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Designing your garden - DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN A well...

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DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN A well designed garden, tailored to your own particular needs, will not only be beautiful and productive, but will give you and your family pleasure throughout the year. You don't have to be a design wizard - or even particularly artistic - to create a beautiful garden. The concepts of good design are simple to understand and straightforward to put into practice. Whether developing a new garden from scratch, or reshaping an existing one, understanding and developing basic design skills will help you achive good results, and more importantly, develop a garden with exactly the layout that is best for you. Changes in your garden's design need not be profound. Repositioning a tree, for example, erecting a screen, or changing one of your garden surfaces may be small adjustments, but each of them can have a profound effect on the overall appearance. 2 - Decide what you want out of your arden g The first and most important step is to decide exactly what your garden means to you, and what you expect from it. You may want: Somewhere to sit. Examples might be a terrace or patio. Somewhere for children to play. Sandpits, swings and climbing frames could all be incorporated into your garden's design, perhaps to be altered later, when they've grown up. A source of food. More and more people want to grow fruit and vegetables. In a small plot, a kitchen garden can be beautiful as well as productive. A special plant collection. A plant enthusiast's garden should offer different habitats including hot dry spots and cool shady ones. A showcase. Why not enter your local 'Best Front Garden' contest?
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A wildlife refuge. With increasing threats to natural habitats, our gardens are becoming important sanctuaries. Never be afraid to borrow ideas. Visit other gardens - there are thousands open to the public nowadays. Look at books and magazines and consider how features that appeal to you could be adapted to your own garden. 3 - Assessing what you've got Once you have decided what you want from your garden, the next step is to assess what is already there: Surrounding influences. Features of the surrounding landscape will influence your design. Objects of beauty - a church spire, perhaps - could become backdrops to your vistas; an ugly building, or noisy road will need concealing behind shrubs.
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