Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We'll Design the Garden of Your Dreams; WIN One of Three [Pounds Sterling]5,000 Garden Makeovers; Here's Your Chance to Have Your Garden Transformed Free by Experts, Says Pattie Barron

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We'll Design the Garden of Your Dreams; WIN One of Three [Pounds Sterling]5,000 Garden Makeovers; Here's Your Chance to Have Your Garden Transformed Free by Experts, Says Pattie Barron

Article excerpt

MAGINE having a custom-made garden, planned, built and planted to suit your every need and fancy. Whether you yearn for an ultra-minimalist outdoor space or a flower-filled retreat, a sophisticated place to party or a hot tropical oasis, your hazy vision can become glorious, pin-sharp reality -- thanks to our competition to win the garden of your dreams.

To celebrate a groundbreaking new book -- The RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design -- Homes & Property has teamed up with publisher DK and the RHS so three lucky Londoners can have their gardens transformed by a duo of top garden designers, leading horticulturist Chris Collins and expert landscaper Sven Wombwell. Each garden will have a budget of [pounds sterling]5,000 and will be landscaped and planted by the expert pair in consultation with the owner, who will be able to leaf through the comprehensive encyclopedia for inspiration -- and, inevitably, be spoiled for choice. For details on how to win the garden of your dreams, see the bottom of this page.

The results of the competition -- the three new gardens that emerge -- will be revealed in a show-and-tell on this page at the end of April. The gardens will also be part of an exciting new enterprise, the Great London Garden Trail. Organised by DK, the RHS and the Society of Garden Designers, the trail, open to the public on 4 May, will feature 12 exceptional and rarely seen London gardens, and will include our winners. This page will give you details of the trail so you can follow the route and visit the gardens.

If you plan on tackling your plot yourself, take tips from the encyclopedia, which covers every step of the design process, from assessing your space to creating your chosen look with hard landscaping and appropriate planting. Learn how to create a site plan, measure an irregular plot, draw to scale -- though at first, you will need nothing more than a scrapbook, or storyboard, to build a visual reference of the kind of plants, landscapes, furniture and maybe art that appeal to you.

Deciding on what you want at the start, and keeping to that brief throughout, is paramount. The simple questions the professionals ask their clients are the same you need to ask yourself before you put pen to graph paper. First, how do you propose to use your garden: as a space for entertaining, a haven for wildlife, a play area for the children, a tranquil place for relaxing? How do you want to feel in your garden? Do you want vibrant colour and striking features, or soft colours, flowing water and organic shapes? But here is the crucial question: devote to the garden on a how much time are you prepared to devote to the garden on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? No point planning a herbaceous border to rival Sissinghurst's if you can't put in the spadework.

Lastly, what will your garden look like? …

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