As former musicians, who still play in their spare time, garden and landscape designers Michael and Rob like bringing their rock and roll approach to re-designing their clients’ outdoor living spaces.
By Michael McGarr
As a qualified garden designer and ecologist, I believe our outdoor living spaces should do five things. These are:
- – Take no effort to look after
- – Encourage wildlife
- – Produce food
- – Look amazing
- – Be an extension of your indoor living space and style
This is my starting point for working with clients and for taking a look at how they want to use their space. This might sound a lot to ask, but is perfectly achievable with a little thought.
To me, it’s the perfect combination of enjoying your garden as much as possible, but also appreciating that we have to share the outdoor world with wildlife.
From chatting to many potential clients over the years, I’ve found that often people have made the same mistakes with their gardens, or their approach to re-designing their garden.
- – Thinking you need a lawn – think again!
- – Thinking gardens are difficult to look after
- – Thinking you can only use your outdoor space when its warm outside
- – Thinking your garden is not really a part of the interior of the house
- – Thinking gardening is for Doris and Uncle Albert
- – Thinking you need a large garden to enjoy it – not true!
Often clients can be pretty downbeat about their gardens and how they use them. They might have tried to plant it themselves, or re-design the space and are not happy with it. They might have employed a local gardener who lopped the heads off all their flowering plants – this does happen. They might have employed a cheap landscaper to lay a patio that is looking tired and wonky.
However, we always tell people:
Your outdoor spaces can rock and roll!
Think about wood-fired fired ovens, outdoor speakers and a bar area.
Think infra-red heating around your seating area. Look at LED remote controlled lighting and outdoor TV screens.
Think out the box in terms of what you want from your garden. Think about how your live your lifestyle and how you spend your time. There are no limits on what your outdoor living space could look like. We could install outdoor libraries, or fully-stocked kitchens or pantries, for example.
We’re thinking about living walls and vertical vegetable patches. When we talk about edible planting, we want you to imagine pulling borage leaves from your garden to serve straight into a cocktail.
We want you to be picking fresh rocket and basil from a living wall to scatter over your freshly cooked margherita pizza, hot from the wood-fired oven.
Can you visualise tubs of your own homegrown potatoes and then cooking them as wedges on an open fire, with huge sections of rosemary from your herb planters scattered on top?
And then at the end of the night, propping up an outdoor bar until the early hours discussing new types of spinach? (Do other people do actually do that, or is it just me…maybe I was talking to the green wall?)
The way we see it, spending long evenings in the garden for the best part of the year is no longer a pipe dream. We just need to plan around your lifestyle and the weather and practically anything is possible.
Give us a call on 01257 696 012 to chat about how we can create you a rock and roll garden. We are award-winning garden and landscape designers, who pay the utmost attention to detail and create gardens that you can enjoy every day.
NB. Bands playing in your garden are not neccessary. This image is from our gold-winning RHS Tatton 2017 garden called 2101, where we did have a rock band launching our garden.
Unless you want a rock band playing in your garden – and we could probably arrange that.