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 so we can plan a seating/dining area to maximise enjoyment of our evenings after work and weekends. It is highly recommended to wait at least 12 months in a new garden before making big changes just in case any plants pop up that are worth keeping. In my case, there is very little of merit so that makes life a bit easier as I will be starting planting plans from scratch (but more expensive as I will have to buy all my plants in!).

Designing a garden for nature

Before photos

As you can see from the photos, five exceedingly tall conifers owners dominate the garden. As my garden is north facing, they don’t actually cast any shade. However, they do take up over 4 metres of space, considerably foreshortening the garden. Plus, nothing can be planted underneath them as the soil is depleted of all nutrients and dry as a bone as these trees will be sucking up a serious amount of water.

So, my first decision then, to paraphrase those punk legends, The Clash, should they stay or should they go? Find out in my next instalment of ‘Designing a Garden for Nature – diary of my own Garden’

If you’ve enjoyed reading my first blog about garden design, please feel free to share with friends or re-pin photos to your Pinterest boards. Watch out for more blogs here! And if you would like to speak to us about designing a garden for you and your family, please give Louise a call on 01625 524877.