function over form

Garden Design – Right Garden Guarantee

It’s time to think function over form when it comes to designing your perfect gardenParaic Horkan
Here at Horkans, we want you to love your garden and to see it as part of your lifestyle. Your garden should be an extension of your home. It can be:

  • A place to relax
  • Listen to music
  • Play with the kids
  • Cook for the family
  • Entertain your friends

Too often our garden becomes a chore. We focus on the form of the garden rather than the possible uses or functions. The concept of function over form allows you to focus on how you can use your garden as part of your lifestyle rather than just how it looks or what chores you have to do in it.

Often when we are planning new landscapes we think only of aesthetic qualities. However, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions:

cooking outdoors

Cooking Outdoors

How will your landscape be used?
You should begin by asking: what do I want my landscape to provide for my current lifestyle. A lawn is good for athletic games & activities. It is an area to play with the kids, dogs or other pets. It is also a place for toddlers to experience the wonder of the outdoors. Or perhaps you want an outdoor living space, a pleasant place to barbecue and entertain family and friends. You may want a private, peaceful garden to meditate in or curl up with a good book.

Do you intend to grow food for your family?
Fruit trees and shrubs can be incorporated into any landscape plan, or you may want to set aside an area for vegetable & herb gardens.

Do you want to encourage wildlife to your garden?
You can restore habitat and encourage native wildlife by planting native plants. Growing plants with berries, nuts and seeds will attract songbirds and squirrels. Flowers attract bees & butterflies—and remember that insects, worms and other small wildlife also play an important role in the propagation of new plants.

Back Garden

Back Garden

What are the maintenance requirements of your landscape?
You need to take into account how much time and money are you willing to spend on the upkeep of your garden. Do you want it to pretty much take care of itself, except for a little weeding every few weeks, or are you willing to be mowing, edging and trimming regularly?

Plan for success:
Now is the time to plan, you should begin this stage by getting advice. Planning on paper is very effective and is also the best method in planning a basic layout for your garden. For example paths may be necessary to allow access to different parts of your garden, a screen to create privacy, cover up an unsightly view or a fence can keep kids or pets in while unwanted trespassers out. You also need to consider how you want to use your garden, for cooking, entertaining, a place to sit and dwell or a place for your children and pets.

Time to design with Horkans:
Once you decide on your functional goals, then you can start designing your dream garden. Whether you want to follow any special theme or not, you need to select plants that will thrive in the varying micro-climates of your garden while matching each plant with its preferred amount of sun, shade and moisture needs.

Paraic Horkan

Paraic Horkan

At Horkans, we recommend you complete a photo visualisation for your garden, this is simply a selection of digital photos of your current garden where we superimpose a design or feature onto the existing photo to show you how your garden will look after landscaping and planting. Photo visualisation creates a realistic picture of what your garden will look like in three to five years time and helps you to visualise how you garden will look in the future.

To contact my design team send your enquiry to

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