The South West London Gardener

What is Landscape Gardening? A Guide to the Different Types and Newest Trends

landscaped garden

When people think of gardening, they may think of leisurely days in the garden, slowly planting small flowers into soft soil.

But this isn’t what all gardening looks like.

Gardening comes in many forms, and one of the main ones is landscaping.

Landscape gardening combines many elements of horticulture, construction, and more, to form a method of completely transforming a garden.

But just what do we mean when we say landscaping?

Let’s find out.

Garden Landscaping

If you’re looking out at your back garden right now and imagining a pergola wrapped in greenery in one corner, with a paved pathway leading to it and maybe some raised beds built by railway sleepers, then what you need is a landscape gardener.

Landscaping is more than just planting flowers, it contains building structures, separating gardens into different levels, and much more.

Due to this, many skills are required to carry out such a job, such as carpentry and brickwork qualifications.

Garden landscaping is what is needed when a garden requires a complete overhaul. Some of the more common jobs you would find landscapers performing are:

  • Removing the components of the old garden and disposing of the waste.
  • Installing new ground level features such as paving or decking.
  • Building structures such as planting beds, pergolas, and maybe even outhouses and sheds.
  • Replacing turf or grass.
  • Separating the garden into different areas and levels.
  • Adding features such as plants.
  • Provide consultation and advice to the client on how the garden should be maintained.

With all these different types of jobs expected from a landscape gardener, it is hard to find someone who is an expert in every required skill.

That is why landscape gardening is often split into two sections, hard and soft.

What is Hard Landscaping?

Hard landscaping is the construction and installation of structures such as pathways and buildings. Often these jobs may require specific machinery and qualifications in subjects such as joinery and construction.

A good way of remembering what counts as hard, and what counts as soft, is to think of the materials being used.

Hard landscaping is often involved when using hard materials such as wood and stone.

Here at the Southwest London Gardener, we have a team with the required skills to perform even the toughest hard landscaping jobs, as shown in some of our projects, such as this complete garden renovation in Clapham, which combined many hard landscaping elements, such as the installation of new seating and flooring, as well as a storage area under the stairs.

Hard landscaping is a key part of any garden transformation, but no garden is complete without its soft counterpart as well.

What is Soft Landscaping?

Like hard landscaping, soft is also called this due to the materials being used.

This method focuses more on items such as flowers, plants, and grass.

Soft landscaping plays a key role in any garden build as it adds the delightful finishing touches to a project that make each job so special.

See this garden room in Battersea for example, which was laid with hard, porcelain tiles that made it unappealing and not child friendly. Our team got in, ripped up the old tiles and laid a luscious green lawn which was perfect for the children to play in.

To be great at soft landscaping, you should have a good knowledge of plants and nature. This is because a lot of the job involves choosing the perfect plants to fit into a garden design and bring a garden to life.

This garden in Sutton was quite minimalist in design, but the addition of some plants along the fence and a feature Dogwood really made an eye-catching statement.

Hard and Soft Landscaping Working Together

Both aspects of landscape gardening are very different, but work perfectly in conjunction.

Our project in Wimbledon is a great example of this, as hard landscaping was used to create a paved area nestled beautifully under a new pergola, but soft landscaping also has a major input, adding a lovely green lawn and some large plants.

A great team combines all elements of landscape gardening to work together to form a beautiful garden, and if this sounds like something you may be interested in, then get in touch with The Southwest London Gardener today.

Garden Landscaping Trends

Just like in fashion, styles and trends come and go in landscape gardening.

With that in mind, here are some items that seem to be proving really popular right now.

  • Outside offices – The pandemic changed a lot of things. It meant more people working from home, and many people falling in love with their gardens again. Both of these have led to a real increase in a desire for an outside office or outhouse. In fact, houses showcasing this feature has risen by eleven times in the last decade, and we think it’s a feature that’s here to stay.
  • Mis-shaped lawns – The UK is seeing a rise in popularity of lawns that are not your ordinary square or rectangles. It seems people may be looking more to adding features that take away segments of grass or shaping their lawn in an unusual way. It’s certainly a great way to add another element to your garden and create a real talking point.
  • Wild Planting – If you’re looking for a low-maintenance garden, than wildflowers may be for you. These tough, self-reproducing plants look great and don’t take as much looking after, which may be why they’re such a popular choice. Not only that, but they also attract plenty of nature to your garden, which is always a plus.

Natural London Garden Landscapers

At The Southwest London Gardener, we have a varied team which contains experts in hard and soft landscape gardening.

We are also natural gardeners, which means we only use natural materials such as wood and stone and love nothing more than creating a garden that is sustainable and great for the environment.

If you’re looking for a garden transformation, then why not get in touch with our team for a quick chat about your ideas and a free, no-obligation quote?

We would love to speak with you about your project. And if you have read this blog and think the life of a landscape gardener sounds perfect for you, then why not check out our careers page.