From Bare to Beautiful: Expert Landscaping Tips from Westminster Stone
Landscaping a garden can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be daunting if you're not sure where to start. As the gardening jobs wind down and we retreat into the warmth and comfort of indoors, the winter can be a great time to make plans for changes in the garden. As the garden dies back, structural qualities and landscaping is much easier to view, ready to take stock and dream up improvements from the ground up. We caught up with Tom Clifford from Westminster Stone, who was able to offer his introductory tips on approaching creating your own beautiful and functional outdoor living space.
Decide on the overall style you want to achieve for your garden. Do you want a traditional English cottage garden, a modern minimalist design, or something in between? Take into consideration the style and colours of your home, whether it is red brick or Cotswold stone, what paving and planting would complement these textures and colours, in keeping with the style you wish to achieve?
Ideally, plan to have your seating area where it will benefit from the most sun so that you can make the most of it on warmer days and extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors. Planting around the hard landscaping and terrace pots will also benefit from a sunny position. If you frequently entertain outdoors, it is also wise to position your seating near to the kitchen, ready for evenings spent al fresco!
It is important to have enough hardstanding to make your life comfortable, but it’s also important both visually and for sustainability and bio-diversity to have plenty of grass and planting too. Your garden should feel natural and inviting with lots of border colour, so try not to take all the nature away in favour of a paved area that you are unlikely to use. Choose plants carefully, selecting varieties that suit your garden's environment and have the appropriate growth habits for their location. Consider plants with different textures, colours, and heights for visual interest. Herbs are a great way to enhance seating areas as they can be placed in pots and give off beautiful scents and the freshest of flavours for cocktails and BBQ recipes.
When it comes to hard landscaping products, the cost of paving material is typically a fraction of the installation. Regardless of material cost, it is likely to only change the overall cost of the job by as little as 5%. The main consideration should be what style and type of material you want, as there are so many products on the market from traditional manufactured garden paving which Westminster Stone specialises in, through to natural stone and porcelain. All of these have pros and cons, so it’s important to discuss this with the paving company you choose, to get the best advice.
Gardens are one of the most important spaces in our homes, and with modern house designs utilising so much glass, the garden is often very visible from inside. Dig out and prepare the area before the renovation starts; this will give you a hard base which won’t become a muddy pit, and can be left until you’re ready for the paving to go on top. If you feel confident, you can dig out and prepare before your contractor comes in (this will save money, but ensure that you do your research first as prepping incorrectly can cause additional work).
Building a garden without a designer is a bit like building a home without an architect, it can be done to a good standard but you probably won’t get the best out of the space. As stated above, the m2 cost for the hard landscaping won’t massively change depending on the product you choose, what will push the price up is the size of the scheme and the amount of detailed installation and build that is required.
By following these tips, you can create a beautiful and functional garden that will provide you with enjoyment for years to come. If you would like to discuss your bespoke garden needs, visit us for a friendly chat and discover our paving with ranges specifically suited to the Cotswold area.
Westminster Stone are a family-owned paving and flooring business with a base here at Burford Garden Co.