The key to successful designing and landscaping gardens for family use is to use better materials which not only look well but will also last well, build well with a critical eye for detail and finish and last but not least, be creative but realistic with layout, planting choices and features.
In this project, our starting point here was an unusually clean but simple garden. Leaving aside the well maintained lawn area, there was little which demanded much more than a momentary glance or attention including the cleanly constructed concrete block wall or the concrete flags which were laid in stepping stone fashion to a very robustly built garden shed. Despite its lack of focal points and patio spaces, this garden could appeal to some people but not the current owners.
Instead they were inspired to exploit design possibilities to add key features, more functionality, and an easily maintained planting scheme which offered a range of benefits including focal points, screening and changing colourful seasonal displays. The design challenge was to create a garden which offered functionality with more interesting spaces and opportunities to admire or use. Core requirements included options where one might sit to enjoy sunny moments in the mornings, afternoon or evening with family or friends enclosed within an appealing private family garden. A layout which offered many seating possibilities but not just at tables or only on chairs. A garden which could also be enjoyed or admired after darkness with discreet lighting, a water feature to provide those soothing sounds and a relaxing atmosphere. Feature natural materials that would be practical but enjoyable for a range of users, from young children to adults.
In such circumstances where the design brief is clearly defined and well articulated makes the task less onerous and much more enjoyable. The process of creative design and discerning landscaping offers much potential of very satisfying and rewarding opportunities to exceed the clients expectations. The results will invariably speak for themselves and hopefully continue to do so for a very long time.
The true value of family garden design and landscaping cannot be simply measured in cost terms or how well the new garden looks or is better than the previous one, but at a more fundamental level, one must also take account of hopefully the very many happy moments and occasions which will have been facilitated and made possible by investing time, effort and finance in creatively designing and landscaping with discernment the family garden.