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Interior inspiration: How to manage your new garden

When you buy a new build home, you don’t have to make-do with a garden that’s seen better days, one that’s overgrown or has an army of garden gnomes and crazy paving.

You’re given a blank canvas that you can turn into your own ideal garden, as long as you have vision. Here are our top tips:

Decide what you want from your garden

Are you looking to have a vegetable patch?

A patio area where you can enjoy BBQs? A safe place for children to play?

Do you need a garden that’s low maintenance or are you prepared to put in the hours to create something really special?

It can be helpful to chat to other members of your household to find out their thoughts.

Inspect your garden

What type of soil do you have? Is it mainly sand, silt or clay? The ideal soil type is loamy, which is roughly 20% clay, 40% sand and 40% silt.

Your soil type will determine which types of plants will thrive in your garden and how you need to look after it.

Whatever type of soil you have, dedicate some time to cultivating it, adding topsoil and compost and you’ll reap the rewards later.

Barratt Homes has partnered with the RSPB to encourage owners to think about nature conservation in their homes, whilst the BBC has a great guide on the type of plants suitable for each soil type, which you can read here

Get inspired

You could take a look through some gardening magazines, search online, watch gardening programmes or visit other gardens for ideas. When it comes to your lawn, rather than having it rectangular why not shape it into an oval or circle instead?

You may want to consider a formal or informal water feature to add sound and movement to your garden. Alternatively, you could choose a sculpture to be your garden’s focal point.If your garden is small, consider having different levels as this can make your garden seem much spacious and build excitement as you go from one level to the next. 

Do you want an English country style garden, or something more modern? The paving you pick will often have a huge say in your garden’s overall look.  

Consider your shed, benches and fences

When it comes to adding colour, you shouldn’t just focus on plants. If you paint the wooden items in your garden, it can drastically change the look of your garden and they should last longer too.

A brightly coloured shed could transform a dark corner of your garden but if you don’t want to make a statement you could opt for a green or blue paint instead.

This should make it blend in with its surroundings.

If you like all things nautical, there’s nothing stopping you from painting it to look like a traditional beach hut. 

Think about how much time you have

The amount of spare time you have around work and other commitments will dictate the type of garden you should go for. 

If you’re short on time, placing stone chippings or bark in flower beds is great at preventing weeds growing, while shrubs and perennials need less maintenance than plants such as Rhododendrons. 

Similarly, if you won’t have the time to maintain a lawn, you could choose to lay AstroTurf, or you might opt for paving or gravel instead, creating a nice area for socialising during summertime. 

Put together a plan

You could rank the jobs that need doing in priority order and give a realistic timescale of when you can complete each task.

If you have a dog, getting an area fenced off for them to use for toileting will probably be a priority, especially if you have children. 

If you’re going to be employing a paving or landscaping specialist, it makes sense to bring them onboard now.

Plants need to be planted in the right place, so do your research before you get out your trowel. 

Hedges and trees need to be the right varieties for your garden’s size, or they could become overpowering. 

Create a wildlife-friendly garden

There are a number of ways to create a healthy ecosystem and encourage wildlife to come into your garden. Ideas include making small holes at the bottom of fence panels to create ‘hedgehog highways’ between gardens.

You could also collect rainwater through water butts and use it to fill a small pond full of colourful fish.

You might choose to grow your own fruit. Apple trees grow well almost anywhere and not only will you be able to eat the fruit they produce, the flowers will attract insects and bees which will help your garden to become a flourishing natural community.

We are working with the RSPB to encourage homeowners to give nature a home in their gardens and ensure they create a garden that supports the growth of wildlife. 

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