Design Tips

Protecting our precious trees

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Feb 2016 in Design Tips, Plants

Oak tree from the wood floor taken with wide angle lense by Lisa Cox

I’m currently working on a project where we have few trees on site that are subject to a Tree Protection Order (TPO).  Obviously I need to be absolutely sure that I create the new garden in a way that will ensure that the trees aren’t damaged so I’ve been taking advice from a professional arborist to ensure that we’re doing things right.

But, even if the trees aren’t subject to a TPO it’s still part of my role as designer to ensure that the creation of the new garden isn’t going to compromise any of the existing trees on site, particularly if they are integral to the design.  It shouldn’t only be protected trees that we take extra care of.

Tree lined track Saint Valery Sur Somme Lisa Cox Designs

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve driven past a site where building works have taken place and beneath the most gorgeous mature trees are piles of rubble and builder’s waste or deliveries of materials waiting to be used on site.  Sometimes the digger is parked there overnight or the area is used to mix up concrete and cement.

I can’t stress how important it is to protect the root zone of any trees you want to keep in the garden.  If you’re embarking on a garden project it’s essential that the root protection zone of any trees you want to keep are cordoned off for the duration of the project, especially at the beginning when there will be heavy machinery on site.

The yew trees at Hampton Court Palace Lisa Cox Garden designs

Trees and plants are pretty robust and I think they try very hard to stay alive, even in the most difficult of circumstances.  But if you want to keep the trees because you love them, it’s got to be worth the effort to keep them as safe as you can.

As a general rule you can estimate the root protection zone by working out the diameter of the tree at 1.5m above the ground and then multiplying this number by 12 which will give you a circle around the tree in which the majority of roots can be found.

Autumn colours in Wales Lisa Cox Garden Designs

But if you’re unsure, it’s worth enlisting the help and advice of a qualified arboriculturalist who can advise you during the design process to ensure that the trees that will be integral to the success of your new garden will stay that way for years to come.

If you’re embarking on a house building project, the same will apply and in some cases you’ll also have to involve the planning office, especially in the case of protected trees which may affect what you’re allowed to do with your house.

But essentially, if we want out trees to thrive and enhance our gardens then we need to do everything in our power to ensure that they flourish for years to come.

Planning a new planting scheme – some tips to help you get started

1 Written by Lisa on 5th Feb 2016 in Design Tips

Helenium at Hauser & Wirth Somerset Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Now’s a great time to be planning for what’s to come in the garden and it seems more urgent this year with the rather early appearance of some of the spring bulbs.  Even on our windy hill we have Narcissus ‘Tête-a-Tête’ in flower already and primroses too, which have virtually been flowering since Christmas. Read more

Dealing with sloped gardens – five things to consider before you start

2 Written by Lisa on 25th Jan 2016 in Design Tips

Surveying kit

I’ve just started working with a new client who has a small but tricky garden because it slopes quite steeply and there are two pine trees that are subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Read more

It’s bulb planting time!

0 Written by Lisa on 1st Oct 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

Golden narcissus at RHS Garden Wisley Lisa Cox

I’ve just returned from Surrey after 5 long days planting my project in Weybridge.  No photos yet I’m afraid as it wasn’t looking very photogenic without the lawn and with the protective boards down on the terrace.  But I’ll be popping back at the end of October armed with my camera so I’ll share the pictures with you as soon as I can. Read more

The importance of creating focal points

5 Written by Lisa on 17th Aug 2015 in Design Tips

Bench in Homebase Garden RHS Chelsea 2014 Lisa Cox Designs

However large of small your garden is, introducing deliberate focal points will help to create a journey around your garden. Read more

Fences won’t work for a windy site

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jul 2015 in Design Tips

Elder in flower Lisa Cox Garden Designs

What you can always guarantee when you live high up on a hill is a breeze.  A couple of weeks ago when the sun was blazing hot we certainly welcomed it, but on other days it can make things a little chilly. Read more

Softening the edges in small gardens

4 Written by Lisa on 6th Jul 2015 in Design Tips

Grass mounds Hauser Wirth Somerset Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Using curves in small spaces can be a challenge as often there just isn’t the space to allow the curve to be what it is. Read more

Planting – getting the colour tone right

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Jun 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2015 Lisa Cox A Front Garden for Victoria Park Mazda

When I designed the garden at RHS Flower Show Cardiff I really thought the crowd would be divided about the planting because of the warm and vibrant colours.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong, everyone seemed to love it! Read more

Some golden rules when choosing your paving

2 Written by Lisa on 25th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

New terrace East Horsley Garden Design Lisa Cox

I went to Southampton for a meeting about RHS Cardiff yesterday and one of the main things to decide were the hard landscaping materials.  It’s so important when you’re choosing your materials that you check they work well together, and are in keeping with whatever materials are already on site otherwise you could be looking out onto a garden that makes you cringe! Read more

Looking beyond your boundaries

0 Written by Lisa on 16th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

Majestic oak tree in Surrey hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Borrowing the landscape is a garden design trick of old.  Even if you’re not lucky enough to have a great view, it doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow some of the features from the neighbouring landscape. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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