Redesigning your garden? It doesn't have to cost the earth

Thinking of redesigning your garden? It doesn't have to mean expensive landscaping says horticulturalist Martin Fish

The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012  issue of Yorkshire Life 

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Spring is in the air and it’s usually now many people take a fresh look at their garden and often think about creating a more interesting and attractive place to entertain friends or just relax.

Landscaping a garden can be an expensive project but a well laid-out, attractive garden will actually add value to your home. It’s not necessary to landscape the whole garden in one go. For me the enjoyment of gardening is to watch a garden evolve over the years. Adding one or two new features such as a water feature, seating or new planting every few years helps to keep a garden fresh and interesting.

There is plenty of design and planting inspiration around us – parks, private gardens open to the public and even traffic roundabouts, often sponsored by local businesses. And of course books and television programmes.

But one of the best sources for practical help and ideas is a flower show. I declare an interest here because I am director of the Harrogate Flower Shows and thousands of people every year come along not just to enjoy a day out but to talk to experts and find answers to their gardening dilemmas.

Last year the Harrogate Spring Flower Show introduced outdoor show gardens packed with ideas that could be adapted to gardens large and small, and at this year’s show – April 26th-29th – there are nine show gardens created by local landscapers, designers and colleges. All the gardens are very different and are bound to inspire and get you thinking.

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Here are some ideas to help you

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Martin Fish is show director of the North of England Horticultural Society, organisers of the Harrogate Flower Shows. He is a qualified horticulturalist and writes for several gardening publications and broadcasts for the BBC.

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