When you move into a new place, or finally get around to sorting out the garden of your existing home, unless you’re naturally green-fingered it can feel like a bit of a daunting task.
Dated slabs, rotten decking or overgrown hedges can mean you often can’t see the wood for the trees, sometimes literally.
But before you begin it’s a great idea to observe how you, and also the people you know use their gardens throughout the year. Is it almost an extra room to the house for relaxing and reading? Is it mainly for pets to rummage and run? Or perhaps your children or grandchildren would love to use the space for games, dens and exploring?
And once you’ve understood your needs, here are some great places to find garden design inspiration, both online and in the real, glorious gardens of Britain. Don’t forget to take notes, take photographs and note down plants that you love.
- Pinterest: As a visual scrapbook for everything you like, this inspiring website is where you can ‘pin’ images onto your ‘boards’. What’s great is when you follow the boards of others and trail down web ‘rabbit holes’ of stunning garden pics. Irresistible.
- Royal Horticultural Society (rhs.org.uk): A great site for finding plants, browsing advice, chatting with other gardeners and searching for great gardens to go visit, including their very own RHS gardens in Surrey, Essex, Yorkshire and Devon.
- Chelsea Flower Show: from the avant garde to the teeny tiny, Chelsea is the Glastonbury of gardening. Held toward the end of May in London, it’s a must-visit for the ultimate in garden inspiration.
- National Trust Gardens (nationaltrust.org.uk): Not just for lovers of Capability Brown, the National Trust looks after over 200 beautiful parks and gardens, helping keep the UK’s rich gardening heritage alive. So why not enjoy a day out and grab loads of great garden inspiration in the process.
Autumn plant and flower shows, including:
Norfolk All About Gardening Show (aztecevents.co.uk. 23rd, 24th, 25th August)
Malvern Autumn Show (threecounties.co.uk/malvernautumn 27th – 28th August)
Suffolk Autumn Garden Show (aztecevents.co.uk 2nd, 3rd, 4th September)
Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (flowershow.org 12th –14th September)