Posted: 26/02/2012 at 20:14
We recently re did our (inherited) garden taking it back to practically nothing and starting again. It was pretty daunting. However my key learnings were: Read up - there are so many books on garden design (charity shops and libraries often have a great selection) it will enable you to at least identify the type of garden you want as a starting point - cottage, contemporary, formal, wildlife etc. Study the light and soil carefully before you start - I simply drew a rough plan and worked out when the sun was and for how long. A cheap soil tester is also a good investment. Work out where you want your hard landscaping using the info you have on light etc as a guide ( seating area, any raised beds, ponds, paths etc). Prepare the soil carefully with lots of compost etc. and finally do your research on which plants you like and the conditions they need. I called on my mums experience but if you don't know anyone there are usually lots of willing and helpful gardeners at local gardening clubs, allotments etc. Only then buy your plants. I found all the prep much less interesting than the plant buying, but it was crucial and has meant the vast majority of what I has done has at least survived! Hope this helps and best of luck! P.s. take photos along the way - it helps you see how much you have achieved.