Q & A Special With Professional Garden Designer Lisa Cox: Part 1 (Of 2)

Ever wanted to give your outside space a new lease of life but were unsure of where to start? Perhaps your busy lifestyle means you dream of a low-maintenance terrace that requires minimal upkeep? Or maybe you've just moved house and are wondering how to make your garden really feel like your own space? These are conundrums Garden Designer, blogger and RHS Exhibitor Lisa Cox knows only too well. 

As an expert Garden Designer with an impressive and enviable portfolio, Lisa Cox is well-accustomed with the ever-increasing demand for clients to make the most of their outside space.

With paving, planting, shading and furniture to consider, it’s easy to dedicate as much time to designing your perfect outside space as you would the interior of your home. What with “attractive spaces for entertaining and relaxing” appearing as the top priority for homeowners in 2015, a well-designed garden has never been so desirable.  

Lisa is passionate about making her clients’ garden dreams a reality, and often documents this journey on her fabulous blog, showcasing some truly stunning transformations from the initial ideas to the end result. 

Before & after: sophisticated terrace for a London town house.

Lisa has worked on a range of gardens, from low maintenance spaces to areas suitable for busy family lives. Irrespective of the project, all of Lisa’s gardens ooze style and functionality, providing the perfect extension to her client’s home.

What’s more, Lisa showcases an impeccable eye for design whilst making the most of every square footage to really maximise the garden’s potential. Lisa's garden ethos is "get the design right, and it will enhance your life and change the way you feel about your home," and we couldn't agree more with this approach.
Before & after: contemporary garden for a modern town house.

Without further ado, we’re very excited to unveil part one of our two-part Question & Answer feature with Lisa. Join us for invaluable garden advice direct from a professional as well as some great suggestions from Lisa about how you can incorporate our innovative shading solutions into your own outside space. 

1. What type of garden design would you choose to compliment one of our patio awnings?

I think patio awnings are a great idea for terrace areas that get full sun for much of the day. The areas that adjoin the house are by nature more formal and they’re also the connecting space between the inside of the house and the rest of the garden. Awnings that are attached to the outside of the house are quite formal so it makes sense for the terrace area beneath to have a sense of formality too.

Using a rectilinear layout will probably work best but this can easily be softened with planting if you don’t like the idea of straight lines and sharp corners. It’s always best, if possible, to introduce some planting beds against the house as this will help to define the terrace area and also soften the marriage between the paving and house wall.

Examples of our patio awnings along with Lisa's design suggestions to include plants & incorporate formality.   

2. How would you style a garden to suit our Outdoor Living Pod?

The Outdoor Living Pods bring a contemporary feel to the house and this should be reflected in the design of the garden otherwise they would be fighting each other.  Again, a rectilinear layout will work best but this can be planted to soften the edges if required.  Planters can also work to soften the mood if the pod is weatherproof.

In a contemporary space, the materials you use are key. A sawn smooth paving stone or hardwood deck will bring elegance and clean lines. Or perhaps try a mixture of the two. For contemporary spaces to really work, the detail needs to be worked through in advance. So, for example, think about lining up the edges of the paving with the window frames or a door on the house so that it ties back to the building.  This will not only look more balance from the garden, it will also look better when viewed from inside the house.

Examples of our Outdoor Living Pod along with Lisa's style suggestions to use paving & decking for a contemporary finish.

Be sure to read part 2 of our interview with Lisa as she unveils the secrets behind a low maintenance garden and ensuring your outside space remains timeless for years to come. Also, don't forget to check out Lisa's website to see more of her remarkable garden transformations.

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