January may be a dark and dismal month to some, but to me, it is one full of promise. Birds sing in the trees as I walk the dog telling me that Spring IS on its way, even if it doesn’t feel like it yet. The daylight hours start to stretch, gradually changing the commute to work from one of darkness. And joy of joys! My first snowdrops have been spotted nestling at the foot of an elderly tree in a nearby estate – my first wish for the year is made with a gentle shake of their heads.
In the garden too, these welcome signs may be seen by those who venture around their plots. However, many homeowners forget about their gardens over the winter. As they rush into the welcoming warmth of the house the starkness of its surroundings is hidden behind drawn curtains and enveloping darkness. Then, when Spring is upon us and the Easter season teases us all with thoughts of better days to come, a sense of panic sets in.
The garden “needs to be done” for the summer! That project planned from the patio last year has been forgotten until now. Garden Centres are bursting with bloom, beckoning tauntingly to the unready. Many may be disappointed, as all the best contractors are already booked up for months ahead and have little time to discuss the Easter Bunny’s predicament.
So January is the time to plan! Many professional garden designers will draw up architectural designs and exquisite planting plans. Landscapers too, will offer a design and build service. But what of the capable DIYers, wanting to have a go themselves? Or those with a limited budget who want a plan to be broken down into affordable stages. Or the canny client who wants to shop around for quotations and make sure they are all for the same design.
A simple garden plan is all that is needed to save everyone time and money and ensure what is wanted is what is quoted for – and ultimately built. An initial consultation is to discuss requirements, assess the potential of the plot and check aspect and measurements. Armed with the facts, a Birds-Eye-View plan may then be drawn up to scale, ready for anyone to work from. This will show the most advantageous places for key features, according to how the space is to be used. Positions for plants of varying sizes will also be indicated and the best types of plants suggested in an accompanying “Shopping List”.
I began designing Garden Plans for homeowners over 20 years ago and have had many repeat clients and recommendations over the years. I can plan for any size, style or budget and love to help both the gardener and non-gardener to get the best out of their outdoor room. Every garden has the potential to be a beautiful space and benefit the well-being of everyone (and everything) using it, so why not let me help discover that Secret Garden soon.