Practical & Beautiful

Practicality and functionality are essential elements of garden design, however beautiful a garden may appear, if it doesn’t work as a useful space then it loses its appeal and becomes irritating rather than pleasurable. This applies to many aspects of the garden, such as path widths, pergola heights, correctly sited seating areas etc. With these and many other considerations addressed by an experienced designer the garden feels ‘right’ and we can’t quite put a finger on why. This again comes down to consideration and attention to detail; it is fairly straightforward to visualise the bigger picture but the underlying small details are the ones that produce an excellent garden and not just a ‘nice’ garden.

A good garden design will produce a space that flows when you move through it and encourages you to appreciate the whole space, from large open lawned areas to small, intimate corners. Not only will the space work as a whole but the individual elements will have been considered to bring moments of beauty and surprise. A garden should be designed to last and improve with age, so quality of materials and design is paramount. If something is well designed and well built, we appreciate it much more and will instinctively want to look after it and preserve its beauty.

A drain is not the most exciting detail, but a necessary one, and this picture shows how some thought can produce something practical and beautiful. The design and materials used has turned a mundane object in to an interesting detail. This is in a stone retreat on the Isle of Skye built by dry stone waller Andrew Loudon. www.drystone-walling.co.uk .

I will endeavour to gather together some interesting garden design details and I will be out and about in the gardens of Cheshire to see what I can unearth.