I’m not sure if its that the councils are granting more planning permissions or that confidence is good that more people are building the houses they have permission for but the last few weeks we have more than our fair share of customers coming to us with their plans for new houses and wanting to get our advice. Some of these we have worked with the architect and, or engineers to put the Garden and landscape elements together for planning purposes but the more straightforward planning applications this isn’t usually necessary.
Future homebuilders are then looking for advice on how the schedule should run, taking into account seasonality of planting, our advice is always the same for these people. Don’t worry about lawns or beds or even stonework until the house is built but the two things that we advise you do at the earliest possible stage is plant a boundary hedge and invest in some trees, depending on your budget, go for the most mature ones you can afford you won’t regret that one.
When the house is built we have seen it so many time that the house sits on the site with no cover or maturity to help it sit into the landscape nicely. When you have built a house, funds tend to be getting tight towards the end especially when that new kitchen has cost much more than you had anticipated, those tiles that pushed you over budget and then when it comes to landscaping you have to wait to get what you need, that is when you will be thankful that you planted those handful of trees that now give the space some maturity, help the house sit in tis position nicely and not stick out as unfinished.
The boundary hedging marks your site, gives you just that a boundary and says this is our home, the benefit of putting it in before building starts is that it has the extra time to grow and mature so on those you don’t need to put in huge hedging plants especially if you anticipate a longer build time, they will grow nicely in that time and I’m sure you have much more to spend the money you can save there!
Hedging plants are another thing we get asked about on a very regular basis, what hedge gives privacy but doesn’t need much maintenance and won’t cost a fortune, To be honest all those things are contradictory because if a hedge gives you the best privacy at the least cost then its fast growing so will need more cutting to keep it at the height you are looking for. The cheapest evergreen option is usually common laurel, its grows fast, gives great privacy but the cons are that it can grow very wide, taking up space in your garden and does need twice annually cutting to keep it in shape. Portuguese laurel is easier to maintain but doesn’t grow as fast so tends to be more expensive the first day. Beech hedging is one of my favourites, it is the least expensive of the household hedges but it is very slow growing, semi-deciduous and you need some patience with it but if you are starting a build process getting that in at the very early stages is a great idea, giving you a real head start but don’t forget it will lose most of its leaves the first year and then unless you are in a windy or wet site, in which case chose something hardier, it will retain a good percentage of its copper leaves through subsequent Autumn/Winters.
Once the hedging and trees are planted then you can get on with the house itself the lawns and planting will all come when the builders have completely finished and then you can look at all the lovely stone materials , water features and beautiful planting.