Want a New Garden But Don’t Know How To Start?

timber pergola and seating area in new garden

Here are our tips on how to start creating a new garden.

Are you looking at your garden right now and wishing it could be better? Perhaps it looks a little tired. Or maybe you don’t use it as often as you could because it just isn’t working for you? Manor Landscapes, and other APL members just like us, are here to help.  Here’s how to get started.

newly landscaped garden with rockery and stone clad raised beds

Making A New Garden; Here’s How To Get Started

  1. Make a list of all the things you’d like to use your garden for
  2. Set a budget for the project
  3. Contact a landscaper who offers a garden design and build service
  4. Commission a garden design (scroll down to find out why this is important)
  5. Ask your landscaper for a quote for the work
  6. Check the contract, sign it, and sit back to watch your new garden take shape.

What Will You Use Your New Garden For?

When you are planning a new garden it’s tempting to start by thinking about choosing slabs or selecting garden furniture. But actually, just as you would if you were designing a new kitchen or even building and extension to your home – functionality should always come first. The styling will automatically follow on from that.

So, what would your dream garden offer your family?

  • Car parking space
  • Storage for bikes, bins, toys etc
  • Somewhere to entertain friends and family
  • Al fresco dining area
  • Outdoor cooking space
  • A place for children and/or pets to play and learn safely
  • Relaxation zone where you can enjoy the first coffee of the day or curl up with a book
  • Supporting wildlife and doing your bit for the environment
  • Great views from your window no matter what time of year it is
  • Adding value to your home

Everybody has different reasons for wanting a better garden and we all want something that complements our lifestyle.

don't forget to include lighting when you redesign your garden

Setting A Budget

I won’t lie to you, the cost of building a new garden can add up quite quickly. So it’s important to set a budget and allow yourself a contingency to cope with any surprises.  Think about the cost of  groundworks, materials, planning permission (if you need it), structures, plants, tradesmen such as electricians and landscapers and extra health and safety considerations such as barriers or cones to prevent accidents.

Please don’t be led by TV programmes when setting your budget.  Whilst series like Garden Rescue or Love Your Garden are great entertainment, the cost of materials and labour is often sponsored by the production company.  The programme may also be several years old by the time you watch it. Enjoy the viewing but don’t base your expectations on their costings.

If you are at all unsure of what your budget should be, an informal chat with a reputable landscaper should give you a ball park figure to work with.

Hire a Professional Garden Designer

I can’t stress enough that it’s virtually impossible to build a nice new garden without a plan.  Asking your landscaper to ‘put the patio there’ leaves too many unanswered questions.  How big should the patio be? What shape? Which pavers do you prefer? Does it need steps? What about drainage?

Would you even think about building an extension to your home without having an architect’s drawing to work from?

A professional garden designer can save you hundreds – sometimes even thousands of pounds by making sure that what your landscaper is building is precisely the garden you want.

Landscaping is more than placing slabs or bricking up walls. Every area of hard landscaping needs a proper foundation otherwise it will shift and crack over time. If you change your mind once the foundations or base layers have been laid, it will cost a lot of time and money to alter them.  Far better to have an agreed garden design from the outset.

Remember too that garden designers know just how to make practical features look beautiful. They can hide the wheelie bins so you don’t have to look at them.  Or position a path so that you don’t ruin the lawn with frequent trips to the shed.   Garden designers have all sorts of tricks to make a narrow garden look wider or an overlooked garden feel more private.  

Yes, there is a cost to garden design, but it’s well worth it.  Think of it as an investment, because that’s exactly what it is.

Newly turfed rectangular lawn with laying boards to allow for watering without compacting the soil

Finding The Right Landscaper For Your Project

My last blog looks in detail at how to find the right landscaper to build your new garden. I’ll post a link to it at the end of this article.

Please don’t be tempted to base your decision on price.  I know that budget is important, but so is quality workmanship. How would you feel if a rogue trader took all of your hard earned cash, made a mess in your garden and left you with a danger zone instead of the beautiful garden you dreamed of?

If the landscaper’s quote comes to more than your build budget, don’t be afraid to ask for design tweaks. Or why not consider building the garden in stages? Talk to your landscaper – we’re all nice people and if we can possibly help we can.

Read our blog on choosing the right landscaper for your project

Some More Useful Articles

What features do I need in my new garden? 

What does landscaping cost?  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.