Garden Makeover

 

WIN A GRAND FOR YOUR GARDEN IS BACK!

Does your garden need a facelift?
Do you have a compelling garden story to tell?
To earn the chance to win £1,000 towards improving your outdoor space, read on!

This month MyBuilder.com is launching an exciting Garden Makeover Competition. All you have to do is make a compelling case for your renovation by taking a photo of yourself in your garden and uploading it, along with with your story. Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words and the most persuasive post wins!

In 2013 we ran the competition in which recent stroke victim Jon Mason struck a chord with voters, beating over 200 entries by getting 765 votes to win a dream makeover. He describes his garden transformation as life changing and hopes it has a similar impact for this years winner. So does he have any tips? Simply enter and “encourage friends to share and vote… I’ve never won anything before, so if I can win, anyone can!”

jon mason garden makeover

BUT what might £1,000 of work in the garden look like for you?
To help you envisage what’s possible we asked one of our experts, Paul Lockwood of Mulberry Cottage Gardens in Hertfordshire to give us an idea. Paul opted for a Mediterranean feel, basing his costs on a 30sqm garden, the size of the average urban backyard. Instead of using traditional hedging that takes a lot of maintenance, Paul creates formal beds more simply and cost effectively:

“The theme is a raised Italian scented garden. Most people these days want to keep things simple within the garden and keep watering down…so keep the garden under budget and effective by using new pine sleepers for around £20 each (there are deals to be had on bulk buys). You can then create raised beds to any size you require.”

Paul’s design is a work-in-progress but his pictures give you a good idea of how the finished space could look. It’s a perfect solution for smaller city gardens: low maintenance but rich in texture and smell. But as Paul points out, it can work equally well in larger gardens, where you might fancy creating a distinct area that has a character of its own.

“You can create tiers and change levels with this approach which sometimes is much needed in the garden… Be sure to mulch the whole of the beds with well rotted manure for nourishment and moisture retention though.”

Italian Renaissance style gardens are all about balance, order and harmony, so there are a few rules to observe when you are structuring a garden like this, something Paul has tried to reflect without breaking the budget:

“Planting needs to be kept formal but interesting, using lots of scented herbs such as Lavender Dentata, Thyme and Rosemary, which are usually the main backbone to any Italian or Provencal scented garden. Keep the hardy herbs in formal lines at the front of the beds, then backplant with multi-stemmed sweet bay and in-between plant Hydrangea Annabelle or Hydrangea Quercifolia for lovely summer long white blooms.”

Paul’s Italian garden will be subtle in colour, but will smell delicious. Because it doesn’t require hours of hard labour, it’ll give you plenty of chance to kick back and enjoy just sitting outdoors. The formal layout means the garden has a naturally confident, elegant feel, which is just what Paul is aiming for:

“Be sure to create at least two main feature square-shaped beds to show off a couple of specimen trees…. obviously an Olea ’Olive’ here and there. Try to underplant the specimen trees with topiary Buxus (Box) cones and balls and add a few Allium bulbs to show off their purple hue against the different shades of greens and silvers.”

So if you fancy spending the Summer sitting in a scented Italian Haven, post your garden story with a picture of you in your garden.

 

Mulberry Cottage Gardens’ ITALIAN GARDEN

  • Materials: 15/18 sleepers and Timberlock screws – £340
  • Soil and mulch for beds – £120
  • Planting – £540
  • TOTAL: £1000