Spring has officially sprung, and with warmer days just around the corner, we all dream of having that perfect outdoor space where we can quietly soak up the sun, socialise with friends and family, or simply play with the children.
Kirkwood customers and keen gardeners Ryan and Lewis have created a spectacular garden at their new home in Aberdeen - showcasing the potential of new build gardens and inspiring us for the season ahead.
How important was it to have a private garden as you both searched for your new home?
Ryan: “It was essential! In our last home we had a garden and we would spend countless hours there all-year-round - we knew we had to find a home that had a generous outdoor space that we could treat as a blank canvas. Thankfully we found the perfect fit for us with Kirkwood.”
What has made you so passionate about gardening?
Ryan: “For me, I’ve had a keen interest in gardening for the last 15 years or so. The amount of time we spent in the garden soared when we moved into our new Kirkwood home in Cove as we had this fantastic, untouched outdoor space that we could begin shaping into our dream garden.”
Lewis: “I haven’t always had the same level of interest in gardening as Ryan until we moved into our new Kirkwood home, then I just became so invested. I’m not as hands-on, but I love finding the perfect flowers and plants to add to our space.”
How much time do you spend in your garden?
Ryan: “In all honesty, throughout the summer I almost spend just as much time in the garden as I do at my office job! When it’s that bit warmer, I spend at least 4 hours every day in our garden - it can be quite labour intensive, but that’s only because I choose to be so dedicated. You can even find me trimming the edges of our lawn with hand shears!
“As I’m working all day, having this spacious garden is really an escape for me where I can wind down. When working from home, I can just nip into the garden at lunchtime to relax or sit in the summer house.”
Lewis: “I think lockdown also showed us just how much of a benefit it was to have our own private garden - we ended up appreciating our outdoor space that bit more.”
What do you spend your time doing from spring to summer?
Lewis: “Having a private outdoor space grants us this amazing social element where we have somewhere to host family and friends when the good weather comes around. In the summertime we love socialising with drinks and food outside, and whenever we invite people round they are always so keen to see the garden and the changes we’ve made to it.
“Having this social space for everyone to enjoy from spring to summer makes all the hard work worth it.”
Do you get a lot of outside interest into what you’re doing with your garden?
Ryan: “Through our dedicated Instagram page and the appearances we’ve had on TV shows such as BBC’s Beechgrove Garden, there’s been nothing but positive feedback and interactions. The gardening community that we’ve become a part of is a great place to learn and share stories, whilst being full of friendly individuals.”
Do you have any tips for someone that is considering a new build home and wants to start gardening?
Ryan: “My number one piece of advice is to not just stick a fork in the ground and hope for the best. To get the most out of your outdoor space, it’s so important that you invest time into planning out exactly what you want to achieve with your garden and what you want it to look like. I believe that if you don’t plan things out carefully, you will end up regretting it at some point.
“Another tip I’d bear in mind is to be realistic with the limitations of your outdoor space. Many people invest hundreds of pounds in plants, pots and tools only for them to not have the right living conditions to grow properly - it’s essentially a quick way to waste your money if you haven’t planned right.”
Lewis: “At our previous home we made mistakes which we’ve now learned from, such as rushing into changes and digging up parts of the garden. After taking a step back to plan out how we wanted our perfect garden to look, we researched many places for inspiration for the general layout and design including Pinterest and Instagram. We’re lucky to have Ryan’s knowledge as it’s so important to know how to care properly for everything you plant - it’s never a case of just sticking something in the ground and hoping it grows.”
What was the process like for planning out your garden space?
Lewis: “We finally found our dream home from Kirkwood at the start of 2020, right before lockdown became reality. Luckily we were able to reserve the home, meaning we could use this time where we were shut inside to really scope out what we wanted to do with our generous outdoor space.”
Ryan: “When we finally got to move into our new home in September, I was immediately out in the garden. Thanks to our pre-planning we knew how the sun would project onto the south-facing garden, we were able to get the patio and the circular lawn down by the end of the month and then it was time to start adding some colour to the space with the planting of new flowers.
“Of course if you have young kids or just different tastes then you may wish to style your garden completely differently to ours - but that’s the benefit of having a blank canvas when you buy a new build home. The space is yours to shape and style exactly how you would dream it to be. For us, it’s the perfect space for socialising and entertaining whilst it gives us the opportunity to carry out our hobby every day of the year.”
How would you compare the garden quality of new build homes to second-hand homes?
Ryan: “There are of course some aspects we were worried about, for example if the topsoil was poor quality then it would increase the difficulty of achieving our plans. Thankfully, we could rely on the premium quality of Kirkwood which was present in both the outdoor space and throughout our home.”
Lewis: “Another aspect that drew us to Kirkwood Homes as opposed to a second-hand home was the generous size of the garden. We both wanted to find the perfect home that was close to the city centre whilst having a spacious outdoor area that we could shape to our wants and needs, and that’s exactly what we found with Kirkwood.”
Find your dream home this year
Kirkwood Homes has an array of luxurious properties awaiting to be discovered that are ready to move into before the end of June, so you can enjoy your own generous outdoor space in time for the warmer seasons.