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Ann Walker – Designer


Ann Walker is one of Graduate Gardeners’ garden designers and project managers.

This Royal Horticultural Society Gold medal winner is great at bringing out the best in all sizes of gardens, including smaller ones.

A small space shouldn’t be a barrier to creating a garden that makes a big impact.

Over my 19 years with Graduate Gardeners I’ve come up with designs for plots of all sizes, some of which have earned BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) awards, but I really love doing special things with more compact pieces of land.

Big or small, gardens play an important role in people’s happiness and wellbeing.

A lovely outside space can make a huge difference to quality of life, and never has this been more so than over the past year with so many of us spending more time at home.

A lovely outdoor space can make a huge difference to quality of life

One of the keys to making the most of a small site is simplicity: an uncomplicated layout with big spaces and simple planting makes an area feel bigger, whereas a garden that’s too busy causes our perception of it to shrink.

I know it sounds strange, but things like large paving slabs and good-sized planting borders make an area seem larger, while prairie-style planting can look great in a smaller setting.

It’s also important to limit the types of materials used for hard landscaping to maintain a sense of unity.

Decide on your priorities
Large paving slabs and good-sized planting borders make an area seem larger

My advice to people looking to transform their small spaces is to have an idea of a budget so that designers can help get the most from what money they have to spend. After all, there’s nothing worse than being presented with a fabulous scheme and having to strip it back.

With a defined budget we can present customers with options when it comes to materials, such using limestone or Indian sandstone in place of more expensive York stone, and create raised beds on existing levels rather than spending on digging things out.

Another thing to have a clear idea about is the various ways in which the garden will be used and most important features within it.

Carefully chosen lighting can bring a garden alive at night

Garden lighting

Over the years I’ve used wall sculptures to bring art into a garden, and water walls to enable customers to enjoy the sight and sound of running water in a way that doesn’t take up too much room.

Nowadays a lot of customers ask for raised beds for growing a few vegetables, which can double up as seating, and wildlife-friendly areas, along with a feeling of privacy without compromising on beauty, which we can achieve with features such as pleached trees.

Thinking outside the box]
Consider wall sculptures, as seen here in Ann’s 2016 garden for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival

Meanwhile lighting can transform a space at night: a simple scheme that focuses on key features, including steps, can make a huge difference.

A garden is as individual as the person it belongs to and that’s something that’s uppermost in my mind when I’m coming up with designs. Every project is different: my job is to listen to what customers want and use my creativity and experience to make it a reality.

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Calfway Lane, Bisley,
Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7AT
Tel: 01452 770273
Email

© 2020 Graduate Gardeners Ltd

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Graduate Gardeners - Landscape gardeners Gloucestershire

Calfway Lane, Bisley,
Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 7AT
Tel: 01452 770273
Email

© 2020 Graduate Gardeners Ltd

web site design, seo & hosting .: computancy