We all know beautiful gardens need a little TLC.
As a garden designer I believe it’s important to work with clients to come up with the best plan to maintain their newly designed garden going forward. Whether they want to do the ongoing maintenance themselves or prefer to employ a little outside help. Either way, with continued care and attention gardens improve and flourish.
It’s why I offer my customers “seasonal garden reviews,” where I take the time to walk around the garden with the client, discussing what’s working and what’s not.
After all, plants are living things, and as with other living things, they don’t always do what they should!
They don’t grow in neat circles, nor follow the textbook descriptions and sometimes need a little coaxing and tweaking to ensure they continue to fit the overall scheme. Then there’s the happy accidents that add to the garden, the thugs that need reining in because they’ve done a little too well and the unexpected surprises. All events which need managing on an ongoing basis if a garden is to thrive.
So, once you’ve invested in your garden design, set aside a budget for ongoing garden care – a neglected over run garden will not only look underwhelming and underperform, it could end up costing you more when you eventually decide to reclaim it! Plus, replacing neglected dead plants is expensive!
Caring for a garden requires time, energy, knowledge and dedication. If you need expert help, look for someone with experience, qualifications, good communication skills (this is going to be a joint project), their own tools and insurance. As important (if not more) is their attitude and reliability. Work together to agree a maintenance programme to suit you and the garden.
In my latest case study my clients were self-professed amateur gardeners but appreciated that to keep on top of it, an ongoing maintenance programme was key.
I gave them a detailed scaled planting plan to refer to for plants, position, quantity and size at maturity. We discussed ongoing garden care and they employed a gardener for maintenance and development, together with someone to manage the lawns and hedges.
During our “seasonal reviews” my client explained that as the garden has evolved over time there are elements that “belong” to each of the crafts people involved in its build and development – the Prunus Serrula with its mahogany bark which I recommended, the wonderful bug bank the gardener introduced by the wildlife pond, the stunning Purbeck Stone walls built by the landscape contractors and the scented climbing rose suggested and trained by the “lawn man”.
This wonderful garden is testament to a joint labour of love and I’m proud to say, flourishing all the more because of it.
“We’re delighted with the design of the garden. We realised that we had to keep working at it to maintain it and have been so lucky to have 2 people who have helped keep it to how it was originally designed. Although it does, of course, change from year to year.”
Mr & Mrs D, Bishops Waltham