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1. Beware of over-planting

Over-planting is sometimes done to get immediate results and give your garden a more finished look, especially when the plants are not advanced. Apart from the cost of the extra plants however, removing the unwanted ones later on can be damaging to the others and also look a little tatty for a while. Let your Landscaper know you don’t expect immediate results and are happy to wait for your garden shrubs to reach their potential.

As a rule, hedging plants are spaced at about one third of the planned height, so if your hedge will be 3m tall, then the spacing will be about 1m

2. Plant choice

All plants require some level of care to stay looking good and some need more than others. If you are not a keen gardener, or do not have the time, you may need to either have a Gardener come in at regular intervals or install plants you are confident you can care for. A competent Landscape Designer will find out what you would like to do, and base his plant choice on your available resources. Your designer should also be able to supply a maintenance calendar that you or your gardener can follow.

If you are choosing the plants yourself, the first thing is to ensure the plant is appropriate for the location in respect of soil and climate. Ask the supplier for any other details on care and maintenance which aren’t shown on the label – watering, pruning, fertilising and problems with pests and diseases, before you make the purchase.

3. Choosing a contractor

Word of mouth is usually a fairly reliable indicator of the quality of a contractors work, but sometimes people will hide their dissatisfaction. Seeing the garden for yourself is better and seeing it after a few years is better still, as any examples of poor preparation or workmanship will begin to show up. If you do not have this opportunity, you can choose from the membership of a professional organisation such as LIAWA, who will only list contractors with a proven track record.

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