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 viewed from the house? (These windows are at the top of the two steps that you can see on the survey above)

The garden is almost square but looks wider than it is deep – how can I overcome this? Can I overcome this?

Mr Blue Tulip’s sudden interest in growing veg!

Retain some lawn for Mr Blue Tulip’s shiny new lawn mower. In our previous, much smaller garden, we removed the postage stamp sized lawn that wasn’t worth buying a lawn mower for.

And last but by no means least, privacy. With the conifers gone, we will reveal the house behind us. I’m also keen to provide additional privacy to our right hand boundary (the other is OK as we have a, evergreen 3.0m hedge).

3D sketch - my garden survey

The offending conifers!

Now the next step would normally be to work up a design brief with my client, creating a comprehensive list of their wants/desires and likes/dislikes. But obviously with my own garden I start by breaking my own rule and get straight on with the design. I have a rough vision in my mind of what I want so that’ll do for now!

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