One of the benefits of moving into a new home is that you get a fabulous blank canvas both inside and out,  to  'make your own'. Whilst most of us can choose a sofa and co-ordinating accessories to suit our taste and lifestyle, creating the perfect garden can be more challenging.

Many new homeowners lack the time, money and know-how to create their ideal garden, and this is how Nikki Hollier felt when she moved into her new build home a few years ago. Lacking in time and knowledge and completely perplexed by garden centres, this prompted her to start her business, Border in a Box, to help homeowners create beautiful borders even if time, money and gardening knowledge is in short supply.

Nikki, now a trained horticultuarlist, has become an expert in creating outside spaces and today, helps others to create their own gardens. Here, Nikki has shared her top tips for creating a garden to suit your wants, needs and lifestyle:


Tip 1 - Consider your wants and needs

Don't rush, take time to think about what you want and need from your garden. Take into consideration the practical items such as bins, washing lines and play equipment as well as other things on your wish list such as entertaining space or a place to relax.

Tip 2 - Gather inspiration

Think about colours and themes, gather inspiration for your garden from magazines, newspapers and online apps such as Pinterest. You could also visit National Trust gardens such as the gardens at Sissinghurst or private gardens that are part of the NGS scheme.

A densely planted border will smother weeds and keep them low maintenance
— Nikki Hollier, Border in a Box

Tip 3 - Decide on a budget

You can create a beautiful garden, no matter what your budget. Decide what you are willing to spend and can always add to it at a later date

Tip 4 - Plan and design

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From your research, you will be able to see what kind of garden you want to create. Do you want a harmonious scheme or something that contrasts? There are many styles of garden to choose from and you may even want to incorporate several styles such as cottage and contemporary into one garden. After a busy day at work, the last thing you may want to do is mow a large area of grass so a low maintenance garden will provide a beautiful vista but keep 'working in the garden' to a minimum. You could replace parts of the lawn with paving, gravel or imitation grass.

*Top Tip* A densely planted border will smother weeds and keep them low maintenance. If you have dogs, pets or mobility problems, raised beds are brilliant. They can also create interest and separate different areas in the garden. Nikki provides an easy solution to border planting with her range of 'Borders in a Box' . There are 8 styles to choose from including schemes for a sunny or shady garden, english cottage, contemporary , clay, butterflies & bees and wellbeing.

Tip 5 - Bring your ideas to life

If there is a lot of work to do including landscaping, you may need to use the services of a landscape gardener. Otherwise with Nikki's tips you can start to create some of your ideas yourself. Nikki has provided a really useful planting chart complete with descriptions of what various plants actually look like. Download it here >