So, Lets Build A Garden Hard Landscaping & Project Management. After an audit, a plan, a design and construction plan its now all about the structure of the garden. The hard landscaping to be done first.

Skills

So, what you can do yourself and where would some help would be a good idea? Think about the your skills, your experience and the time it will take you to complete the tasks you have planned. More importantly, think about the skills you don’t have and will need to buy in.

Project Management

Project Management should not be underestimated. There are plenty of software options although – https://project-management.com/top-10-project-management-software/ but something simpler like Microsoft Project – https://products.office.com/en-gb/project/project-management-software or even Excel – which is primarily a spreadsheet package – can be adopted as a simple project management tool.

Timing

However, we all know building projects can take longer than expected and cost more than forecast. Costs for groundwork can easily escalate. There is no telling what might be found once you break ground. Hence, the audit at the beginning of this project. That looked at drainage, pipes, cables, soil type and boundaries and responsibilities. But even then you can never be sure what will be found – so plan for a contingency.

Sustainability

Today. there is a growing emphasis on the sustainability and environmental impacts of garden planning. Much of the challenge within garden projects can be the balance between customer expectation and the broader environmental concerns. Water absorption, water run-off, plants to support pollinators, energy reduction and recycling are all becoming more important 

Hard Landscaping

Hard landscaping will provide the structure for the garden. The bones that can support the different levels of planting. It will also create the divisions between different uses within the garden and the colour changes across the garden. The structure also will help define the differences between water use, water absorption, and water run-off. There are water gardens, wildflower gardens, wildlife gardens, entertaining gardens and everything in between.

Resources

The University of Reading and the Masonry Society provide a couple of checklists. These may serve to show the real difference between enthusiastic amateurs and a fully-paid up professional approach. But better to understand your limitations before you start building rather than halfway through. As ever BALI has a national directory of landscapers who can help.

https://www.bali.org.uk/members/directory/

https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/fmd/Landscaping_Checklist.pdf

https://register.extension.iastate.edu/images/events/Becx/BECx-Masonry_Inspection_Checklist.pdf

Garden Structure

Structural elements are not limited to the obvious choices of bricks, concrete and sleepers; gravel, slabs and fencing. But they can embrace garden buildings, of which there is a huge choice, garden heritage objects – junk, bric-a-brac or architectural salvage.

https://www.englishsalvage.co.uk/

Carbon Footprint

As ever the carbon footprint of any development can help define any garden. The materials used and the distances involved in transport count. As does the use and adoption of recycled materials as well as the level of recyclability and impact of the individual garden components.

Bark and turf can work as structural components whilst the re-use of existing materials rather than the creation of new can help bring an instant maturity to a “new” garden.

As ever – asbestos, lead and other contaminants demand respect so please make sure you have all the information you need.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/managing/placeschecklist.htm

Hard Landscaping – How to pour concrete

https://youtu.be/KNb0IbYrK8E

https://youtu.be/k1XFWNT7pAM

https://youtu.be/H56eiJJ_FCY

Hard Landscaping – How to make cement

https://youtu.be/X0q_2VuFUOI

https://youtu.be/ehBKETtRImk

https://www.ccaa.com.au/imis_prod/documents/Library%20Documents/CCAA%20Datasheets/DS1999diymixmortar1TBR.pdf

Hard Landscaping – Bricklaying for beginners

https://youtu.be/NZ8brDJAMdE

Hard Landscaping – Decking

https://youtu.be/PkvKO8GchyE

Hard Landscaping – Raised beds

Decking can be pressure-treated timber or composite. Both have their advantages although there has been some concern over the green credentials of composite decking so please do your homework.

https://www.richardsbuildersmerchants.co.uk/decking-at-richards-builders-merchants-all-you-need-to-know/

Alternatives to hard landscaping

Bark – https://www.turfonline.co.uk/blog/using-bark-alternative-hard-landscaping/

Ground covering plants – https://www.turfonline.co.uk/blog/why-ground-cover-plants-are-better-than-paving/

Alternatives to lawns

Planting

How to create a wildflower garden

https://youtu.be/QhNQ76ihIQA

Planting for pollinators

https://youtu.be/Q7Glm-cyqsw

https://www.realhomes.com/advice/garden-border-ideas