Debby Lockey's Blog

Some design thoughts

I am so pleased that during this cold, wet weather, I am indoors designing gardens, rather than outside working in them.  My mind is full of the client’s brief; how they wish to use the garden; the style they want;  how I am going to connect all the different components to produce a garden they want.  Some times it is difficult to know where to start.

As I have probably said, when designing, the key to any successful outcome is to ensure certain elements such as unity, harmony, and simplicity underpin the garden. What better way to address these elements than by considering the hard landscaping you will be using in the garden.  By hard landscaping I mean any ‘hard’ material you will use in the garden, e.g. paving material, wood, metal and water.  Soft landscaping would refer to any planting.

I love thinking about the hard landscaping.  It offers scope to put shape into the garden, whether with a great patio from which the rest of the design flows, or with paths that run through the garden allowing you to peep from one corner of the garden to another.

Good use of hard landscaping is also a means of providing interest to a garden during the winter, when planting in sparser.  And it is a quick way of introducing height.  In one of my gardens we are putting in obelisks for roses to climb around.  These will be painted to add extra colour, and therefore interest, in the winter.  On another design we added trellis to demarcate the drive from the garden, to provide privacy, and to provide support for climbers. 

 Hard landscaping is therefore a great asset to any garden.  But it must be used properly.  Don’t go overboard in its use.  Usually you would use only 3 different materials in a garden, and make sure they work well together.   Get the material to reflect the style you want for your garden.  Modern gardens want sleek materials.  Steel, concrete and limestone, (the latter could be black rather than grey) would work well in these circumstances.  Alternatively, in a natural, organic garden, wood in its natural shape (as opposed to planed), gravel and willow for statues, would look good.

Spend some time thinking about your hard landscaping.  As well as helping to establish harmony in the garden, it is probably the most expensive aspect of redesigning a garden, so you want to get it right first time.

 So now you know some of the thoughts that are whirring away in my brain when I am working on designing a beautiful garden for my clients.





Posted 9:29, Wednesday 2nd March

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About Debby's blog

Every month I will give you some tips on what to do in your garden and allotment for that time of the year.  Because I am a designer there will be elements of design thrown in along with gardening advice.

I’ll also let you know about any projects I am working on;  the ideas behind the design, how we will implement it and what the outcome was like. 

If any one would like to contribute I would be pleased to hear from you.  I am always pleased to hear other people’s experiences especially since I have found that the more I learn about gardening the less I seem to know.

Recent posts

Growing sweet peas, Lathyrus odoratus, for summer fragrance

How to create a lovely spring planting combination using the colour yellow.

Posters to help you make your street hedgehog friendly

Winter plants for winter insects.

The spring garden

A vegetable plot for lazy people

Some design thoughts

Achieving balance in the garden

Sculptures in the garden

Small is definitely beautiful