Project Planning & Design Tips

February 20, 2020
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Planning A Project

Gone are the cold winter days; sunny and bright ones are ahead. This is the time to look forward to new beginnings; spend time in nature, and watch flowers and plants bloom. Taking the time to carefully plan your garden projects in early Spring is a fantastic idea, but it can sometimes be a little difficult to know where to start. Read our top 10 tips to consider when planning your garden projects

1. Plan The Path Ahead

Nobody likes to have to squeeze through narrow spaces, so make sure pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage. If you are unsure how wide to make your main pathways, think wide enough for two people to walk through side by side and for secondary pathways a width of at least 3 feet should be sufficient. Keep in mind plants and structures surrounding any access as tall plants and structures can make the space feel more restricted.


2. Steady Steps

If you are planning on adding steps or stairways to your garden then you should consider the rise of the steps. Steps with a rise of 6 inches or less are the most comfortable. If your garden stairways include more than 10 steps, landings after every fourth or fifth step are a great addition to ease progress, especially wherever a stairway changes direction.


It is also important to insure that paving, especially on stairs, is firmly set to prevent wobbles and provide a secure footing. Make sure your paved surfaces are slightly sloped to keep water from pooling on them and some paving materials such as polished granite and smooth outdoor tiles may not offer enough traction in rainy and wintry climates.


3. Elbow Room

Outdoor spaces such as patios and decking are perfect for entertaining people, so consider the amount of room on our outdoor area and whether there is enough room for people and furniture. How many guests will you likely be hosting at a time? Is there enough room for furniture? Is there plenty of space for people to move around and relax comfortably?

Birch Granite

4. Heads Up

Archways, arbors and pergolas make fantastic features but consider the height of these carefully, nobody like bumping their head on beams or brushing against climbing plants. 7 feet should be sufficient but slightly more height may be needed if there will be plants growing over the structure and posts for arches and pergolas should be set a few inches outside of pathways. This may sound high and wide but outdoor structures look smaller once outside.

garden archway

5. Room To Grow

If you are planning on creating a full landscape immediately, plant with the intention of relocating a proportion of plants once they have matured. Quick growing, temporary ‘filler’ pants such as Delphiniums are perfect for achieving this look quickly, but beware of prolific self-sowing filler plants such as Tall Verbena which can take over. Leave room between walkways, patios etc. and large plants, especially thorny plants, to keep free access.

6. Turf

Although turf can be expensive and require intensive maintenance it is as popular as ever due to its comfort for lounging, resilience and the ability to withstand play and foot traffic. You will need to consider whether the effort of maintaining a lawn is something you are happy with or whether paving or pants would serve just as well. Investing in high quality turf is also recommended. Click to view our range of Turf.

march jobs blog - lawns

7. Plan Your Plants

When choosing the plants for your garden don’t just consider which will look the best during Spring and Summer, consider plants that will look fantastic as the seasons transition or choose a variety of plants so that there is constantly something blooming. This way, your garden will have seasonal appeal.

8. Sit Back & Relax

If you are thinking of creating, or already have, an outdoor living space such as a BBQ area or comfortable outdoor sofas, think about the plants surrounding your chill out zones. Trees such as conifers and evergreens with broad leaves make fantastic protectors from strong winds, carefully placed shrubs add some much needed shade in the middle of hot summers and ornamental grasses and large-scale perennials act as privacy screens. Ornamental shrubs, plants and tree are available in all shapes and sizes so finding one to suit your space shouldn’t be difficult.

garden furniture

9. Think About The Future

If you are about to start a project, think about any future work you may wish to do. Just because the current project doesn’t require electric or plumbing, doesn’t mean any future projects won’t. Installing wiring and plumbing is much easier to do at a later date if the piping is already there and will avoid any disruption of established plants, landscaping or paving.

10. A Clear Exit

If your project is the front garden, have you thought about access on and off your driveway? Check visibility in all directions from your car before installing any plants, walls or fences, make sure there is nothing blocking your view and the view on and off of your neighbours driveways.Carr 20mm Cotswold chippings 1

Should you need any help or advice, contact us on 0330 058 5068 8am-5pm. We love receiving customer photographs, if you have recently completed a project, or are in the middle of one, and have any tips or advice, drop us an email and send us a photo to and we will feature it on our social media pages.

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