Firstly, I hope you and yours are all safe and well. These are certainly strange and unsettling times. But thankfully, the sun is shining and our gardens are receiving attention like never before. Over the past number of weeks, I have been contacted by a large number of people who suddenly realise what a valuable asset their garden is, or should I say, could be. People who have been too busy working to really tackle their outdoor space or for that matter even notice it, are suddenly seeing their outdoor space in a whole new light. This has resulted in a flurry of enthusiasm to do something with the garden as we could be spending a lot more time in them for the foreseeable future. In fact, with the current outlook, the ability to holiday and possibly the desire to do so, will be greatly diminished for years to come. This means that our house and gardens will become an integral part of our lives like never before.
Another trend I am seeing is the desire to get things right. We learned a lot from the Celtic tiger days. During that period a lot of gardens were thrown together across Ireland. Budgets were not as tight, Landscapers where ten a penny and the most important thing was to get it NOW! Your home was just another step on the ladder, making it more like a “House” than a “Home”. Hindsight is a great learner and with many of those rushed (and not necessarily cheap) garden projects now falling apart, the realisation that all good things come to those who wait, is finally setting in.
Now many of my clients talk about their property as their “forever home”. Often also considering the possibility that their children might inherit the property in years to come. This is a marked change from the attitudes of the Celtic tiger days. My advice has changed little over the years. Back then I was often asked to design a garden to add value to their home, as it was merely a step on the ladder. My advice to them was to simply install a lawn, maybe a deck and keep it neat and tidy. Anything after that wouldn’t fit with the Brief. You see even back then, I thought of a garden as not just a pretty thing to look at or a commodity to impress your friends. Instead, I saw them as personal spaces that not only enhance our homes but improve our lives also. Lofty goals, I know. But time and time again, I have had clients tell me, their garden has changed their behaviour. They love their garden, spend as much time in it as possible, in fact when given a choice on a sunny bank holiday they would rather stay in their garden than face the bank holiday traffic. And I am not talking about people being converted into horticulturalists, slaving away in the garden, pulling weeds and growing spuds. I am talking about clients sitting outside, eating outside and socialising outside and in their own home. Essentially a well-designed outdoor space will encourage an outdoor lifestyle and enrich our lives in ways you can’t imagine. I only have to look through google photos and see how many of our memories are set in our garden.
So, in an uncertain world, where so much is changing, let’s focus in some small way on how things are sometimes changing for the better. Love your home, love your garden.
With that in mind, I would invite you to take a couple of minutes and click on the link below to see what we do and what a garden can really be when you open your mind and think big.
A Brief sample of our work.