Inspiring Gardens…

With warmer weather finally here, we can start contemplating long lazy summer days spent outside.

Gardens bursting back into life after a dull winter can really lift our spirits and with that in mind, a little bit of effort now, or even a complete garden overhaul will pay dividends right through the coming months.

Award winning landscaping expert, Mark Richardson of Stewart Landscape Construction, advises as much time spent planning as possible. He says, “really understanding what you want and where are the key components to a successful redesign. Any changes during construction can be disproportionately costly and so for larger projects, I always recommend using a professional garden designer as well as a proper landscaper.” 

Mark has listed his top tips for creating the perfect garden:

1. First, it is important to understand your outside space holistically. For a complete update, you will need a garden survey plan so that the whole garden is visible. Work out where the sunny spots are.

2. At this stage it’s useful to decide on the style that you want your garden to reflect; whether rustic or modern for example, and work everything around achieving your finished ‘look’ from planting decisions to materials.

3. Deal with the hard landscaping elements first. Deciding on a materials palette is helpful so that the garden ends up looking unified, especially if you are working in stages.

4. Choose planting that ties in with your chosen style and draw out planting plans.  Many garden designers are happy to jump in at this stage to recommend planting if you are unsure. Try to avoid going to the garden centre with nothing in mind and just buying whatever is in flower. Clients often come unstuck because they don’t look at fully-grown sizes.

Mark’s passion for delivering beautiful gardens can be seen in his projects all over East Anglia as well as in his high-end portfolio of work in London. This year, Mark’s company will be putting in their fourth garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with a Trailfinders-sponsored design from Jonathan Snow showcasing a South African winelands inspired garden that looks set to wow show visitors with it’s evocative design on Main Avenue. Having spent days ‘mocking-up’ the mountain boulders in the stoneyard in Glasgow – a large scale version of rock Jenga, to finding ways of singeing plants to recreate the post-bush fired indigenous fynbos landscape, Mark is looking forward to the complex business of installing the show garden in a few short days.

Fingers crossed for that elusive ‘Main Avenue’ Chelsea Gold medal! Follow their progress on their website or social media.

Tel: 01787 269920 |