I tend to do a lot of gardens in newly built homes. Its not really surprising as when people move in, once the house has been furnished and decorated, thoughts turn to the outside.
Quite often the gardens of new homes all look the same – a succession of bland rectangles of turf with paling fences and quickly laid “economy” paving patios that are generally too small to serve any purpose. Quite often the building site as it was, is only an inch or two below the surface making planting impossible and that’s even if it’s well drained! It’s surprising how many new gardens tend to be waterlogged. Finally, it’s common for the builders to get a landscape company in to plant up the fronts and communal spaces with boring evergreens that are planted with little thought and half an inch of bark mulch that won’t stop the weeds growing and blows away on a dry day!
That’s enough complaining. On a positive note I think new houses nowadays are well designed – more spacious and less like a row of boxes and, quite often, there is a decent amount of garden to play with.
From a garden designer’s perspective, new house gardens are like a blank canvass – the only limitations are the fence… and the budget!
Most people who contact me tend to want easy-to-look after gardens that serve a function and look good. Gardens for new houses are no different. If anything, it’s easier to accomplish because of what’s not there – such as a 20m high tree that casts a shadow and leaves, or lots of different ground levels. Also, because there tends not to be a lot of decent topsoil, raised beds can be a good solution which look good, are easier to look after and get us round the drainage problems.
Below are a few photos of gardens I have designed for new homes. If you would like to discuss having a new garden for your home, please give me a call.
Article written by Tim Staves