15 Golden Advice on Landscape Design for Beginners

In this article we give advice from Arnie Meinhardt, who is one of the most popular landscape designers in the UK these days. Regardless of whether his work is urban or very provincial, he creates a magical link between home, exterior, garden and nature. The combination and constant balancing between classic, modern and romantic landscape style make his work fascinating and very important.

On his official website Arnie often speaks of a “sense of place”, which means that you need to get into the history and mood of the site to create something really suitable for him. Mainard now works mainly with traditional English estates, creating cozy and presentable gardens in any square.

Tip #1 – constant attention to detail

Before I start working on my ambitious plans, which I have already, of course, written down and even sketched on paper, I try to understand what is missing from them. Criticality towards my own works allows me to create complete, clear compositions and images, not to rush between the implementation of several “brilliant” ideas.

Tip #2 – don’t be afraid to use geometry

Any garden looks better if it has a few clear lines. For example, a small alley or a path surrounded by clipped bushes. This makes it more balanced and balanced and shows that the designer has a sense of proportion.

Tip #3 – always check the quality of the materials

And these aren’t just words. I spent a lot of client money, which was then fully reimbursed, on things that quickly deteriorated from the weather. The tiles should be wear-resistant, the beams should be slightly stronger than you would like to buy, the bolts should be bigger, and the tiles can never lie “too flat”. Work hard and control the result – redo, change, throw away. Only with perfectionism and the desire to achieve the ideal can you create a garden of your dreams.

Tip #4 – be passionate

Never start a business if you don’t “burn” it. Intellectual level of interest means little until your eyes shine with joy that you have the opportunity to realize your ideas.

don't stop in the design

Tip #5 – don’t stop in the design

You can always add another dimension and bring another level of interest and complexity to the garden. The more layers, corners, original approaches and ideas it has, the better it looks, even traditional.

Tip #6 – don’t forget national crafts

The work of local craftsmen has helped me out many times, even in the most expensive orders. In fact, national crafts are no less important than, say, advanced technology. I like to use them in almost every garden, achieving a sense of patriotism and pride in my country both at home and in the owners of the garden. Together we support these masters with money, because the demand for them is not very high in our “Plastic Era”.

Tip #7 – use high constructions

The division into zones similar to the rooms in the house creates a sense of aristocracy and permanence. I like to use this technique in a place close to the house, where the owners are especially frequent. This is their second “summer home”, where they can come and feel free in a familiar setting. And everything has to be built for a long time.

Tip #8 – feel the place

I always study the history of the estate I’m building. Sometimes I come across old pictures of the garden, sketches or even plans of the former owners, dating back to the last century. I always get into the atmosphere that reigns in each particular place. And I advise you.

Bet on natural materials

Tip #9 – Bet on natural materials

No new material will give you the monumentality of stone, the warmth of wood, the elegance of wicker branches. No project made of plastic will allow you to feel a part of nature. My job is to bring people closer to the ground and make staying in the garden comfortable by modern standards and as natural as possible. Natural materials help me a lot in this.

Tip #10 – Balance the formality of green spaces with the formalities of design

I like to first design a place for rest and walks, and then “fill” the landing sites lushly and expansively. In this way I get a comfortable structure, which later becomes a very beautiful garden full of natural luxury and wealth.

Tip #11 – Create Seasonally Friendly Zones

For example, in one garden, I have a small patio for autumn and spring, and a gazebo for summer. The distance to the weather zones should be different, as nobody wants to go to the other end of the plot in the heat to “enjoy the shade”.

Tip #12 – use a holistic approach

This means that when building a house and garden, you have to be guided by one idea. For example, to create a large vineyard with a small house, or to create a estate of a craftsman-carpenter with a workshop and a small vegetable garden. Everything has to fit together to create a whole image. If you’re working with an existing building, redo it or completely customize your ideas for its exterior.

Tip #13 – rely solely on real needs

There is no need to erect luxury pavilions with columns in the center of the plot if you don’t like to be in plain sight. You should first highlight and build on the basic needs of the family. Don’t look back at your neighbors and traditions, they’re just a landmark. In the classics you can find answers to questions, but not the questions that are individual for each individual.

Tip #14 – do not be afraid to go beyond your limits

In every project I learn something new, although I have been doing landscape design for over 20 years. Without this, I am not a professional, I have not been successful and probably do not like my business at all. And the work, as well as a hobby, should bring joy and inspire one’s own education.

Tip #15 – keep experimenting

It’s always hard to go beyond a certain style, but it’s much easier to go beyond your own inspiration. It is the key to creating a truly stunning garden that will delight every guest for decades to come.

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