Many people move into homes that already have a garden in situ, which they can then tend and change to meet their specific requirements as they see fit. However, this scenario is not guaranteed: for example, if you move into a new build property or a property where the garden has clearly been left unattended for years on end, you may find that you need to start from scratch.
Without a doubt there are inherent benefits to needing to create a garden from nothing; there’s no need to worry about undoing someone else’s work, and you will have complete control over every aspect of the space. Nevertheless, while starting from scratch does have its merits, it can also be overwhelming; many people find that there seems to be so much to do, they’re just not sure where to even begin.
It is, however, possible to get started on your garden transformation project by asking – and answering – two simple questions…
Question One: “What do I want the function of the garden to be?”
There are multiple ways an external space can be used. Some people prefer to hard landscape the space and use it as an entertainment/dining area; others prefer to try their hand at organic gardening, growing beautiful flowers and their own fruit and vegetables; while others will want to create a play-area for their children. Some larger spaces can, of course, achieve all of the aforementioned goals at once by creating different “zones”; it all depends on the space you have available and what you want your outdoor space to be.
Question Two: “What is most important to achieving my desired function?”
Whatever type of function you have chosen from your garden, there will usually be one big element that will be key to achieving this function. For example, if you want to be able to dine out in your garden, then you’ll need a patio and seating area. If you’re planning on growing your own fruit and vegetables, then providing for this – either via raised beds or marking out space in the ground – would be the most important element. If you’re trying to create a play space for your kids, then levelling the ground and adding play equipment or a sandpit will be the most crucial.
There will be other things you want and need to do, of course; decorations, adding display flowers, digging a pond, and anything else you may want to try, but your initial attention should be dedicated to the one big element you need to help the space meet the intended function you have in mind for it.
The next steps
When you have established the most crucial element required in order for your garden to meet its chosen function, the way forward becomes clear, and you can work to make that element a reality. When this is complete, you can turn your thoughts to anything else you may want to add, confident that the key function you require of your space has already been achieved.