Designing my garden – site assessment

Designing my garden – site assessment

Yes, we DID decide to remove the conifers, no surprise there really! It was my number one priority as I wanted to gain back nearly 70 m2 of garden that we cannot do anything with whilst those bloomin’ trees are in situ.

So first decision made, what to do next? Well, every good designer starts with a plan, so its out with the tape measures to survey the site and carry out a site assessment.

I make a note of all the key dimensions; position of house relative to the rest of the garden, height and location of windows, location of windows, boundaries, where are the inspection covers, any changes of level and the position of anything I want to retain. Not much in this case. I also work out how the aspect of the site will impact on the design. I know the exact spot that receives the very last rays of evening sun on a summer evening so I need to make sure there is a seat just there. The site may be north facing but most of the garden will receive plenty of sun. It will only be close to the house and the boundaries that will be in shade at some or all times of the day. This will help me make the right decisions with regards to plants – I don’t want shade lovers baking in the sun or sun worshippers shrivelling in the shade.


Designing my garden - site assessment

The key issues that concern me are:

The view from the main French windows – how do I create a focal point that will be […]

A Garden for Nature – my own garden

A Garden for Nature – my own garden

I’ve given this post the title ‘a garden for nature’, even though that is not necessarily my number one goal. My main aim when designing a new garden is always to create something with a strong aesthetic, i.e. create a beautiful view to enjoy from the house every day of the year especially as here in the North West of England we are prone to a bit more rain than elsewhere!

So that’s what I set out to do with my own garden. We have plans to add an extension along the rear elevation of the house, that include floor to ceiling windows, so how our new garden looks from the house will be a key consideration. However, I’m partial to a bit of nature and have decided that this garden will be about balancing the design aesthetic with attracting wildlife so that the finished garden does not look completely wild and woolly (a rather harsh description of a naturalistic garden, my apologies!). I live in a town so in essence this is an urban garden, so too naturalistic will jar with the wider landscape. We’re surrounded by your typical suburban gardens, rectangular spaces bound by timber fences/trimmed hedges, a square lawn bordered by a (usually too thin) strip of planting.

I intend to explore the idea of designing a garden to attract wildlife in greater detail so there will be more on that at a later date. In the meantime, back to basics.

We moved in just over a year ago and have been taking note of where the sun is at different times of day, the most important of which is where the sun hits the garden in the evening […]