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Minimalist gardens are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in those gardens located in and around London.

We find, here at Floral and Hardy, customers are looking for low maintenance gardens in which they can entertain and relax.

After all, if you’ve got a busy job, have a family to look after and a house to run, sometimes a garden can be just a bit too much to handle if it is not easy enough to look after.

We design minimalist gardens to become “The room outdoors” of your home.

But what makes up a minimalist garden and how can you be sure to design one?

Take the following quiz to see if you have what it takes to design a minimalist garden:

 

You need a focal point for your garden, do you choose?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A wildflower area
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] A metallic statue
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"1"}] A pond
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There is a little extra space in the garden once taking away the original fence. Do you…
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Plant various shrubs in the space
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"1"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Start your own vegetable garden
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] Create a relaxing area to sit in
Continue >>
The most important feature of your garden is…
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] The BBQ
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"1"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] The beautiful tree at the end of the garden
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] The huge variety of plants in the garden borders
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The overall look of your garden will…
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Have a very natural, floral aesthetic
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] Have clear cut lines between the lawn, patio and flower bed borders
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Emphasise the size of the garden
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Which would you pick for your family minimalist garden out of the following:
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A climbing frame
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] A trampoline hidden under the lawn
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"1"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A sand pit
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What would be the garden’s primary purpose?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A natural environment for wildlife
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] A space to dine, entertain and relax
Continue >>
Which of the following would you NOT include in your minimalist garden?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A dining area
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"1"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] A paddling pool
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] An area for fruit trees
Continue >>
Would you lay an artificial lawn?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] Yes
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] No
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"1"}] Maybe in a small area
Continue >>
What materials will you mainly choose to use in your garden?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"1"}] Rocks for a rockery
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Sandstone
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] Porcelain, granite and limestone
Continue >>
How would you best describe the shrubs in your garden design?
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"2"}] Neat and well-trimmed, strict at the borders
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"2"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"1"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"0"}] Very natural looking and slightly overgrown
[{"title":"Stick to the day job!","points":"0"},{"title":"Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.","points":"2"},{"title":"Join the team at Floral and Hardy!","points":"1"}] Brightly coloured
Continue >>
Do you have what it takes to design a perfect minimalist garden?
Stick to the day job!
You’re not aware of many features that are required in a minimalist garden, therefore, you may need to carry out further research on what constitutes a minimalist garden before getting out the drawing pad.

Share your Results :

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Do you have what it takes to design a perfect minimalist garden?
Your minimalist garden planning has got potential.
You are familiar with most of the elements required to create an effective minimalist garden and know how to put a garden to use in a minimalistic sense. You can design a garden that does not require huge maintenance, whilst keeping the area interesting and with a modern theme.

Share your Results :

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Do you have what it takes to design a perfect minimalist garden?
Join the team at Floral and Hardy!
You’ve got an eye for planning a minimalist garden and pay attention to the features that make-up minimalist garden types. While you’ve got a natural flow and ebb for minimalist garden design, a professional garden planner like Floral and Hardy could still help with the smaller details within the garden. For example, choosing the right plant for different shades of sunlight. A professional garden planner can also help when it comes to purchasing materials and getting the best deals for the best quality.

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Contact Floral and Hardy

Contact Floral and Hardy to enquire about our minimalist garden plans.

 

The post Do you have what it takes to design a perfect minimalist garden? appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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Whether you’re just starting a vegetable garden or have been growing your own vegetables and herbs for years, it’s important to know what, when and where to plant. With this guide, you’ll be able to grow all your favourite produce, whether you’re limited to a balcony or have a sprawling garden in the countryside.

A Month-By-Month Guide to Growing Vegetables

January

Despite it being one of the coldest months of the year, there are still several vegetables you can sow, either outdoors, in pots or in a greenhouse. For those with a nice, sunny porch, January is the perfect month to plant carrots. For early roots, make sure you scatter seeds in pots!

January is also the best month to buy seed potatoes and encourage the potatoes to sprout before planting. If you’ve ever bought a bag of potatoes and left them too long without baking or boiling them, you’ll notice tiny, green shoots growing out of them. Those are sprouts! To encourage sprouting, stack several seed potatoes on top of each other in a cool, bright place like your windowsill.

February

As spring nears (though it may still seem far away) February is a great month for planting window boxes filled with quick-to-grow herbs as well as rocket. This is also the perfect time to move your seed potatoes outside into large pots. Just make sure they’re getting plenty of sunlight.

You can look forward to flavourful sauces later in the year as February is also the perfect time to plant garlic and shallots. If you’re patient, you can also plant rhubarb now to harvest later in the summer.  

March

If winter has subsided quickly or if you’re in a warmer part of the country, you can start scattering leek seeds in March. Around the second half of the month, you can also sow cauliflower and radish.

If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry! Radishes are one of the easiest (and fastest!) vegetables to grow. They’re low maintenance and will be ready to harvest in around 4 weeks.

April

If you have pots or containers, make sure you plant beetroot in April. While it might seem premature to think about autumn, you’ll be happy you planted early as beetroot is a delicious, hearty vegetable that’s incredibly versatile to cook with.

For those planting directly in the soil in their back garden, April is the month. Get your gardening gloves ready because you’ll be able to plant brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, spinach, kale and parsnips. While you’ll certainly be busy getting your hands dirty, check back with us in April for a more detailed guide on getting your garden ready and in tip-top shape for spring.

May

 

By May, the cold days will be well behind you and you’ll be ready to plant cucumbers, peppers and aubergines in large pots in your garden or on your patio or balcony. By early May, your soil will be ready for fennel seeds and by late May, you’ll be able to plant enough herbs to stock your whole cupboard! This is the perfect time to sow coriander, dill, caraway, chives, chervil and parsley.

June

Like May, June is ideal for planting young herb plants, especially in window boxes. Not only are they a great decorative piece, but after a few months, you’ll notice the difference in your cooking as well. We recommend planting mint, rosemary, sage, thyme and tarragon, either in one large planter or several smaller pots.

By now, you’ll likely have planted most of your summer vegetables, so it’s time to plant winter cabbage, winter squash and autumn cauliflower.

July/August

As summer heats up, you’ll be reaping the benefits of all your hard work earlier in the year. July is a great month to take stock of what worked and what didn’t and to start thinking about the autumn harvest and autumn planting.

September/October

September and October are your last chance to plant winter cabbage and autumn planting onion. This is also the best time to order plug plants of overwintering salad plants. As opportunities to work in the garden diminish, take this time to tidy up your beds before it gets too cold.

November/December

To make sure your garden is as active as possible over the winter, sow plenty of onion, shallots, garlic, spring onions and pak choi. While pak choi is quick to mature and can actually be harvested throughout the winter, onions, shallots and garlic have a long growing season and will look after themselves during the winter frost.

For more month-by-month guides and top tips, follow our blog throughout the year!

The post What Vegetables to Plant When (and Where!) appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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Our Top 6 Exclusive Long Narrow Garden Ideas Revealed

Here at Floral and Hardy, we come across many people that are convinced they will never get their dream garden for various reasons. These reasons can be because the garden is too small, too narrow or does not receive enough sunlight. However, Floral and Hardy are of the opinion that you should never lose faith when it comes to your garden design and we’re confident we can produce a dream garden for every client, no matter what the garden’s shape or size.

Long narrow gardens can be particularly problematic for our customers as they’re unable to see how they can fit everything they want into limited space.

Here at Floral and Hardy though, we’re experts in garden design and are not short of long thin, garden ideas.

Here’s our top 6 exclusive long narrow garden ideas: 1. Smokin’ in Wimbledon 

                                                        

In this garden in Wimbledon, we created an angular design to give the illusion of more space. The design consists of squares and rectangles interlocked. You can see the flower bed, lawn and patio come together at angles.

To make the garden more practical, we installed an awning and, even more exciting, a bespoke smoke house! We made sure the awning was retractable to avoid any blocked lighting into the kitchen. The smoke house most definitely makes for the best BBQs ever. Jealous? We don’t blame you!

2. Sizzling in Selsdon 

                                                 

This Selsdon garden has been designed to be family-friendly and match the development within the rest of the home.

We included a classic wooden playground for the children and the garden also features gorgeous lighting so the outdoor area can be enjoyed when the sun goes down.

3. Long Thin Suburban

                                                         

We transformed this suburban garden from a rectangular lawn into a family’s paradise. The brief instructed us to make sure there was space for the children to play, as well as a dining area near the house. The client also wanted a workshop at the end of the garden.

As you can see, we really made the most of the space in this garden and the outdoor space is anything but cramped.

4. Small But Perfectly Formed

                                                          

From an ugly patio and boring square lawn, we transformed this small garden into a wonderland!

The spiral patio makes the garden totally unique and, in our opinion, a little bit magical!

5. Garden Design Carshalton

                                                        

We created this tranquil garden under the brief that it should be a relaxing space that is easy to maintain.

We included lots of evergreen shrubbery with a few colourful plants and stained the fence so it disappeared into the greenery. Good thinking!

6. Inside Out

                                                        

This long thin garden is part of an eighteenth century cottage. Before our transformation, the garden could not be used easily, however we made it a space in which the owner could entertain guests on the weekends and relax in after a busy day. We like to think of the garden as an extra (outdoor) room of the house. A contemporary oasis. Perfect.

More long narrow garden ideas from Floral and Hardy 

Please contact us if you’d like us to come and assess your long narrow garden. 

 

 

The post Our Top 6 Exclusive Long Narrow Garden Ideas Revealed appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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If you’ve been curious about growing your own vegetables and herbs but have hesitated because it’s rumoured to be time-consuming and laborious, we’ve got great news for you…it’s neither! Well, it doesn’t have to be.

While gardening is often an exercise in patience, with these 20 vegetables and herbs, you won’t have to wait very long to cook and serve up your own fresh, home-grown produce.

1. Radishes

 

 

Not only do radishes grow quickly (they’re ready to harvest just four weeks after sowing!) but they’re easy. Because of their size, they’re suitable for any size garden – yep, even a tiny balcony in the city – and, with several varieties available, they can be planted and grown throughout every season.

2. Spring Onions

 

 

If you’re nervous about growing your own vegetables, green onions are a great place to start. They’re ready to eat just 20-30 days after being planted, can grow in small, odd spaces and can even grow through autumn and winter.

 

3. Basil

 

Basil only takes 8-14 days to germinate and leaves appear just 2-3 weeks after that. Time for homemade pesto!

But, in order to get a good harvest, the soil must be at least 10° C but ideally 21+° C. What’s more, the soil should be moist and well-drained and the seeds should be planted in a location that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

4. Parsley

 

 

Used in a range of dishes from stuffing to tabouleh, parsley is a wonderful herb to grow in your garden in well-drained soil or in pots with compost. In either case, plant in early spring in the sun or partial shade. Within three weeks, your parsley will begin sprouting.

 

5. Chives

 

Not only is this perennial easy to grow, but their purple blossoms make them a welcome addition to any garden. Simply place them in the ground or in a pot in a location that allows for 4-5 hours of sunlight a day and you’ll be able to harvest just 30-60 days later.

 

6. Rocket

 

Rocket is a cool-season crop, meaning it grows best in the spring and autumn. Seeds can be planted in late winter or early spring (once the soil is neither frozen nor too wet) and the leaves can be harvested in as little as four weeks, once the leaves are about 4 inches long. But, avoid picking all the leaves so that the plant can continue to grow until it reaches full maturity, 45-60 days after planting.

 

7. Coriander

 

If planted in early spring when the soil temperature is between 13- 22° C, the seeds will germinate within 2-3 weeks and will produce leaves for harvest within four weeks. Pick the leaves by cutting entire stems when they’re ripe, just before they fall to the ground.  If the coriander is being grown for seeds, allow 45 days before harvesting.

 

8. Lettuce

 

Lettuce is widely considered one of the most care-free crops. It’s highly productive in a limited space, is virtually pest and disease free and matures in just 45-55 days. Of course, development depends on the variety, with looseleaf and butterhead taking the least amount of time and romaine taking up to 85 days. For maximum production, start your lettuce seed indoors a few weeks before the last frost date.

9. Mint

 

 


Mint grows from a seed to a mature plant in just 90 days. At this point, you can cut the mint down to one inch above the soil and, after another 1-2 months, you’ll have another plant up to two feet tall.  Because mint grows and spreads so quickly, we recommend containing it to a pot.

 

10. Spinach

 

Depending on how cold your region gets, you can plant from autumn to early spring. In either case, it’s important that you seed as soon as the soil is workable, giving the spinach a full six weeks of cool weather before harvesting.

 

11. Courgette

 

If you plant the seeds at the end of spring, allowing the plant to grow for two months in warm soil), you should be able to harvest just 42-52 days after planting. After flowering, the squash can grow up to one inch per day, meaning you can harvest later if you want a large courgette. But, don’t wait too long as it could become too seedy and therefore unpleasant to eat.

 

12. Bok Choy

 

Bok choy is considered easy to grow as it’s relatively tolerant to frost. Plant the seeds in a sunny location with good drainage between March and Mid-August and you should be able to enjoy your bok choy just 4-6 weeks later. If planted just after the last frost, you can harvest in April.

 

13. Beetroot

 

Beets can be harvested 7-8 weeks after planting, once the bulbs are between the size of a golf ball and a cricket ball. For best results, plant the seeds in well-drained or well-rotted garden compost. If you notice that your plants aren’t growing well, water them in, especially in the case of a dry spell.

14. Cucumber

 

 

Not only do cucumbers grow quickly with just 50-70 days between planting and harvesting, but at peak harvest time, you’ll be picking ‘em every few days. Best of all, they can be grown easily both indoors and outdoors in pots, in growing bags, or in the ground. Of course, this depends on the variety.

If growing indoors, plant the seeds between February and March and make sure your home (or greenhouse) stays warm. If growing outdoors, plant the seeds between May and June, depending on your region and climate.

 

15. Chervil

 

Chervil should be planted in a cool, shady position outdoors anytime between March and August. While seedlings will appear after just three weeks, it’ll take nine weeks before the herb is ready for harvest. Make sure to cut the leave before they flower though! Afterwards, they’re inedible.

 

16. Potatoes

 

Potatoes take between 70 and 120 days to grow before they’re ready to harvest. We know…this is considerably longer than the other vegetables and herbs on this list. But, they made the cut because they’re so incredibly easy to grow. Simply plant seed potatoes indoors from late winter and set them to sprout before planting outdoors between March and late April. Growing potatoes is often regarded as ‘fail-proof’ and with enough water, you’ll end up with a great harvest for roasting, mashing and boiling.

17. Oregano

 

 

When planting your oregano seeds, opt for a location that’s sunny, well-drained and moderately fertilised. Plant 6-10 weeks before the last predicted frost and within 5-10 days, you’ll see them begin sprouting. Oregano tastes best just before blooming, which is in June or July. Depending on when the final frost was, this could be 3-5 months after planting.

18. Dill

 

 


After planting dill seeds in the ground or in pots from mid-spring to mid-summer, you’ll be able to harvest 90 days later. To increase growth and delay flowering, pick young leaves regularly.

 

19. Fennel

 

Fennel should be planted in fertile, well-drained soil around the same time as the last frost. It grows best in full sun and, if conditions are right, it should germinate within 7-10 days. But, they won’t be ready to harvest until late summer or early autumn once the bulb is the size of a small tennis ball.

20. Sage

 

 


While, when grown from a seed, sage takes two years to reach mature size, it takes just three weeks for the seeds to germinate. While – yes – your patience will be tested over the course of 24 months, it will be rewarded as sage’s flavour increases as the leaves grow and its variegated form adds lovely touches of colour to any garden.

The post 20 Fastest Growing Herbs and Vegetables For Your Garden appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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Here at Floral and Hardy, we come across many people that are convinced they will never get their dream garden for various reasons. These reasons can be because the garden is too small, too narrow or does not receive enough sunlight. However, Floral and Hardy are of the opinion that you should never lose faith when it comes to your garden design and we’re confident we can produce a dream garden for every client, no matter what the garden’s shape or size.

Long narrow gardens can be particularly problematic for our customers as they’re unable to see how they can fit everything they want into limited space.

Here at Floral and Hardy though, we’re experts in garden design and are not short of long thin, garden ideas.

Here’s our top 6 exclusive long narrow garden ideas revealed:

Smokin’ in Wimbledon

In this garden in Wimbledon, we created an angular design to give the illusion of more space. The design consists of squares and rectangles interlocked. You can see the flower bed, lawn and patio come together at angles.

To make the garden more practical, we installed an awning and, even more exciting, a bespoke smoke house! We made sure the awning was retractable to avoid any blocked lighting into the kitchen. The smoke house most definitely makes for the best BBQs ever. Jealous? We don’t blame you!

Sizzling in Selsdon 

This Selsdon garden has been designed to be family-friendly and match the development within the rest of the home.

We included a classic wooden playground for the children and the garden also features gorgeous lighting so the outdoor area can be enjoyed when the sun goes down.

Long thin suburban

We transformed this suburban garden from a rectangular lawn into a family’s paradise. The brief instructed us to make sure there was space for the children to play, as well as a dining area near the house. The client also wanted a workshop at the end of the garden.

As you can see, we really made the most of the space in this garden and the outdoor space is anything but cramped.

Small but perfectly formed

From an ugly patio, boring square lawn and sparse patio, we transformed this small garden into a wonderland!

The spiral patio makes the garden totally unique and, in our opinion, a little bit magical!

Garden Design Carshalton

We created this tranquil garden under the brief that it should be a relaxing space that is easy to maintain.

We included lots of evergreen shrubbery with a few colourful plants. We stained the fence so it disappeared into the greenery. Good thinking.

Inside Out

This long thin garden is part of an eighteenth century cottage. Before our transformation, the garden could not be used easily, however we made it a space in which the owner could entertain guests on the weekends and relax in after a busy day. We like to think of the garden as an extra (outdoor) room of the house. A contemporary oasis. Perfect.

More long narrow garden ideas from Floral and Hardy

Please contact us if you’d like us to come and assess your long narrow garden. 

 

 

The post Our top 6 exclusive long narrow garden ideas revealed appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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While it can be tempting to purchase and plant flowers off the cuff, it’s not a smart option in the long-run, especially if you’re dealing with a small garden. Instead, you should take the time to create a plan. This way, the finished product will be thoughtful, cohesive, easier to maintain and more functional. Of course, it’s sure to be more visually appealing, too.

Whether you’re making a few small changes or a dramatic overhaul, use these 5 tips to help you plan your small garden layout.   

    

1. Clean Up and Take Stock!

Before you start visualising your new space, you have to consider your current space. What plants do you want to keep and which need to go? Do you have a shed that you can transform? How’s your soil? By asking these important questions before you start creating a plan, you’ll have a better idea of what is (and isn’t!) possible.

After you’ve considered what you have, get rid of what you don’t want or need and do a general tidy up. If you have existing plants, give them a good trim and clear out any weeds. Declutter your balcony. Remove broken pots or planters. Mow your grass. By cleaning up your garden, you’ll not only motivate yourself to transform it further, you’ll be able to see what you have to work with.

 

2. Determine Purpose and Theme

When dealing with a limited amount of space, you have to carefully consider who will be using the space, for what and how you want it to look overall. Think of your garden as an outdoor room and make it work for you.

If you’re an entertainer, you’ll need to organise your layout in a way that allows for a seating area and possibly even an outdoor kitchen. If you’re keen to create a space that your children can enjoy, you’ll need to find room for a trampoline or playhouse.

Once you’ve decided how you want to use your garden, it’s time for the fun part! How do you want it to look? Do you want to create a Japanese zen space to help you escape from the city? Do you want to plant a vegetable garden? Are you looking for something sleek and contemporary? Your theme will dictate what materials you use, your colour scheme and even what plants you choose to incorporate.

 

3. Make Your Plants Work For You

While (as mentioned) your theme will influence what plants you choose, there are several other factors to consider. We’ll start with the most practical. First, how much time do you have to maintain your plants? Second, how much natural sunlight do you get in your garden? These two questions will help you focus your efforts and create a garden that isn’t just beautiful, but feasible.

Next, consider how much space you have. If you don’t have a lot of space on the ground, build up! Take advantage of hanging plants, trellises and fences. If your soil isn’t up to par, build your own flower beds! These are especially great for small vegetable gardens.

Finally, use a variety of plants to create texture. Play with colour and height. If your garden is a canvas, plants are the paint! Use both horizontal and vertical planes. Consider how close together plants will be. Pay attention to symmetry (and lack thereof)!

4. Choose a Focal Point

Capture and guide visitors’ attention by creating a focal point. Since we’re talking about small gardens, bear in mind: This doesn’t have to be something large! It could be a particularly interesting plant, a pop of colour, or even a garden accessory like a mirror.

This focal point doesn’t have to be at the centre of your garden, but you should build outwards from it, effectively funneling attention towards it.

5. Link Your Spaces

Remember when we likened your garden to a series of outdoor rooms? Just like inside a home, these rooms have to be linked. But, instead of using hallways or corridors, you’ll use different materials to signal when one ‘room’ ends and another begins.

Consider using structured hedges and carefully placed pathways to create ‘openings’ that encourage exploration of your garden and keep people moving throughout it. Not only is this practical, but it will make your garden look bigger.

If you want more help planning your small garden layout, contact Floral & Hardy! We can help with everything from inspiration to design and no project is to big (or small!).

The post 5 Tips to Help You Plan a Small Garden Layout appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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If you have a small garden, it can often be the case that you feel you don’t have enough room for a patio.

You may think, if I have a patio installed, there will be no space left for greenery or that dream lawn.

However, in truth, there are many design tricks and small patio garden ideas you can rely on to help you make the most of your garden space and lay the patio so that you make the most of your garden space, even if it is a small area!

Too small for a social get together? Of course not! You might not be hosting a huge garden party, but make the most of your garden space and you’ll enjoy socialising out there in the summer evenings.

Browse the following small patio garden design ideas below. Click on the image to read the description.

Contemporary Patio Design
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A contemporary patio area, just large enough for a table and set of chairs, can create a clean, social area in your garden that can be decorated with coloured plants and pots for added interest. One of our favourite small back garden ideas! A small, square, contemporary patio is not too difficult to lay and can actually make a garden appear bigger. You can also purchase contemporary furniture to continue the clean, chic look.
Make the most of levels!
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While you may have a small garden, it may be possible to install patio at different heights. You could have a small, but ample, patio area with steps leading down to a greener garden area… While surface area may be limited, why not make the most of the depth of your garden and feature climbing plants and trellises around the patio area? You can also feature living walls to clothe vertical surfaces.
Work with the shape of the garden
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The best and most effective small garden designs work with what you do have, rather than what you don’t. If you have a fairly peculiar shape to your garden, embrace it, and design your patio to fit in with the layout of your garden. Ultimately, you want to install a patio that works with the style of the garden to make the most of the space you do have. A professional garden designer can undoubtedly design an irregularly shaped garden to be the best aesthetically it can be. Circular patios work well where space is limited, or if the garden has an awkward shape.
Make it personal!
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Just because you have a small garden, doesn’t mean it needs to be boring! A small garden design that is designed for the homeowner personally will be put to good use and will display a sense of character. In most cases, with equal potential (and sometimes with even more!) to larger gardens! Write a list of what you want from your garden and your patio. Whether it be a space to grow vegetables, a water feature, a sculpture, a deckchair…and make your small garden and patio yours!
Make the most of a chosen feature
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When your garden is very small, it is a good idea to direct attention to a certain feature in the garden. A focal point so to speak. You can design your patio, plants and other furniture around this focal point. A great trick is also to install lighting for the evenings, to add even further character to your small garden.

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If you feel limited by the size of your garden, Floral & Hardy can help! We have years of experience using architectural features, light fixtures, shady trees and built-in furniture to help our clients maximise their space.

Are you looking to create a place to entertain? Have you been wondering how you can possibly fit a vegetable garden on your tiny terrace? Maybe you want to make your garden more kid-friendly without sacrificing green space? With these 25 tips, you’ll find out how to do all of this and more in order to transform your small garden into a functional, beautifully designed outdoor oasis.  

1.Install a Sleek Water Feature

Not only do water features act as a focal point and add motion to your garden, they can also soften it and create a sense of space by reflecting light.  While some people might think only of ornate cherub water fountains with clunky bases when contemplating a water feature, we’ve used several more modern fountains in smaller gardens that take up less space. For example, you could build a fountain into an existing wall or other structure to free-up a bit of square footage.

2. Go Vertical!

No space on the ground? Take advantage of climbing plants and build UP! Trellises are an especially smart solution to limited space because they’re low-maintenance. Simply root its stakes into the dirt, ensure your flowers get enough sun and water, and watch them grow. We recommend Clematis or Honeysuckle if you’re keen to add splashes of colour to your garden. If you’re working with a more muted colour palette, opt for Ivy or Jasmine.

3. Build a Raised Deck or Patio

By building a raised deck or patio, not only will you be utilising your space, you’ll also make your garden appear larger. Take advantage of steps by strategically placing potted plants and other garden accessories like lanterns on the different levels.

4. Take Advantage of Raised Beds

Raised beds offer a solution to everything. Is your soil poor or non-existent? A raised bed can help! Looking for something low-maintenance? In one, contained space, your plants will be easy to look after. Struggling to find extra seating for house guests? The low walls of the bed are perfect to perch on. Consider adding patterned cushions to the top of the walls for a more comfortable (and stylish!) seat.

5. Customise Your Furniture to Make it Work for You

When working with a smaller space, every inch counts. Pick (or build!) practical furniture that’s multi-purpose. Storage benches could house garden tools in the summer or blankets for chilly autumn nights.  You could even build your own table with a strip of soil in the middle, perfect for small succulents. Your furniture should also fit in your space. Instead of settling on a bench that’s either slightly too big or slightly too small, spend a bit extra on something custom-made. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that it fits snuggly, is functional and matches the overall aesthetic of your garden.

6. Small Furniture for a Small Garden

With #5 in mind, you should also know that you don’t have to have furniture custom-built for it to work in you garden! If you have an especially small garden and want room for guests but don’t want to clutter your space, look for a small cafe table and fold-up chairs. If you’re working with a bohemian style, consider floor cushions and hammocks, too.

7. Breathe New Life Into Your Garden with Trees

We know what you might be thinking: My garden is too small to add trees! We can assure you that it’s not. No garden is too small for trees! Crab Apple trees, in particular the Golden Hornet, is perfect if you’re looking for a tree that doesn’t take up much space but that still offers shade and attracts wildlife.  If your garden isn’t quite big enough for a Crab Apple tree, a potted Topiary tree looks lovely, too and works well in just about every style of garden.

8. Treat Your Kids to a Sunken Trampoline or Playhouse

It can be difficult to make room for big fun in a small space. Instead of nixing the idea of a trampoline because of its size, consider a sunken trampoline. This will give your children a space to play that doesn’t interfere with the rest of the garden. From afar, you won’t even be able to see it! This works especially well in modern style gardens. Not interested in a trampoline? Small playhouses are also great for kids and are an attractive alternative to a playground.

9. Refurbish a Shed

If you have a shed (or some other garden structure) that’s an eyesore, transform it to make it work for you. A fresh coat of a paint and beautiful French Doors could make it a focal point of your garden. If you’re looking for a more involved DIY project, consider upcycling your shed and turning it into a workspace or even an outdoor kitchen.

10. Create Movement With Curved Walkways

While you might not be able to increase the square footage of your garden, you can create the illusion of more space. By adding a curved stone or gravel walkway, you’ll encourage visitors to meander around. Even if they don’t take a stroll, the walkway will add a nice, soft shape to your garden, effectively distracting from its size. Curved walkways can also help guide the placement of plants and flowers, making design a bit easier for beginners.

11. Increase Functionality with Lighting Features

Functional (and space-saving!) lighting can also transform your space. Install LED bulbs, spot lighting, or mood lighting to create drama and to change with the seasons. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden from day to night, from summer through to winter.

12. Make use of Muted Colours

If you’re painting a fence or wall, we recommend using a light colour, particularly white, beige or grey. These lighter, brighter colours will reflect light and open up the space. These more muted shades also give you more freedom when it comes to decorative accessories like cushions and make colourful flowers stand out.

13. Play with Potted Plants

We’ve already mentioned that potted plants can be used on shelves and on the steps of a raised deck or patio. Really, they can – and should! – be used throughout your garden. To add structure to your garden, consider Topiary, or, for something low-maintenance but beautiful, Nepeta is a great choice. Potted plants can even be used to create a makeshift (and moveable) privacy wall.

14. Add Structure with Greenary

Geometric lines help make your garden look uncluttered and modern. Without room for furniture or other architectural features, instead use shrubs and other greenery to streamline the look of your garden and make it appear larger. Draw inspiration from French style gardens and play with strong shapes and unique designs to create something eye-catching. Boxwood, Evergreen shrubs and Red Hot Pokers are all perfect for creating landscaped borders that’ll add dimension to your outdoor space.

15. Get Creative with Difficult Spaces

Even if your garden is sloped, you can still turn it into a functional space with stone steps. Create a beautiful walkway or install large slabs of modern concrete to create a dining area for adults or play area for the kids.

16. Create the Illusion of More Space with Mirrors

We’re sure you’ve heard of restaurants using mirrors to make their indoor space look larger. Why not apply this principle outside in your garden? Use a sturdy brick wall or shelf to hang a mirror that matches the style of your garden. This is especially effective if the mirror is located near a dining or sitting area. Make sure you’ve placed colourful flowers or structured plants across from the mirror so that your family and friends can enjoy a beautiful reflection of your garden.

17. Install Heaters to be Enjoyed Year-Round

In order to transform your outdoor space, functionality is key. While we’ve talked a lot about maximising space, creating a space that can be enjoyed year-round is important, too. With England’s fickle weather, heaters will certainly help keep you and your guests comfortable even during autumn and winter. Instead of using large gas heaters, instead have smaller heaters mounted to a wall so that they don’t take up valuable space.

18. Hang Planters From the Ceiling

Source: Pinterest

If you have any sort of overhead structure, take advantage of it! Hanging planters are low-maintenance and will create another level of interest in your garden. Hanging plants are especially attractive because the baskets are just as beautiful as the flowers themselves. Use unexpected household items like colanders for something quirky or place several succulents in a birdcage to complement a chic, country style garden.

19. Add Texture and Dimension

It’s important to create a dynamic, interesting space in order to detract from your garden’s limited size. To do this, use a variety of materials, flowers, plants and pots. A smooth garden walkway can be juxtaposed by a course brick wall. A waxy succulent stands out next to flowering perennials. Mix and match rocks and decorative coloured stones. Even less noticeable features like pots and planters can contribute to the overall look and feel of your garden.

20. Work With Low-Maintenance Materials

Small gardens are naturally easier to maintain than large, sprawling properties. Make your life easy by working with low-maintenance materials and plants. In particular, we suggest artificial turf instead of grass, climbing plants like Ivy that don’t need too much water and that are easy to plant, and Needle Grasses that add texture to your garden but are easy to maintain.

21. Take Advantage of a Rooftop Garden

If you have a rooftop garden, it’s likely small. But, it’s also sure to offer stunning views. In order to maximise your space, use sleek, modern materials like stainless steel and glass. The glass, like mirrors, will naturally make the space feel larger and let you see the surrounding city or countryside without obstruction.

22. Window Boxes, Window Boxes, Window Boxes

Source: Home Depot

With a small space, it’s important to make use of every nook and cranny. While window boxes are great strictly for aesthetic purposes, they can also be used to transform a modern garden into a functional (albeit small) vegetable garden. You can even grow herbs and fruits! Strawberries, radishes, aloe and sage grow especially well in window boxes and dinner guests will be impressed with your use of fresh ingredients.

23. Create a Focal Point

By creating a focal point in your garden, you’ll draw and direct the eye. This is especially difficult in a small garden because you don’t want to sacrifice all of your space on one feature. What’s more, there likely isn’t room for a too-large water feature or Weeping Willow. Instead, get creative! Use a pop of colour as a focal point or create conversation around a strikingly unusual plant or flower. Bear in mind that your focal point shouldn’t be an afterthought. In order to create a cohesive, smart space, consider your focal point early on in the planning process.

24. Use a Fence For More Than Just Privacy

While we all know what a fence is traditionally used for, why not use it to creatively display potted plants, lights or to create a green wall with a set of vertical pockets?

25. Spend Time Planning

Last but not least, make sure you spend time planning. Even in a small garden, there is a lot to consider. Start by choosing plants that you feel comfortable maintaining and that will thrive in your regional climate. Ensure you choose a variety of plants and flowers that work well with your design theme and that complement any existing structures. Finally, envision how your space will be used and by who to create a garden that flows naturally and practically.  

While small gardens might present a challenge, relish in it instead of being discouraged. Use these 25 tips to help inspire you to create a garden that works for you.

If you want to find out more about maximising space, increasing functionality and transforming your small garden, contact us or check..

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Green space, especially in a city, is incredibly limited. If you’ve found a home, flat or townhouse with a garden, whether that be a rooftop garden, back garden, or even a small terrace, you should count yourself as lucky. But, now that you have one, you might be at a loss in terms of design. At Floral & Hardy, we know that there’s a lot to consider.

Before you can even think about the layout of your garden and what plants and flowers you want to incorporate, you’ll have to take into account the size of your garden, proximity to neighbours, and what purpose you want your space to serve.

To help inspire you, we’ve put together city garden ideas for everyone, from the entertainer to the urban farmer.

1. Ensure Everyone Has a Seat

Especially if you’re keen to host dinner parties and other functions in your city garden, it’s important that everyone has a place to sit. With larger gardens, this will be a bit easier. Opt for built-in benches and other customised furniture that makes use of all the space you have. If you have a smaller garden, you’ll have to get a bit more creative. Use fold-up chairs and floor cushions that can be easily moved and stored to free up space when they aren’t being used. Also consider a multi-purpose feature like a raised garden bed. Not only are these great in terms of growing plants and flowers, the low walls of the garden bed are a great place for guests to sit.

2. Grow Your Own Vegetables

Source: Good Housekeeping

Just because you live in a city, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy farm fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. How you choose to grow your veg depends on how much space you have. With a ceiling structure or mounted hooks, you can plant strawberries, tomatoes and mint in hanging baskets. Just make sure you poke holes at the bottom of your containers to ensure the baskets drain well.

No ceiling or wall to mount on? Build small window boxes filled with fresh herbs, especially if you’re limited to a terrace. With a larger back garden, build a raised garden bed. While raised garden beds can grow just about anything, we recommend root vegetables, leafy greens and onions.

3. Bring the Inside, Outside

Whether you have glass doors that open up onto a terrace or a traditional back garden, it’s easy to bring the inside, outside. Again, you’ll have to think about what function you want your garden to serve. If you envision preparing dinners throughout the summer, plan an outdoor kitchen. If you’d rather create a space to relax, create a comfortable seating area. In either case, make sure you install outdoor heaters so that your space can be enjoyed year-round. Draw inspiration from your home to create cohesive spaces that naturally flow, one into the other.

4. Keep Your Space Private

While planning permissions might be required to erect permanent structures that will screen your space, trees, hedges and Topiary plants can be used to surround your garden. Not only will your space feel private and cosy, the greenery will add texture and layers to your space, making it look larger. If you’d rather build up, consider using a trellis or two, or a ‘living wall’ to separate your garden from your neighbours.

5. Choose a Design Aesthetic

City gardens don’t have to be modern. Instead (as we mentioned in #3) your garden should complement the existing style of your home. Choose materials that represent a clear point of view. If you do opt for a modern garden, use stainless steel, glass and artificial turf. For a Japanese style garden, incorporate water features, stone pathways and zen spaces that create the feeling of a tranquil place that’s outside of the city. For a cottage style garden, make use of wildflowers and quirky, unexpected planters like wellington boots!

For more City Garden inspiration, check out our Floral & Hardy’s portfolio here or get in touch with us today.

The post 5 Tips to Inspire Your City Garden appeared first on Floral & Hardy.

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While some people love nothing more than a neatly mowed lawn and clear flower borders with a neat and prim designed area, others love nothing more than an exotic garden, in which you can step out and feel as if you’re venturing into another world!

What’s more, a Jungle look garden can be a quick and straight-forward means of re-dressing a slightly overgrown (and perhaps a little chaotic) garden.

Whether you’ve got a wild garden that needs honing or want to add a bit of life to a sparse looking outdoor space, giving your garden the Jungle look makeover can transform it into a tropical paradise!

Here’s 5 plants that will give your garden the Jungle look:

Bamboo
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Bamboo looks exotic and is easy to maintain. It grows quickly and looks beautiful in many gardens, particularly when it is fully grown. Bamboo is a fairly hardy plant and has become a versatile choice of plant for UK gardens, specifically tropical and jungle-themed gardens. While bamboo requires little effort to maintain, it is best planted in full sun, in moist and well-drained soil. It is worth opting for a non-invasive variety of bamboo, such as clumping bamboo, to prevent the plant taking over an area. Be sure to check that the bamboo you buy is non-invasive at the time of purchase. When you first plant your bamboo it is good practice to dig a hole twice as big as the bamboo root ball and then fill the hole loosely with soil. It can be helpful to provide the bamboo with a hint of shade when it is newly planted. You will need to water the bamboo weekly with about one inch of water.
Fern
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While you may think that ferns may be reserved for wild woodland and forests, they can look excellent in a domestic garden and will genuinely add to the Jungle look of your outdoor space! There are many varieties of hardy fern that can be planted in the garden. However, here at Floral and Hardy, we recommend the Southern maidenhair fern. This particular fern has a soft and elegant appearance despite being able to grow in many different types of soil, including acidic soil, and can also be grown in rockeries. They will, of course, need watering in dryer and warmer months.
Mahonia
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Mahonia are large, evergreen shrubs, sometimes featuring yellow flowers and black or purple berries. Mahonias should be planted in moist soil and can survive in both sun and shade.
Hosta
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The Hosta is another type of evergreen plant that works well alongside ferns and mahonia in a jungle-themed garden. We recommend the “Yellow River” Hosta, here at Floral and Hardy. It is also called a “Plantain Lily”. The leaves are large and dark, and have a light green edge. The plants must be planted in well-drained soil. They will grow in sun and shade. The Yellow River Hosta is hardy and needs regular watering. It also attracts bees.
Fuchsia
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Nestling some Fuchsias in the border of your garden can add a touch of colour into the wild and green Jungle look for even more taste of the tropics. Our favourite type of Fuchsia for a Jungle-themed garden is the “Mrs Popple” Fuchsia. Its pink and purple flowers can definitely add the wow-factor to your Jungle garden. Suited to summer months, Fuchsias are best planted in a sheltered spot with moist, well-drained soil. Partial shade is important for the Fuchsia too.

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