WE’VE never been more aware of a garden’s value to mind and body than over the last two years when it took its rightful place as the haven of a home.

Now Richard Lewin, commercial director of Chester-based landscapers Landstruction, and lead gardener at Redrow’s latest development in the city, has shared his top tips for getting the most out of your ‘fifth room’.

“Planning is essential and there are so many things to consider before you even lift a spade or lay a paving stone,” said Richard, who has created the show home gardens and external landscaping at the Kings Moat Garden Village development, on Wrexham Road.

“Taking account of where the sun will be, and which areas are shaded in your garden, plays a big part. It will dictate what to plant where and where to place your seating areas. It’s important there is a theme, some cohesion to what you are planning, otherwise it will look disjointed and a mishmash.”

Often overlooked, it’s also very important to check the soil in your garden, to ensure it has the right nutrients. If it contains clay, or sand, you may need to add to it, because it plays a part in drainage,” said Richard.

“Planting doesn’t have to be just about colours of flowers, but contrast in textures and sizes of leaves and contrasting greens is also a great way to create interest in your garden,” Richard adds.

“Topiary can add instant structure and form to the garden. Maturity of plants can have a huge impact. If you are willing to wait a while, you can buy small and let grow, or if you are more impatient, and have a bigger budget, you can buy larger, more established plants.

“We also like to add hedging to offer screening and privacy, along with strategically placed trees. By providing a mix of habitats wildlife will really flock to your garden.”

Richard advises that regular maintenance plays a big part in a garden’s establishment and success.  He recommends using a natural fertiliser such as seaweed extract to provide the necessary nutrients for plants.

He adds: “Larger, mature plants need a lot of water during the summer months, so irrigation of sufficient water is fundamental. Cutting back at the right time is also important for regrowth and covering fragile plants protects them from frost.”

Ensuring a seamless flow of your style from indoor to out is paramount when it comes to creating a contemporary and seamless garden landscape.

Alysha Alli, head of Redrow’s in-house interior design team, has plenty of outdoor living space ideas: “We love to design outdoor pieces that flow and complement our incredible show homes.

“We specify beautiful garden furniture including outdoor sofas and chairs that are harmonious to our interior design.

“Oversized lanterns, woven style candle holders and collections of clay and ceramic pots can look great grouped together around seating areas to create the ‘inside out’ look.”

Not only does it help you spend more time outdoors, gardening can also help you appreciate and support wildlife and encourage it to visit.

Whether your garden is large or small, it is part of a wider, living landscape which links urban green spaces with the wider countryside.

Choosing nectar-rich plants are invaluable to bees and butterflies, certain plants can provide food for birds, creating a pond will attract everything from frogs, toads and newts to birds, and growing a native hedge can provide nectar and pollen, berries and nuts, caterpillar food plants and shelter for nesting birds.

Nicola Johansen, Redrow’s group sustainability manager, added: “Gardening is great for helping us to feel connected with the world around us and the changing seasons, which can also help us accept the changing nature of life and prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

“Gardening is often an act of nurture – which is also good for us, and it’s been found that contact with soil can even increase serotonin levels – the ‘happy hormone’, while dopamine levels are said to increase when we participate in ‘green’ activities.”

For further tips on how to design a garden or advice on what to plant where, visit Redrow’s New Homes Podcast.

For more information on the homes at Kings Moat Garden Village visit Roman Green, Kings Moat Garden Village in Chester | Redrow


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