Outdoor living space

Plan and design your outside living space ready for spring

Although many of us do not spend time in the garden during the winter months it is the ideal time to start planning and designing any changes you want to do in the garden ready to start the physical work in early spring.

At the planning stage the first thing to do is to draw out a plan of the outdoor space with any features that you want to keep such as solid structures like walls and trees and plants that you like. Once this is done it is time to think about the features you want to include in the new garden. Think about whether you want a lawned area in the space and whether you want a patio area. There will be choices to make about the patio such as whether to use slabs or decking and this will be down to personal preference.

It is also important at this stage in the design process to think about how the outside space is going to be used. Do you and your family enjoy eating outside during the warmer months? If the answer to this question is yes, then think about having a table and chairs set that you can sit at to eat your meals instead of having to balance them on your lap. If on the other hand you prefer to sit out in the evenings with a drink to relax then garden furniture sets that include sofas and coffee tables may be more suited to you and your guests. You may want to incorporate some seating around the garden that is fixed such as benches or walled seating. This can be made more comfortable by removeable cushions and throws.

Most of us appreciated the sound of running water in a garden as it is always a lovely sound to hear when relaxing in the garden. Installing a pond or water feature is a relatively easy thing to do and even if you have a small garden a small water feature can bring a sense of calm and serenity to a seating area.

Once all the main features of the garden are in place it will be time to decide on the plants and shrubs you want in the new garden. Plants are an important part of any outdoor living area so plan to have colourful, sweet-smelling flowers near seating areas. Shrubs and trees will take time to get established but will provide interest and shade in your garden for years to come.