Building Your Own Property? 

Getting started on your garden design early on in the process will help to avoid costly mistakes, ensure you get the design you want from the start and help manage budgets v expectations.  If you’ve decided to build your own home, you’ll already know what a challenge this will be!  Making sure you have a good plan for your garden too, should be considered early on in the process.  The sooner you have a plan and employ a Garden Designer the sooner all your plans and ideas can be given the green light!  Or if there might be issues, let’s face it, it’s best to know now than get months down the line, when costs can really spiral out of control.  Here’s some things to consider when planning the garden design for your new build and why it’s best to plan way ahead!

Plan for what you want early

Establishing a design brief of what you want and need from your garden space is essential and therefore the first step of your garden planning process.  You will need an understanding of any problems that need to be solved, such as a lack of garden privacy, water logging issues, lack of colour etc.  Along with all the goals you want to achieve with your garden project.

Is there a particular style of gardening you like, such as cottage, sensory, seaside, tropical or modern?  Understanding the look and feel of each is paramount for getting it right from the start.  A Garden Designer will also be able to make plans that you are able to see on paper, which is very handy when you have somewhat of a blank canvas!

Understanding costs

It is recommend spending 5 to 15 per cent of the house value on the garden, which, in turn, will add a similar, if not larger amount, to the value of your home. Moving underground services, drainage works, demolition and site clearance work will also add to the cost, especially if access is tricky or there’s a need to work by hand.  So, it is vital that you assess this when you start your build.  Thinking that you can use whatever money is left over from your build, can be a costly mistake and end up leaving you with an unfinished garden.  It’s always best to employ a professional Garden Designer to run through all these things with you, so you know exactly where you stand right from the start!

Understand garden aspects

  • North-facing gardens: These will usually have shaded spots for the best part of the day, so you’ll get the best look from shade garden plants.
  • South-facing gardens: South-facing spaces will enable you to enjoy all the sunshine so you can go to town on flowers and plants.
  • West-facing gardens: Here you will enjoy shade in the AM and sun during the afternoon, through until the evening. You will find lots of hardy plants like roses, tulips, geraniums and more to add interest.
  • East-facing gardens: In an East-facing garden, plants will enjoy morning sunlight and evening shade letting you choose more shade loving but flowering varieties if you wish like Anemones and Viburnums.

Will your garden need planning permission?

Whilst you are already in the planning phase of building your new home, this is much easier to deal with.  For most garden projects, it isn’t necessary to apply for planning permission, but you will need to in certain cases;

  • Extending boundary heights
  • Extensive terracing
  • Decking platforms above 30cm
  • New paving in the front garden being the most common examples
  • If you live in a conservation area, then the rules can vary wildly

Usefully, new plants and trees aren’t covered by planning permission, although existing trees may have a Tree Preservation Order to protect them. A Garden Designer will have this type of knowledge to save you grief down the line!  Also, if you are working on an existing party wall or directly next to a boundary, the Party Wall Act is likely to apply.

We hope this is helpful and given you some food for thought, it can be a stressful time and every tip can be useful!  If you are taking the plunge and building a new home, now is the time to think about your outdoor space too.  Consilium Hortus have years of experience and are able to support you every step of the way.  Make sure your garden is as beautiful as your new home, call us today to find out how we can help you.