All too often the garden becomes almost an after thought and the last priority in a restricted home improvement budget. For me this is a travesty, as the garden is probably the largest room of the house and deserves the same thought.
Even small London or city gardens, where space is a premium, can be transformed into a haven of architectural foliage and fabulous areas for summer dining and entertaining, adding not only value to the home, but a new dimension to living space.
Remember, the garden should not be considered as a separate entity, but more as an extension of the living room. In our short summers it should be a magnet drawing family and friends to it at every available opportunity, and in winter the view should be one which serves to remind that spring is not too far away.
The design and planning of a garden is the starting point. The chosen style and design should reflect the home and not be at odds with it. One needs to begin by addressing any unsightly features. Even an ugly view can be softened with careful thought to planting. Equally, privacy should be protected without the prying eyes of neighbours overlooking. Once again this can usually be achieved with strategic planting. Common garden fences can be camouflaged, as can sheds, which may serve as essential storage, but lend absolutely nothing to the overall design.