Make your garden or balcony work for you

Whether your outside space is a small balcony, a large rambling garden or something in between, we all love the great outdoors! With the busy lives we lead though, many of us would prefer for our time in the garden to be spent enjoying it rather than working on it. So how can you create a haven with the minimum of effort?

First of all, get help. If your budget allows, a landscape gardener can redesign your outdoor space to suit your family's individual needs. Or why not have a go at designing your own? A gardener can help you achieve your vision and if you want to keep a lid on costs, you could approach your nearest agricultural college to find a student or new-grad, or hire a retired gardener - they will all bring a wealth of knowledge.

City gardens and balconies need to achieve a lot in a small space. Consider making your garden an extension of your home with stylish furniture. Cleverly positioned tall plants in pots - bamboo for example - can provide you with much-needed privacy, without leaving you in the shadows. Planters with rosemary, chives and other popular herbs will help to create a colourful city haven not just for you, but also for passing bees and butterflies.

Suburban gardens can vary greatly in size, but they all serve a similar purpose to support families' entertainment and leisure needs. For that reason, they need to be versatile. Larger gardens can be zoned to provide separate areas for children to play, fruit and vegetable plots, entertainment and wildlife, for example. If you have a smaller garden, you may give over the lawn to the trampoline or climbing frame, but you can achieve everything else by using fold-away garden furniture and making clever use of container planting.

Consider a cottage garden approach. Cottage gardens came about originally as a way for Victorian gardeners to make the most of small spaces, but can now be found in the largest country estates and are enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity. Benefits of a cottage-garden approach include:

  • There are no rules. You can plant whatever you want wherever you want and if it doesn't look right, just move it! You can even plant vegetables amongst the flowers.
  • Cramming your borders with plants will create a natural barrier to weeds. Cover your beds with weed-inhibiting matting to buy yourself time while you decide what to grow.
  • You'll attract all sorts of wildlife, such as birds, bees and butterflies. You'll also create a haven for natural pest controllers such as frogs, toads and ladybirds.

At Shanly Homes, we pay close attention to our new homes' gardens, taking care to consider how they'll be used, planting native shrubs and trees, and, where appropriate, installing bat and bird boxes. To find out more, why not take a look at our latest developments



View all blog posts