– Words by Anne Byrne


So, we’re being let out in time for summer – just as leaves and flowers emerge from their buds, we’re allowed out of our homes and back into society, or what’s left of it. I wonder how that will go? What I do know is, whatever else happens, summer is coming but summer is also going and further down the line, spring will be round again, (unless we succeed in completely destroying the planet by next February!).

I would love you to look around outside and consider what spring feels like. This is the time of year when it’s easy to feel in harmony with nature, as the natural world sings us its very best song.

Everything is fresh out of the box, bright and new, never been worn.  Even the most determined cave dweller tends to notice the green on the trees, and is vaguely aware that this is something positive.

This is why garden designers exist. It’s our job to figure out how to capture this sense of rightness and positivity and make it last for twelve months of the year.

Being outdoors feels right just now – any daisy spangled patch of grass is inviting enough to sit on and kick your shoes off, but your garden is there for twelve months of the year. Chances are it’s the first thing you see in the morning (I’m assuming you are normal and not actually awake until the first hit of caffeine, which, unless you are lucky enough to have servants, means you are in the kitchen when you first become aware of your surroundings. Check and see if there’s a green area visible outside the window – if so, you have a garden. Yay!)

The purpose of good garden design then, its essence if you will, is to make sure that that view makes you feel better, as much in January and February as in May and June.

It should lift the spirits and interest the eye. When weather allows you to be out there, it should welcome you – you should feel invited to step out and see what’s happening. There should be a firm surface to walk on and somewhere comfortable to sit. There should be shelter from winds both for you and for pretty things to grow here. There should be living things. It should feel alive, in summer with the hum of bees, in spring with the heart lifting music of birdsong, in autumn with the glow of golden leaves and in winter you should sense that it’s asleep and resting, (rather than dead).

Your garden could be several acres or a few square metres, shared with others or all your own. It could be lovingly tended, or you might never lift a finger. But you should know it’s alive, and you should care about that because you feel it’s yours, and that makes it special.

And if I can provide you with plans that can make all this happen for you – then, and only then, can I call myself a garden designer.

Anne sitting down

Anne’s mission is to help you make the most of your outside space and to make the process easy and enjoyable for you. Listening to clients carefully, thinking creatively and presenting ideas in an easily understandable way are just some of the ways in which Anne makes good design accessible. With qualifications in Horticulture and Garden Planning, Planting and Construction, both awarded with Commendation from the world – renowned Royal Horticultural Society, Anne’s work includes gardens for television, residential nursing homes and community groups as well as private clients.

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