Light and the surroundings should be the two main details to inspire a garden design according to Amanda Patton.
The avid illustrator turned garden designer is founder of Amanda Patton Garden Design & Planting and met up with housefixer.co.uk to discuss how to style a garden.
“Take nature as a starting point,” Ms Patton said.
“It is 100 per cent about the natural surroundings and where your eye goes.”
Normally garden owners have one of two views; an urban city where neighbours overlook your small patch of grass, or a rural view with green fields abounding.
Ms Patton has the top design tips for both of these spaces.
“If you are rural and you have lovely views, blur the boundary of the garden so it melts into one view,” she said.
This can be done by gradually planting a mix of garden and meadow plants such as grasses like stipa gigantean.
“If you live in the city and have buildings overlooking, you need to keep the eye inside the garden,” she said.
The remedy for this is a circular garden in the middle of the space or another similar feature which will draw attention away from surrounding buildings and onto that focus point.
In fact Ms Patton believes garden design comes down to how we read or look at our space.
She said most people will look at a garden from left to right and any plant or garden bed that breaks up that line of vision is like reading a full stop.
Like vector lines in a picture if we stop on a tall plant our eye will be drawn up towards the sky and surrounding view.
If it is a small garden bed we will of course be drawn down and then continue our reading pattern to the right.
One of the most common mistakes people make in garden design is starting from the outside in, lining fences with beds that draw our eye along and to the empty back fence.
“Ignore boundaries,” she said.
“Use the proportion and lines of the house and draw out rather than from the edges in.”
This is good advice from someone who considers drawing second nature.
Ms Patton only made the move from illustrator to garden designer when she had an “epiphany” on viewing her friend’s garden.
“I was brought up with the view that gardening was house work outdoors,” she said.
“My friend asked me over to see her garden and when she opened the doors I had never seen anything like it.
“Suddenly there was colour, texture, movement and I thought ‘I need to know how to do this’.”
The move paid off, with more than 120 garden designs to her name and a successful business.
She is also appearing as a guest speaker at the Spirit of Summer Fair in London from May 16 to 19.
She will be talking about tone, texture and planting for those keen to try garden design at home.
The key points she bestows on all gardeners are; choose a style and stick to it with discipline, provide good foundations and escape the traditional boundaries of blocked colours and fencing.
“Design in the three dimensions,” she said.
“Even if you have to walk through the garden in your mind and at each point think what will I be looking at because you will end up with a better design.”