The Ultimate Guide To Designing And Building A Dream Garden

It’s no surprise that most people want to have a beautiful garden. However, not everybody has the time or money to invest in this project. Fortunately, there are many ways for you to create a fantastic garden on any budget.

This guide will share with you some of the best ideas and tips for building your dream garden.

So You Want a Nicer Garden?

There are many reasons for wanting to design a dream garden, but most people would agree that their outdoor space should serve as a place to unwind and destress after a difficult day.

Unfortunately, most people’s gardens don’t resemble the stunning photographs they see in magazines, and it’s tough to create an outdoor haven when you don’t have a substantial budget or lack space.

Luckily, you can do plenty of things to enhance your garden, but first, you need to decide what’s most important.

Deciding whether you want a relaxing haven, a place to entertain or a family-friendly garden will help you with the planning process. Still, there are many factors to consider before implementing your design.

So, to make it easier, we’ve put together this step by step guide. Following this means you can create your dream garden with minimal stress.


ultimate guide planning

Probably one of the most essential steps in creating your dream garden is to plan every single element of it. OK, planning isn’t exactly exciting, but it does make a big difference – especially when it comes to buying equipment and hiring people!

Next, we’ll look at some things you need to take into account.

Your Budget

While it would be lovely to have an unlimited budget, most people won’t get to add all of the elements they want. However, there are ways that you can use the money you have to enhance your garden.

There’s always a shortcut, and while you might not be able to afford a luxurious water feature with spotlights and fountains, there will be another option that’s still suitable.

Garden Size

If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, then you’ve got plenty of space to play with. But smaller gardens require a lot more planning because you need to make the most of every single square metre.

Living in an urban location can be trickier because most Londoners have flats with balconies. There are still plenty of things you can do with balconies, but you should consider whether you want to prioritise adding some greenery, growing vegetables, or creating a relaxation area.

Extensive gardens can be challenging to redesign if you’re on a budget because you have so much space to play with, and they can still look empty.

Your Location

The climate, weather and your surroundings will also impact the design of your garden. If you’re in a cold area, you’ll need to think about adding insulation or using hardy plants that can survive extreme conditions.

If you live near the sea, you’ll need to consider how salt air and wind will affect the materials you use when building your garden.

Your Skills and Experience

Are you a green-fingered whizz? Or is watering a plant the closest you’ve ever come to actual gardening? It’s essential to think about your gardening skills before you commit to anything because, believe it or not – even general garden work is tricky.

Most people can plant some flowers and even lay a lawn, but landscaping is completely different. Not only do you need to work out where to plant everything, but you also need to create clear pathways to each section of your garden.

Other examples of complex work include building a pond or fire pit and evaluating which flowers and plants will work for your soil type and garden position.


ultimate guide preparation

Before choosing your plants, you should assess your garden and look at how much sunlight it receives. This is important because some plants need full sun all day long to thrive, while others will only require a few hours of daylight.

It would be best to consider the soil type in your garden – not all plants will grow in clay soils, for example. You might need to add compost or manure to improve the quality of your soil before you start planting.

If you’re unsure which soil type you have, you can send a sample off to a lab. This is beneficial because you’ll get a detailed breakdown of your soil, including what you can do to neutralise it.

The Final Design

Now all of those practicalities are out of the way; it’s time to start thinking about how you want your garden to look. This is where your imagination can run wild!

Do you want an English country garden with roses and lavender? Or maybe a modern minimalist design with lots of gravel and raised planters? You can design your outdoor space however you want, using any plants that will thrive in the conditions.

It’s best to start small when designing a garden because adding elements like ornamental ponds or statuary takes time! And if you’re on a budget, it might be better to spend money on more practical aspects like a lawn or patio.

Use The Right Plants

Finding the right plants for your soil type and climate will save you a great deal of time and money. The last thing anyone wants is to spend a fortune on exotic plants only to find they have no hope of growing in your garden.

Shady gardens are particularly difficult, as many plants need direct sunlight to flourish. You’ll need to choose shade-loving plants, which might not seem exotic, but some lovely options are available.

They include:

  • Snowdrop
  • Bellflowers
  • Foxglove
  • Aquilegia
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Hellebores
  • Heuchera

All of these plants come in various shapes and sizes, and some are more expensive than others.

Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s essential to research the best way to care for them. This includes watering and feeding schedules and how to deal with common pests and diseases.

Adding a Vegetable Garden

Vegetable gardens are a great way to add some functionality to your outdoor space while enjoying the ability to eat freshly grown vegetables whenever you want.

There’s nothing quite like freshly grown vegetables, and they can dramatically improve your health and lifestyle. Supermarket produce often travels thousands of miles to get to its destination, and this means the food you eat often contains chemicals and preservatives.

When you grow vegetables at home, you can avoid using any harmful pesticides and focus on organic growing practices, which means you get to appreciate the natural flavours of your produce.

You’ll need to think about what type of vegetables will work in the space and which ones can grow together without competing for sunlight or nutrients. You should also research the best time to plant your vegetables, as they will all have different germination times.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online guides which can help you get started, but some easy vegetables to grow include carrots, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic and beetroot.

And remember – you don’t need a massive garden to grow vegetables! Even if you have a tiny balcony, you can turn it into a productive vegetable plot. Just remember to start small, and think about which vegetables you’d like to grow.

Now that you have a few things to think about when designing your dream garden, get creative and have fun! Remember, it’s your garden, so make it work for you.

Pathways and Water Features

Pathways break up your garden into sections and allow you to create designated areas for eating, socialising and for children to play. They also help you create a simple route through the garden that will save your plants from being trampled on.

Pathways can be made out of many different materials, including gravel and paving slabs – both of which are low maintenance. However, if you want something a little more exotic, there are always stones and brickwork.

Water features turn a garden into a tranquil haven, and even the sound of trickling water is enough to help you relax. You can also attract more wildlife into your outdoor space by adding a pond.

There are various ponds to choose from, including formal ponds with ornamental fish and wildlife ponds that are home to frogs, newts, and dragonflies. You can even create a pond out of an old bath!

Adding some garden ornaments is the perfect way to finish off your dream garden – just make sure they are functional as well as beautiful.

Try adding a bench to have somewhere you can sit back and relax, or maybe some bird feeders so that you can watch the birds feeding in your garden. And don’t forget to add features like wind chimes which will create soothing sounds for when it’s time to chill out on those long summer evenings.

Building Your Dream Garden

Now all the planning and designing is out of the way, and it’s time to get to the fun stuff; building your garden. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, you should take some time to focus on what you think you can do yourself.

For example, if you’re happy to plant the flowers yourself, then you can save money and spend it on more complex jobs, including any hardscaping.

Experience with DIY can help create a patio area or build raised planters, and there are lots of online guides which can help you get started.

Just remember to take safety precautions and always wear protective clothing when using power tools.

Use a Professional Landscaping Company

If you’re not sure about any of the work that needs doing, it’s always best to get in touch with an experienced landscaping company.

This will allow you to get a free consultation, and they can advise whether it’s something that you could do yourself or if there are any specific problems with the garden.

Gardens take a lot of work in order for them to be beautiful and functional spaces – but that doesn’t mean they have to cost a fortune. By taking your time and focusing on the bigger jobs, you can create your dream garden without breaking the bank.

At Floral & Hardy, we work with people in London and surrounding areas, helping them to create a stunning outdoor space. Having had the pleasure of contributing our skills and knowledge to gardening projects of all sizes, we can help you by adding all of the features you’d like to see in your garden.

Whether it’s landscape design or building the perfect outdoor space, we work to any budget, ensuring you have the best opportunity to create your dream garden.

Enjoying Your Garden

ultimate garden guide

Once your garden is finished, it’s important to take the time to enjoy it! Sit back with a cold drink and relax in your new outdoor space, or invite friends and family around for a barbecue.

Adding some lights to your outdoor space can make a big difference, and they let you enjoy it all year round. We also love the idea of incorporating a fire pit because it’s the perfect way to make use of your garden throughout the winter.

Imagine toasting marshmallows and drinking mulled wine on those cold winter nights, and you’ll see why firepits are so popular.

If you have children, make sure they spend some time playing in the garden and understand those all-important no-entry areas. You don’t want kids or pets trampling over your plants, but by incorporating some extra space for your family, everyone will be able to enjoy the garden.

Final Thoughts

Designing your dream garden doesn’t have to be a headache, especially when you break the job into sections. Remember to think about your budget, and don’t be afraid to ask us for help if you need it.

We have some excellent guides on our website, including:

We’re also available if you’d like a free consultation.

Copyright Floral & Hardy 2023. All rights reserved. Company No. 07900342.

40 Bloomsbury Way , Lower Ground Floor, London, WC1A 2SE


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