How wonderful does it feel when we come in from the cold outside only to wrap up in the warmth of a blanket or take a nice hot bath?… Shouldn’t our gardens offer us the same feelings???

 The National Gardens Scheme gives us the opportunity to absorb ourselves in Mother Nature and champion the ingenuity of individuals to create, showcase and share gardens for us to admire and experience. On a deeper level, it is our emotional response that determines how we would wish to recreate our own space.

  Courtyard gardenAs a garden designer, one begins by slowly walking around the garden and absorbing every square metre thus determining the elements that need updating and those that feel intuitively right. This initial feeling can contribute to the positioning of areas such as focal points and seating. It is important to utilise all these sensations or one can lose the essence of the design. Such factors as light and privacy also play a key role in these decisions.     Red leaves and lake in garden Personally, I am continuously inspired by the unique feeling one gets from Japanese gardens and the precision to detail always involved in their creation…as seen below.   How do these gardens make YOU feel?     ‘GENIUS LOCI’- The spirit of a place. Every garden has a spirit or feeling of its own, dependant on Mother Nature’s gifts and how these have been channelled. For example, if your garden has awkward levels giving a sense of imbalance, this might become your priority for change? Once you know which parts of the garden need altering and roughly by how much; it is always beneficial to speak to your whole family (or those who will be making use of the space) to gain a broader perspective and get their intuitive response. At this stage, you can also consider how much you are willing to spend, with a special focus on the parts that need changing most. Also bear in mind moving old walls and patios is costly so think carefully and question whether you are getting the most out of your budget. This mutual decision is the initial stage of redesigning the space. Planting can be introduced later!   Thanks to Stuart Bugby of Stugardens Design for this article

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