Six garden design tips for the life you lead

January 31, 2022

Making the most of your garden that suits the life you lead starts with design. 

Acres of golf course worthy lawns will be no good if you hate mowing. And the dishevelled beauty of an English cottage garden full of wildflowers and pollinators will be a thing of beauty for some and a disorderly mess for others. 

With spring just a matter of weeks away, if a garden revamp is on your to-do list for 2022, now’s the time to get started. 

The first step towards creating your dream garden is to write down all your wants and needs - plus a budget. This will help you visualise what the garden will look like and prioritise your investment. 

Everyone has different lifestyles, budgets and aims for their garden. You may have a small, urban garden, or you could have a large space just waiting to be transformed.

This article we explore six popular garden designs to suit a range of lifestyles that we hope will inspire you.

Wildlife-friendly gardens

Wildlife-friendly gardens feature plants and structures that attract native wildlife, such as birds, insects and small mammals. This design style suits gardens of any size. Wildlife friendly gardens are relatively easy to achieve. Their free flowing, relaxed vibe is forgiving if you don’t have lots of time for regular weeding, pruning and tidying. Creating a garden that attracts wildlife and allows creatures to thrive is excellent for the planet. Features such as log piles, hedgehog boxes and bee hotels help bring more nature into your garden.

Small gardens

While trying to get the most out of a small space may feel daunting, it is a fantastic opportunity to get creative. Think of the garden as an extension of your indoor space, a green escape for relaxing and enjoying. You can build an outdoor oasis by using space cleverly. Grow taller plants, or use shelving to make room for more plants. Use sleek furniture to create the illusion of size. 

Mediterranean gardens

Mediterranean gardens can be traditional or casual and are based on the gardens found in the south of France, Italy and Spain. From rich colour schemes and relaxing water features to shaded alfresco dining areas, Mediterranean gardens are perfect all year round.

Olive trees, scented lavender and fruiting vines combined with large terracotta pots and gravel on a warm summer’s day will leave you feeling you are in the Mediterranean. While this style can adapt well to the British climate, some plants dislike wet winters and need protection in cooler weather.

Urban gardens

City gardens are often very compact. Therefore you need an innovative design to make the space work well. Most urban gardens become either functional spaces or plant-filled sanctuaries where you can escape hectic city life. They are often low maintenance and feature a minimalist design using repeated patterns for maximum effect.

Contemporary gardens

Crisp, neat lines are an inherent part of contemporary garden design. The most important aspect of this garden design is how you utilise the space. Ensure you keep it clean, uncluttered and avoid too many details to create the perfect remedy to a hectic lifestyle. 

Natural materials such as stone, slate and wood will soften any potential harshness. Within contemporary gardens, the plants become part of the design. They are placed strategically and are maintained to perfection – think clipped hedges, specimen trees and simple blocks of planting. Water is another popular feature of contemporary gardens, creating reflection, movement and sound. 

Don’t be tricked into thinking modern gardens, in all their minimalist glory, won’t take time to maintain. Plants need to be kept trimmed and pruned to retain the garden's uniformed look.

Cottage gardens

A cottage garden is quintessentially English. They feature plenty of plants spilling over narrow pathways, lots of colours and plenty of scented flowers. 

Originally, cottage gardens were a means for people to grow fruit, veg and flowers in their countryside plots. However, the romantic style captivated the hearts of those in the city. This style is traditional yet adaptable but does need some maintenance. The perfect garden if you dream of growing your own produce!

Do you need a helping hand?

If you'd like help designing the perfect garden for your lifestyle, get in touch with Claire today; call 023 8063 2600 or email