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Traditional vs Modern – what suits your garden?

It’s amazing what you find yourself engrossed in over the Bank Holiday, isn’t it? You find yourself watching films you often haven’t seen since you were young, and watch daytime TV you secretly wish you could watch day in, day out (just me?)

Something that caught my eye this Bank Holiday was BBC One’s Garden Rescue, a programme that pits Charlie Dimmock (of Ground Force fame) against the Rich Brothers (whose philosophy is to make gardening “cool” again) and for them to design and build a garden around a families’ budget.

This episode focused on a family who had moved from rural Rutland Water to the city of Lincoln and had begun to miss their the country life – the nature, the openness of the countryside, and the space that they got as a family when they lived in the countryside.

What was immediately clear was the differing styles between the boys and Charlie – the boys opted for a modern space with ample space for entertaining; while Charlie designed a space for socialising, for spending time together as a family, and for growing vegetables for use in the family kitchen.

The Rich brothers specialise in the modern garden. Contemporary gardens are very much “in” at the moment – creating bespoke designs to suit a range of clients and their outdoor spaces, with something that both designs incorporated was an “adult only” space. While Michael Wheat Pond and Garden Design don’t concentrate on a decked area at the moment, we understand that making an adult-space – and optimising an adult-space – is massively important to the design of a garden. There are some ways you can achieve privacy. Plant life allows coverage that still makes you feel part of the garden – perhaps through the use of fern trees or espalier trees which create a sort of “living barrier”, and means that you don't become excluded from the rest of the garden. (In the programme, the use vertical wooden panels was implemented, creating a shutter from the rest of the garden.

What is nice about a programme like this is that there is no “right answer” when it comes to the way the garden is designed. The clients said that they would incorporate elements of both designs into their final design if that was the nature of the programme and I suppose that’s what is the message here: traditional is, of course, classic. I think it’s a common misconception too, that tradition means old-fashioned and boring.

What is lovely about garden design in the 21st century, and something that our dedicated team have noticed when designing ponds is that there isn’t a prescribed way of designing a pond now. If you want “modern” with elements of traditional, this is entirely achievable, as is a more “classic” pond. Everything is bespoke – designed with the customer in mind.

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