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Down To Earth: Time to take charge in the garden

While we’ve little or no control over the world outside the garden gate, taking charge of our own plots feels especially good, writes Cambridge designer Robert Barker

The world beyond the garden gate is outside our control. So take charge inside, says Robert Barker (39786922)
The world beyond the garden gate is outside our control. So take charge inside, says Robert Barker (39786922)

Sometimes in life we need to take stock of what is actually going on around us and then work out how we can make the changes needed to get us to where we need to be. As dramatic as this sounds, the same rules apply to our gardens - and a great time to do this is during the month of September.

In September the garden, unless well designed, will be turning that corner where it is fading from late summer into autumn and on the whole I am sure most things will be looking tired. Let’s face it, who isn’t tired this September after pandemics, lockdowns and a long drawn out summer?

Like so many others, in our little corner of the world my wife and I have been balancing work while doing our best to either entertain or homeschool two children who would rather do anything than be taught at home by their parents for many months now. To be honest at times I am the one being home-schooled. I wasn’t particularly brilliant at school the first time around, let alone now after so many of the old methods have changed: “Of course darling, I could work these multiplications out in my head but to speed up the process Daddy is going to use a calculator.”

At least in our gardens we should have more control to get things back on track, but for so many this is a daunting prospect. People often stop to talk to me about their gardens and frequently explain that they don’t know where to start.

This feeling is completely understandable: I feel this way with lots of things. But if there is something that I can’t tackle myself, I call in an expert. Most people don’t think twice about calling in an electrician or a plumber but for some reason when it comes to our gardens people hesitate in contacting a professional.

The important thing to remember is that there are a number of talented garden designers nearby who will be able to help you in putting plans in place. I can’t speak for all garden designers, but most of us are happy to talk about any project, from little to large, and we are more affordable than you think.

A good designer will work with you to create your dream garden and not just create something that they would love, ignoring the fact that you need a functional garden as well. Gardens can be beautiful but also functional. So before the autumn proper arrives, look at your garden, make plans, dream, get excited and then this time next year your garden will be full of life.

See robertbarkerdesign.com for more.

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