There are many mistakes people make when going about the business of designing or having their garden designed. Here’s a small collection to help you avoid the pitfalls.

10. Employing a horticulturist to do a designers job. This is the classic mistake but somewhat understandable in Ireland, where there is much confusion about what a garden designer does and how it differs from a horticulturist. If you’re not sure, ask to see evidence of their qualifications, accreditation and design work. child's drawing

9. Designing on the basis of short term needs. Good gardens are designed to grow to reflect and adapt to changing needs. Think long term, you’ll save money and reap bigger rewards.short term needs image

8. Focusing on budget rather than need and desire. The best gardens are those that aspire. A designer’s job is to get you the garden that you aspire to regardless of the budget. Don’t get me wrong, budget is important but it should not be the primary focus. A good design process begins with an exploration of what you would really like, not what you have to spend. It is far better to work toward a dream – even if it takes longer – than to simply work rigidly to a budget. banksey image of desire

7. Rushing. An instant masterpiece is a rarity. Great gardens require time, consideration and input. The knack is to love the journey as well as the destination. Give yourself time, write things down, discuss everything, seek advice and plan. rushing image

6. Not being honest. The more honest and involved you are in developing a design brief, the better a designer can design for you. If you’re working with a designer, be completely upfront, but open to new ways of looking at your garden. Not sure how to form a design brief? Click hereimages of long noses for honesty

5. Cutting corners. Design and build your garden once and well, and you’ll get a lifetime’s enjoyment from it. Cut corners and you’ll be spending more in the long run.bart simpson cut corners

4. Being bounded by function. Perceptions about how gardens should function often restrict the possibilities for how they can be used for leisure. Think creatively about how practical aspects can be incorporated without dominating.trapped in a box

3. Building without a plan. Moving walls is so much easier in pencil. Never build any garden without a clear plan and preferably one created by someone qualified to put it together.poor design example of train tracks

2. Feature emphasis. This is a classic mistake and understandable to a certain extent. Try to focus on developing spaces and experiences rather than placing a feature to look at.huge gnome

1. Ignoring the simple rules. Good design is guided by the use of basic elements and principles. They underpin design. Their use and misuse are obvious to the eye. Not sure, call me today. design poster