Garden design, what to plant and how to impart your own style on your outside space can be a difficult job so we caught up with garden expert James Alexander-Sinclair to get some tips.
The garden guru said there are three main design elements to keep in mind.
“The style of house, the surroundings and, most importantly, the way the people live,” he said.
Take into account if you have children or dogs, are very busy and want something low maintenance, do you entertain regularly, or do you like gardening on the weekends.
Mr Alexander-Sinclair said taking into account these three steps is a fool proof method to good garden design.
When we asked him what common mistake people made when designing their garden his answer was simple.
“Not paying attention to any of the above,” he said.
“Plant knowledge is pretty important but it is mostly common sense and checking in a book or on the internet.”
He also suggests mapping out the garden to identify which areas are shady, sunny, wet and dry to avoid planting certain species in the wrong location.
“If you plant a tree check how big it will grow,” he said.
“Be bold, the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work and you have to dig it up and buy a new one.”
When it comes to the garden guru’s own backyard he likes to change his plants regularly and fills every area with plants.
“I like spending time there because it is, I think, very lovely,” he said.
His final tip is to always choose a beautiful focal point for the space and direct the eyes towards it.
These are just some of the topics he will be covering at the Grand Designs Live show.
“We will be helping visitors to design their gardens, deal with problems and make people realise how rewarding gardening can be,” he said.
“I am also giving two lectures one, with my friend Cleve West, about growing food.”
James Alexander Sinclair will be in the Garden Design Studio at Grand Designs Live in London which runs from May 5 to 13 at ExCel, Docklands.
For more details about the event visit the Grand Designs Live website.