09 Nov Top Tips For Landscaping A Garden
Thinking about landscaping a garden? Here’s what you need to know before you start work.
Twelve things you need to know about landscaping a garden before you start work.
1. Landscaping a garden is not as easy as TV presenters make out.
Landscaping is hard physical work and involves many skills. Mistakes made on site can be costly, will delay the project and could affect the final finish.
2. A clear plan is absolutely essential.
Before starting work, it’s important to know what you are going to build. Investing in the services of a good garden designer will ensure that your garden is buildable, looks good, and can be created within your build budget.
3. Your site survey should include more than just measurements.
Get to know your site. Where are the utilities? Do existing trees have preservation orders on them. What sort of soil do you have? Are there problems with drainage? Being able to anticipate hiccups means that you can plan to overcome any problems during the build. Learn to expect the unexpected when you are landscaping a garden. One landscaper I know found the remains of a pony buried under a garden he was about to renovate. Not even the homeowners knew it was there!
4. Seek all of the neccesary planning permissions before you break ground.
Your local council website will have the information you need about planning permissions and building regulations. It’s important that you comply with both.
You might find our blogpost useful too. Click here to read “Do you need planning permission for domestic landscaping”
5. Landscaping sites fall under the CDM (2015) Regulations for health and safety.
Even if you are doing the work yourself you are legally obliged to comply with CDM (2015) Regulations. Make sure you familiarise yourself with what that entails and the potential consequences of non compliance.
6. You’ll need plenty of storage space and adequate access.
Landscaping machinery and materials are dirty, dusty and bulky and most deliveries are kerbside only. Make a plan for storing items safely on site and work out how you will move them from the delivery point to where you need to use them.
7. It’s amazing how much waste is generated when preparing the space.
Clearing the space in readiness for landscaping a garden generates A LOT of turf, plant material, soil, timber and rubble. You are obliged to dispose of it responsibly. Will you take it to the tip in your car or will you hire a skip?
8. Who will be helping you?
Hiring help? You need to consider their welfare. Are you happy for them to use your facilities or will you be renting a portaloo for them? If you are engaging a professional landscaper, they will usually make the necessary arrangements.
9. Always order extra materials to allow for wastage.
You’ll need to order at least 5-10% more materials than you think you’re going to use. More if your garden design will have lots of curves in it or if you are inexperienced. Slabs will need cutting, turf will need trimming and mistakes happen especially if you are learning as you go. Landscape materials are produced in batches and you may not get a good match if you have to go back to the depot and top up your supplies.
10. Make a plan of action
The whole project needs to be carefully planned before you start work. Some items that will be fitted last, eg lights or pond pumps, actually need to be considered at the beginning of the project. You don’t want to be digging up your new patio to lay wiring conduits!
11. It is illegal for amateurs to install outdoor electrics.
If you are installing lighting, an outdoor kitchen, a hot tub or a pond pump, you will need to hire a suitably qualified electrician to do this work for you.
12 Laying the foundations and building bases is the most important part of landscaping a garden.
Even though it won’t be visible, the bit of your garden that goes under the ground is the most important part. It’s about stabilising the ground and good drainage. For driveways it’s also about absorbing the forces exerted by moving vehicles. If you make a mistake or cut corners at this stage of the garden build your work will fail in a remarkably short space of time. Meaning that you have spent a lot of money and effort on one big disappointment.
Hiring a reputable landscaper who offers a design and build service may seem frighteningly expensive, but after considering points 1-12 above, you might decide that it’s easier and cheaper in the long run to engage skilled professionals. If you want a beautiful garden, don’t leave it to amateurs. Call Holland Landscapes for sensible advice and fair prices.