Where do you start with designing your dream garden? It might seem a daunting process at first, but actually it’s really exciting! If you came to me for a consultation, these are some of the questions I would ask you and some of the things we would talk about.

Planting Plan
  1. What would you ideally use your garden for? Are you hoping to sit out in the evenings, for example, or are you more likely to have breakfast or morning coffee outside?

Do you have a hankering to grow alpines, vegetables, or is it that you simply want an attractive green space to look out onto from the house window?

Thinking about these questions will help realise a thoughtful garden design that suits you and is tailored specifically to your needs and desires. 

  1. Realistically, all good intentions to one side, how much time will you have available to devote to ‘doing’ the garden? This bit is quite important, as if you go ahead with a Clodhopper Blooms garden design, together we will produce a garden care schedule. This is so you know what to do when in the garden, and aren’t overwhelmed if you are new to gardening.

It’s also fine to start with a really simple garden that you can add to and develop over time. You might find that you want to spend more and more time in the garden – gardening is addictive you know! There is also the possibility of hiring a gardener to do all, or some of the care for you.

  1. What do you like about the existing garden or space? Is there anything you would like to keep? This could be anything from the view out of your garden, to a shrub, tree, or something structural such as a raised bed or archway. Maybe there is nothing, and then we can start totally from scratch. 

Finally, the technical stuff…..

  1. What is the soil type? I can arrange samples to be tested to determine if the soil in your plot soil is acidic or alkaline; this is important and will determine what sort of plants will grow best in your garden. We will look at the soil composition; is it sandy, clay, prone to waterlogging, or building rubble left from the construction of the house.
  1. Your budget – how much do you have to spend, and are you wanting to carry out any of the work yourself, either to save money, or because you have the skills, or would you rather hire a contractor and have the work done for you. 

So, these are just a couple of the basic questions to help you think planning that dream garden. Further things to consider might include: where does the sunshine illuminate, how much shade is there, what colours do you like, favourite plants, etc. There’s so much to talk about and it’s such an exciting journey from start to finish.

I’m midway through redesigning and planting my own front garden; asking myself and my husband all those questions, drawing the plans etc. Currently the plants are on order, (lots of bareroot perennials as it’s winter) and am so looking forward to when the weather gets milder and I can start on the digging! 

Illustration of the front garden design

If you would like a friendly chat about the possibility of a garden design, feel free to email me or call me frances@clodhopperblooms.co.uk or 017683 71006. I always welcome a chat about gardens and plants!

I live in Cumbria, but am happy to travel. Pandemics permitting!

Read more about my garden design services here 

Written by


Flower Grower/Florist and Garden Designer based in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria UK