low maintenance garden design Michael John McGarr

Low-maintenance garden design- experiments, developments and lessons in outdoor living.

by Michael John McGarr The first question that many clients ask me on that very first consultation meeting is can I design a beautiful garden that will stay beautiful? How do I create a high-spec luxury outdoor living space that is really and truly low maintenance? My contemporary outdoor living spaces are actually naturally low-maintenance. I would not design a stunning space and then tell you that the huge lawn needs mowing twice a week and you need to hand-weed dandelions out of it (who could be bothered to do that?!). I won't leave you with swathes of bedding plants that need to

Read More

RHS gold – what does it mean?

by Michael John McGarr The quest for RHS gold is a long and arduous one, and one which is all too familiar to myself. Our gold medal achievement at RHS Tatton 2017 for the futuristic garden design '2101' was a triumph, which took almost a year to plan and just a few short weeks to execute on the ground. Scars, blood and a descent into alcoholism were just some of the by-products of achieving an accolade on the highest stage of one's industry. Overnight success? The myth of the overnight success is prevalent across all industries. The winner holds up the awards for the cameras

Read More
Warnes McGarr & co award winning garden design

Six ways you can help the environment in your garden

by Michael McGarr Environmental issues are top of the news agenda at the moment, and the recent State of Nature report really hammered home how perilously the UK's fragile ecology was faring. This article I read on the BBC stated that: - In the UK, one in seven species are threatened with extinction - 41% of UK species specified have declined since 1970. - one in five plants are at risk of extinction - wildflowers have been lost at the rate of one species per year since the 1950s. These facts and figures are horrifying and I just hope that our Government will take heed of this

Read More
Warnes McGarr & Co garden design

Five things to consider before redesigning your garden

When it comes to garden design, planning should take place during the colder months to allow the greatest reward in terms of enjoying the garden during the hottest months of the year," says Michael John McGarr, director and garden designer at Warnes McGarr & Co. Spring is a season full of potential for both the plants about to spring to life in your garden, but also for homeowners to lay the seeds of their garden design planning ideas. The arrival of spring also means that summer is just around the corner, so take the time now to really think about how you want

Read More

Landscape Design Survey for Wildlife.

By Michael John McGarr A landscape design survey for wildlife shouldn't just be an exercise in measuring the site backwards and forwards, anyone with a laser level can accurately achieve this task. The key to creating a garden design that is beneficial to wildlife is to understand the current site conditions on a deeper level. More often than not wildlife is abundant on sites that have either been neglected or mismanaged for any length of time. Ironically the biggest danger to existing wildlife is the potential threat of further construction and development.  The onus is then on the landscape designer to cushion the effects

Read More

New Ideas : New Materials in Landscape Architecture.

So it begins! It was great to get on the "big train to the big smoke" on Monday.  As I dragged my suitcase through the streets of Wigan towards the train station, my usual penchant for garden design observation kicked in.  I began to take in the good, and not so good gardens and landscape architecture within the public spaces around town.  I needn't have been too concerned with this, as what lay in store for me was something far more exciting. The London College of Garden Design are hosting the "Spring Info Burst : New Ideas : New materials"  

Read More

Houzz awards 2019 – Award Winning Landscape Design.

Houzz Awards 2019 - Warnes McGarr & Co. - Award Winning Landscape Design. Awarded by the community of over 40 million monthly users, annual BOH badge highlights home renovation & design professionals with Top ratings and most popular home designs  "Warnes - McGarr & Co. of  Wigan has won “Best Of Design ” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The multi award winning landscape design and build company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, renovating and design industry professionals. The Best Of Houzz is

Read More

Garden lighting in landscape design

By Michael John McGarr Garden lighting in landscape design. Garden lighting in landscape design is extremely important and it is often an afterthought for most clients. However, we encourage them to think about lighting early on. In our British climate, our garden is viewed most of the year from the interior of the property so it is paramount that lighting is effective. This is particularly poignant in winter when shorter days render lighting the most effective feature within a garden. It always make me smile when clients use their garden lighting systems to wow guests at winter dinner parties. It never occurred to them that they would be

Read More

Sketchup for landscape design.

By Robert Warnes. Sketchup for Landscape design. I have done quite some reading recently on established landscape design principles and conventions, but rarely have I come across anything detailing the specific method and workflow we employ as a company of designers to achieve our garden designs. There will be many garden design purists out there who firmly believe that in order to effectively design it is essential to be able to put pencil to paper and physically draw the garden. I disagree. I am unfortunately not blessed with talent or skill to do this. I do feel however this obstacle can be overcome by

Read More