Red Velvet

The best and most beautiful gardens in oxford are those that make their owners comfortable and happy. As much as gardens are supposed to look good, they also have to feel good. The ones admired most are easy to move through, relaxing and easy to maintain. Structures and paths should be simple to navigate, while the chosen plants must serve a function and provide interest without being prima donnas or bullies. Below are some practical oxford garden design tips for creating an enjoyable and liveable garden.

More information on oxford garden design

Provide a Wide Berth

A garden owner should ensure that his or her pathways are wide enough to facilitate comfortable passage. No one would enjoy having to squeeze through a narrow space, whether indoors or outdoors. The main thoroughfares must be wide enough to accommodate at least two people walking side by side, meaning it should be at least five feet. In the case of secondary pathways where people walk in a single file, they should be no less than 3 feet wide. The gardener should bear in mind that the taller the structures or plantings flanking the walkway, the wider the pathway needs to be. Any space can be made to feel restricted by tall boundaries.

Watch the Steps

Outdoor stairways and steps should ascend gently and if not the case then they can appear daunting. The most comfortable steps are those with a rise of not more than 6 inches. The depth or run of every step added to twice the height or rise must equal to 26 inches. In case the garden stairways include over ten steps, the owner should consider putting landings after every fifth step in order to ease progress. Depth of the landings should be at least equal to the stair's width. It is absolutely necessary to have a generous landing in a place where a stairway changes its direction.

Firm Footing

It is important to ensure that all paving provide firm footing. Loosely set pavers likely to wobble or slick services should be avoided. Certain paving materials such as smooth outdoor tile or polished granite may not offer sufficient traction in areas with winter-like or rainy climates. Walkways made of gravel are fine as long as unsifted gravel is used. Unsifted gravel has various-sized aggregates that compact firmly, providing a solid footing. On the other hand, sifted gravel consists of similar-sized aggregates that remain loose underfoot and do not compact well. Whatever the paving material is used, a gardener should ensure all the paved surfaces have a gentle slope to prevent water from pooling in them.

Plenty of headroom should be left under arbors, pergolas and archways. Seven feet should be a good minimum, but another 18 inches can be added if plants will be growing over the structure. Although this may seem high, outdoor structures have a tendency of looking smaller than would be the case if they were indoors. Additionally, it is better safe than sorry in order to avoid people butting heads with a wisteria or a climbing rose.