Posts Tagged ‘Garden Design’

The importance of good bed prep

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Jun 2018 in Design Tips, Plants

If there’s one thing that gets me going it’s when I arrive at site to carry out the planting and I have to pick up a fork because the beds aren’t prepared properly.

It can be tricky when you’ve had machines on site and the ground’s been worked a lot, but a good landscaper will think ahead when they start the job and retain any decent topsoil for re-use later.

I’m most suspicious when the beds look too good to be true, with a smooth covering of, what looks like, perfect soil.  Often that means it’s covering up something far less ideal.  Dig a hole for a shrub and the evidence is clear that things have been buried beneath the soil and it’s going to be a very hard day!

I appreciate that I’m having a bit of a rant, but good bed preparation not only gives the plants the best start possible, it also ensures that you don’t waste decent soil, time and money.

Even if the beds are rotavated or dug over with a machine, they still need to be hand dug.  This will ensure that the soil has been forked through properly and that any large stones and plant material can be removed before the plants go in the ground.

If you need to top up the beds with more soil then it’s worth the extra money to buy manufactured topsoil.  Screened soil essentially comes from skips or clearance from other sites so, even if it’s up to the British Standard, it still might have some contaminants that you don’t want around the roots of your plants.

Screened soil is fine for levelling off a lawn area before the turf is laid, but the beds need something a bit better in quality.  Often screened soil has small fragments of brick so it’s quite easy to spot.

The added bonus of manufactured topsoil is that you can order it with organic matter/compost already mixed in.

If you’re not bringing in any new topsoil then ideally you need to dig in some sort of organic matter which will help to enrich the soil and improve the structure and this should be forked through the soil by hand.

It really isn’t rocket science, if the beds are prepared properly it will give your plants the best possible start.  You’ll reap the rewards quickly when they establish much more quickly and your garden starts to flourish after just a few months.



How to budget for your new garden

2 Written by Lisa on 23rd Feb 2018 in Design Tips

Working to budgets is part of what I do, but it’s not always easy when there are so many choices available and if make tweaks along the way.  We’re undertaking a small building project at home and it’s exhausting making decisions, even though we’re doing some of it ourselves and therefore don’t have any time pressures. Read more

A spring visit to Allt-y-bela

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Mar 2017 in Inspiration

It’s a while since I visited Arne Maynard’s garden with my some of my garden design peers last year, but we were all so inspired last time that we decided to arrange another visit. Read more

Planning a house project? Please remember the garden…

0 Written by Lisa on 23rd Feb 2017 in Design Tips

I watched the first episode of The House That 100k Built last night.  I don’t know about you, but I think it’s one of the most inspiring programmes of its type on TV.  I especially love the way Piers Taylor inspires the use of alternative, sometimes waste, materials to create something really individual and inexpensive that elevates the design to another level. Read more

Working with curves

0 Written by Lisa on 27th Jan 2017 in Design Tips

I’ve been drawing the design for a large garden in Hurley this week and it involved rather a huge chunk of time working out where all the radius points of my free-hand curves were. Read more

Happy Christmas!

0 Written by Lisa on 22nd Dec 2016 in From the drawing board

Misty valley in Welsh Hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

The run up to Christmas always seems to go so fast and I never really know why.  But I’ve been baking a lot this week too which probably hasn’t helped too much with getting my task list done! Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design for a challenging garden near Camberley

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Nov 2016 in From the drawing board


I have recently been working with a client near Camberley who has a very challenging garden. She contacted me a few months ago with some pictures of the site and it became clear very quickly why she didn’t really know what to do. Read more

From the drawing board: Epsom garden finished

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Oct 2016 in From the drawing board


I went back to see my Epsom project last week which, apart from the new shed, is all finished. Read more

Super inspiring Allt-y-bela

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Aug 2016 in Inspiration

Allt-y-bela Lisa Cox

I went to visit the garden at Allt-y-bela yesterday, Arne Maynard’s home in Monmouthshire. I can’t tell you just how inspired I feel after a couple of hours in his garden. Read more

From the drawing board: Woking garden 2 years on

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jul 2016 in From the drawing board

Back garden Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Last week I showed you some pictures from my project in Weybridge which was planted in the autumn last year but today I want to share some photos of the Woking garden I redesigned with my clients 2 years ago. 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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