Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Gardening

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Gardening

Article excerpt

AS the leaves fall and we prepare for what always seems like an endless winter, now is a good time to get your sketch pad out to plan a new garden design.

"For a good balanced design, most designers would recommend that a third of the garden should be for planting and the other two-thirds grass or hard surfaces," says horticulturist Louise Hampden, producer of BBC Gardeners' World and author of a new handy little guide, Top Tips: A Treasury Of Garden Wisdom.

The book accompanies a new daytime Gardeners' World series starting on BBC Two on December 1 which collects the most fascinating and useful hints and tips from 40 years of the programme.

There are three main design elements you need to consider: what the garden will be used for (children's play, relaxation, parties, growing veg and flowers); its aspect (shady or sunny, overlooked or secluded); and how you want the garden to look (formal or informal).

Cut out magazine pictures of schemes that you like and stick them on to a large piece of card, adding to it gradually, including plants, furniture, layouts and even sheds - and soon a mood and preference for certain colours and materials will emerge.

Narrow gardens are often the easiest to design, Louise says.

"A long, thin garden can be broken up into different spaces, divided by hedges or trellis, each with a different purpose or feel," she says.

"This gives you the opportunity to have a formal area as well as an informal one, and to screen off practical spaces such as the garden shed or the place where you keep the rubbish bins."

Put in a curved path with broad planting spaces either side to make the garden feel longer and create an interesting journey through it.

Wider gardens are more difficult to design, as the whole garden can be seen at once and it's difficult to create any mystery, but add pergolas over paths and features at the end of paths to divide the garden visually without the use of solid hedges or panels. …

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