1. Design for the annual party: Try to ignore your day to day needs and design for the annual party or family get together.

2. Measure Schmeasure: If there is one thing that will undo your plan it’s taking accurate measurements. You’re far better to get a rough guess from the kitchen window. Measurements only delay the work and make things very complicated.

3. Ignore advice and input: This is critical if you want to ruin your garden. No matter what anyone says, ignore it and focus on your first idea. People will try everything to get you to change your and to consider other elements, stick to your guns.

4. Centre everything on your budget: Forget about creative ideas or any aspirations you might have for your garden, everything should be centred on cost. To get the most from this you should set a fixed budget right from the start and work from there. Under no circumstances should you consider what you would like or alternative ways to getting it.

5. Get it done this weekend: Whatever you do you should avoid strategically planning the build process. It’s far better to get it all done over one weekend, or perhaps even a morning. You’ve seen Groudforce, sure all you need is a few hours

6. Use the image in your mind: You might feel it is necessary to have some sort of plan down on paper. Resist this temptation. Having a good plan will only frustrate you and provide friends and family with material to criticize you. Simply work from a sketchy image you have in your head. To maximize this you might like to randomly add features over a number of years. This may take longer but the results will be much better. If you must draw something, work on a very small piece of paper and use a crayon.

7. Emphasize functionality: Try to situate elements like washing lines, sheds and paths in central locations. You can never have enough paths and it’s critical that the shed is visible and easily accessible at all times.

8. Plant choice: Don’t worry about all that height, spread and density stuff, designers only talk about those things to make themselves sound smart. Stick to buying trees like beech and maple, if you buy them young they’ll be dead cheap and will fill up beds in no time.

9. As much as you can: You need to ignore guide rules around using three materials. Try to incorporate as many as you can. Oftentimes it works out well if you attempt to recreate places you’ve been on holiday. Add as many props as you can. They will reinforce the theme and distract viewers.

10. Paint your walls: If your garden has breeze block walls, don’t render them whatever you do. Use a brightly coloured paint, preferably a primary colour. You might also consider having a go at a mural.

11. Soil spoil: A key factor in the ruination of any garden is to mistreat your soil as much as possible. If you can, try to work in the rain as much as possible. This will help to compact the soil. If you’re using a digger of any kind, you might consider driving back and forth over a number of hours. Avoid adding organic content or well composted materials.