September is the perfect time to review your garden and plan for changes. You will have just spent more time out there than at any other time in the year so you will know what you want to fix. Whether you want a sitting area in the sun, a bigger patio for entertaining, or a full make-over, now is the time to get started.
The work won’t get in the way when you most want to use the space. It’s a good time for planting when the soil is warm and moist. And if you don’t start the work before winter, you will be ready for kick-off in early spring.
Stuck for inspiration? There are plenty of sources out there to help you find your garden ‘style’. But unlike planning a new kitchen, there are no garden showrooms to browse. Instead, try the National Garden Scheme for gardens to visit in your area.
Employing a garden designer and a landscape contractor may sound daunting, but they are the experts who can deal with the trickiest spaces. They will save you time and worry. Time spent planning your project and choosing your contractor will be well rewarded as you are less likely to over-spend, to get behind schedule or most importantly: not achieve your vision.
You must find a contractor you can trust: to reflect your personal style, to work to budget and an agreed schedule. Your relationship with your contractor is the make or break factor in the success of your project. If work is not proceeding as planned, you must be confident to address the issues. If you want to make changes, you should be prepared for potential increases to costs or the time taken. This is why early planning is important as it can help to avoid costly changes of mind.
Professional contractors have the experience to manage your project from start to finish, providing you with a portfolio of plans, estimates and schedules to reassure you that the end result will be perfect. You should get progress updates without asking.
Planting is equally as important as hard landscaping. Colour comes not just from flowers, but in the winter from tough, evergreen shrubs, grasses and trees. Plants add texture, height, concealment, perfume and, should you wish; fresh food.
Your garden is as much part of your home as every room in your house. With the right planning, design and workmanship it will give you more pleasure than you ever imagined. Autumn is a time for reflection and planning for the future – the ideal time to ensure that by next summer, you will have the perfect garden for you.