Surburban Garden Design
Typically in the suburbs the land purchased with the houses comprises a front garden and a back garden. The front garden usually has turf and a simple feature such as a tree. The function of the front garden is most commonly to park cars but might also be used as an area of attraction where flowers are grown around the lawn. In the back garden it is likely there will also be some turf and fencing all round the garden and possibly a patio or small shed. The back garden is perhaps expected to or has the potential to have a greater variety of functions such as a play area for children, a storage space for tools and bins, a place to grow food, a dining area or a place to entertain guests. At this juncture it is unlikely the back garden will be serving all of the above purposes as suburban gardens are generally small and likely to be quite bare on initial acquisition.
One of the problems with the purchase of newer housing is that building houses affects the soil on the land. An unnatural soil composition occurs after construction has taken place as bricks and timber and other debris make their way into the soil. This soil makes a poor rooting environment for plants and needs to be treated by double digging and other measures before an improvement is made in its dryness, texture and overall quality. When designing a suburban garden it is important to take the soil composition into consideration and whether the quality can be significantly improved for planting or whether the design should look at alternative methods of creating a garden. A garden designer can advise easily on soil types, planting potential and alternatives to planting and it is a good idea to seek help with suburban gardens where poor soil quality is an issue because the solution may not be that straightforward, and ironically, as the garden is likely to be small, small gardens need more planning than their larger counterparts.
Trees in Suburbia
Suburban gardens may already have a natural feature such as a tree in the front garden. A small tree is attractive in a small garden, however trees can be a problem. Planting or encouraging a tall tree such as a sycamore growing a few metres from the house is unwise. Tall trees are probably best removed as soon as possible. It is quite possible to utilise the space in a front garden in a more effective way than growing trees. The space in a front garden can be used for parking and also made to look attractive. The hard surfaces on which cars can be parked are no longer limited to black tarmac or a layer of concrete. Instead there are a range of materials that can be used to make this area look attractive and complementary to the rest of the garden. The rest of the garden can either be similarly covered and any turf removed and planted with small trees and shrubbery and/or a container garden might be established in place of a lawn.
This is ideal for people who lead busy lives and have little time to maintain a garden. People with children may want to consider other options, such as utilising the space for parking as a play area when it is not being used by the cars. There are more opportunities now to be creative with a front garden and it is a good idea to look at the designs and materials available before making quick decisions.
Multi-Use Suburban Back Gardens
The suburban back garden is more complex than the front garden because it is expected to have a greater number of uses. The back garden is generally more private and enclosed and therefore can be used for the purpose of storage, edible gardening, flower gardening, play area, dining area, entertainment area, work and relaxation area. There are more demands on the back than the front garden. The key to small back gardens is ensure that the same space responds to the differing needs of users at different times. It is quite possible, for example, to have a patio or decking built immediately behind the house, extending it. This decking can be used for entertainment and dining al fresco with the addition of some furniture. Furniture with storage space can also be built in to the garden and seating can be integrated into a feature. A few cushions and other soft furnishings can be used to make a patio with table and chairs a relaxation area at the weekend whereas the same table and chairs can be used as a work space. It is important to remember that when adding decking or a patio that it is not out of proportion with the rest of the garden. This is an easy mistake to make as many suburban gardeners redesign their gardens piece by piece and are not looking at the whole. Drawings of the garden also do not reflect the finished three dimensional garden well. It is thus worth considering employing a designer who can ensure correct proportions and accuracy in the design for the front and back garden.
|Further Essex garden design - suburban information|
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