plants will grow, fill the required space and flourish.
See the garden in the photos: In this garden the construction work was cleverly minimised. The effect is mainly due to just planting and lawns, which can be easily implemented by most.