Manor Landscapes have been building stylish gardens in surrey since 1991 and we’ve picked up several hints and tips along the way. Here’s our advice for anyone planning a garden makeover.
What makes a garden stylish?
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In our experience, a truly stylish garden has three elements. Timeless appeal, functionality, and manageability. The materials used, proportions, and planting style can differ – there’s no magic formula. However, just like clothing, interior design, and architecture, the gardens that are designed and built by experts in their field are the ones that stay stylish for all time.
Gardens with timeless appeal
In a minute, I’m going to take you on a virtual tour of the stylish gardens of Surrey but first, let’s think about gardens with timeless appeal. What do they have in common?
First and foremost, they are well built and well-loved. They blend well with their surroundings and have been able to adapt over time. To “grow” with the owners as it were.
For example, I would call a garden timeless if it suits the needs of the time. Perhaps it’s a party garden that turns into a children’s play area, a teen retreat, Mum’s quiet place, Dad’s relaxation zone, a safe place for older people – you get my drift. That one investment lasts a lifetime and longer.
The other aspect of a timeless garden that’s important for me, is that it should add value to the property.
A stylish garden does what you need it to do
Functionality is so important in a garden. It’s OK to look pretty but that’s no help to you if you can’t use it.
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When you are considering a garden makeover, any good garden designer will ask how you want to use the space. And the list will be longer than you first think.
- Somewhere to eat breakfast or drink coffee on sunny mornings
- A sheltered place for dining al fresco – even on chilly autumn evenings
- The place to entertain friends and family
- It’s great to have somewhere quiet and undisturbed to perch while you’re chatting on the phone
- Play zone for children and pets
- An allotment – or at least somewhere that you can grow fresh fruit and veg
- For making the journey between your house and the street/shed/garage – preferably without getting your shoes muddy
- Bin store/bike store
- Outdoor kitchen
- Relaxation zone
- An outdoor space that looks fantastic yet makes your life more difficult can hardly be described as stylish.
All of the stylish gardens I’m going to describe to you have one thing in common – they are well managed. In the world of fashion, style and grooming go hand in hand. Ditto for gardens. Building a stylish garden is all about building something that its owners can maintain easily.
Hate mowing? Build a garden without a natural lawn – these days it’s not difficult. Either that or employ technology to maintain the lawn for you. Robot mowers are a great innovation.
Perplexed by pruning? choose easy-going plants that largely take care of themselves OR budget for regular maintenance visits from a trusted landscape gardener
Great stylish gardens in Surrey
Here are just three of my favourite gardens in Surrey. Admittedly they are large gardens but each one has something that somebody planning a garden makeover could draw inspiration from.
Loseley Park, Guildford
This was the home of one of the most powerful and influential people of the 16th Century. The garden has been remodelled and developed over – well – hundreds of years. What I like about this garden, is has truly stood the test of time. It was built by craftsmen and the hard landscaping looks as good now as it did then. I build my gardens to last so I can relate to the people that dug footings and laid slabs all those years ago.
Loseley Park has a series of small garden “rooms” each with a distinct style and purpose. Go visit – discover your preferred style. Which of the spaces feels right to you? What plants and features appeal to your personality?
Guildford Castle Grounds
How does a public park inspire a garden makeover? My advice is to visit and see for yourself.
This is where you’ll be exposed to lots of different colour schemes and lots of planting styles. You can think about the journey around the garden. How would that relate to your own space? Do you like wandering paths or are you a fan of straight lines. What about art in the garden? Or water? How have they disguised utility areas
What I like most about Guildford Castle Gardens is that it gives me a chance for people watching. How do people and pets of all shapes, sizes, ages and interests interact with the garden? Remember that a stylish garden is also functional, so what could you take away from this visit to improve the functionality of your own space?
Tilsey Place Gardens
This garden has lots of features that are still fashionable today. Pergolas, clean lines and well laid out spaces. It also has something else that matters in modern stylish garden – it blends beautifully with its surroundings.
Visit Tilsey Place Gardens to think about how your own space can utilise or enhance your street, your views and the wider landscape.
Do you need to incorporate some sort of privacy screen or noise barrier? It’s hard to relax in the hot tub if the neighbours are popping their head over the fence. Do you want your morning coffee to be accompanied by traffic noise? Ask your landscaper or garden designer to suggest some stylish screening ideas.
The joyous thing about Tilsey Place is the view over the Darent Valley – it seems as though the garden just flows into the countryside. Could you “borrow” a view to improve your garden?
Building your stylish garden
Manor Landscapes specialise in building stylish gardens in Surrey and work with some of Southern Englands’ finest garden designers.
If you would like to discuss your ideas for improving your own outdoor space, call Geoff today to arrange an appointment.