The design style I favour is flowing and curvy. I use circles, curves and flowing lines to form strong shapes in which to place patio, lawn and flower beds or borders. This usually allows for a large central, open space for people to gather and enjoy the sun. I like to give a feeling of space, while allowing the garden to be surrounded by borders filled with lush planting. I'll often include a turf seat when it fits in with the geometry of the design, walls and banks can serve as seating too. I aim to keep the same patterns or motifs throughout each discreet area of the garden to give a feeling of unity.
No design is the same – they all have to fit the space available and the owners specific requirements.
Having your garden space designed usually makes it appear much larger as well as fun and imaginative. Areas and features are located where they are most useful, providing an open area for kids to work off energy, seating areas for grown–ups and teenagers, plenty of planting space to enhance the scene, maybe space for a shed and barbecue and perhaps a more secret area.
In typically sized small Brighton gardens, the space has to be used optimally. Tight spaces may need to double up on function, e.g. by tucking the compost bin and rain water storage under decking or seats. It is worth giving the whole garden a unity of design, carrying materials, plant colours and mood throughout the garden.
Long and thin gardens can be divided into rooms, or have a winding path which takes you from one side to the other, slowing down your passage to the hidden end of the garden. This makes the garden appear wider than it actually is.
With gardens that are well stocked with interesting plants, I try to fit the design around what already exists.
People with limited budgets can't afford much hard landscaping. Shapes and features can be made with grassy structures. Turf covered banks can hold up raised borders rather than low brick walls or sleeper retaining walls.
I love making gardens for children. I try to include areas linked by paths for trike riding and perhaps low grass banks for kids to roll down to soft lawns, space for a playhouse and slide or swings, and a more secret area for den building.
I can do soft landscaping, including lawns, turf seating and planting myself. I have any hard features built by landscapers. That said, I have built walls and laid patios, so I understand the work involved and know what to look for.
A morning–glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. Walt Whitman