new build garden

New Build Garden Ideas and Tips


If you have a new build garden, looking at a garden blank canvas is always daunting, but there are some things you can do to turn a big project into bite-size chunks. Think positive – with a new build garden, you get to decide exactly what goes where! Here our team share some new build garden ideas and thoughts to help guide you when moving into a new home and garden.

new build garden

New Build Garden Tips

Before any digging or planting can begin, it’s worth taking time to make your plans. Here are some tips to help you with your garden design and prep.

Track the sun

Look around your new space and work out which direction your garden faces. Stand with your back to an outside wall and face into your garden using a compass (available on most smart phones) point outwards. Whichever direction shows straight ahead of you, that’s your aspect.

Now you can start to track the sun and see where it falls during the day. If you are east-facing then your plot will get the morning sun, West will be in the afternoon and evening whereas south should get day round brightness. Even north-facing gardens will receive some brighter patches.

Create a focal point

Following where your brighter spots are will enable you to think about both planting and more social areas such as seating and dining areas. It might be worth marking areas which are particularly bright or totally shady with sticks poked in the ground or some temporary outdoor spray.

Consider how you live during the year

Use this time to think about what you want from your garden and how much time you realistically have for maintenance. Would you like to grow produce and do you need an area set aside for some play equipment? Will you cook and entertain outside and where can you encourage wildlife into your space?

The planning stage is also a good time to walk around the whole plot and see if there are any areas that are particularly overlooked. These may be the areas that it is worth thinking about planting a tree, hedge or erecting a screen with climbing plants to help with some privacy.


Patios, beds and borders

Think about making a plan of the entire garden and sketching out the areas you would like to develop. Consider your use of the space: where will your garden furniture area be, can you grow herbs close to the kitchen, will you have a lawn and what shape will that be, how will you walk between the different areas? Place the large areas first; patios, lawns, trees and focal points then the paths between these areas and lastly the beds and borders that will fit in between these spaces.

Don’t be afraid to make changes, this is your space and now is your opportunity to get things right.

New Build Garden Preparation

Once you have decided what you want your garden to look like, it’s tempting to run off to the garden centre and buy everything in sight but resist that temptation for just a little longer!

Find out the soil type

If your garden already has soil, see if you can work out whether it’s chalky, sandy or clay-based. Feel it in your hands, sandy soil will feel grainy whereas clay-based soil will be sticky and hold together. It’s also worth picking up a PH testing kit to see the acidity or alkalinity of your material. Your soil conditions will affect what you can grow.

How can I improve my new build soil?

New build gardens are often limited in the amount of topsoil used and can contain rubble under a very thin layer. Dig down to see what you are working with and be prepared for some back-breaking excavation to get this rubble out if needed!

On the plus side you could then use any rubble as a base layer for any hard landscaping such as patios and paths. Lay these areas out first and complete all of your hard landscaping before you begin planting so that nothing growing gets damaged bringing in slabs, or aggregates.

Now is the time to improve the condition of your soil in the areas you will be planting in. Our organic composts, soil conditioners and topsoils are the perfect peat-free medium to improve any material you have in your garden and it’ll be worth your time and energy adding these and digging them in well.

colourful chairs

New build garden ideas

If you are laying a lawn, try to do so in the spring or autumn so that it can root in the better weather conditions. The summer will be too hot and require daily watering whereas in the winter, damage can be caused by too much water or frost. Don’t be afraid to play with the shape of your lawn; if straight lines aren’t your thing, go with curves.

Once all of the other areas of your garden are in place, it’s time to fill your raised beds and borders. Again don’t rush off to the garden centre and buy everything that looks pretty in one go. If you do, there’s a danger that you’ll only have plants that are at their best at the time you bought them – think about year-round interest. Having several evergreen plants will ensure there is always greenery in your garden and planting for the seasons will mean you can watch the changes throughout the year.

Visiting garden centres regularly throughout the year will not only spread out the cost of your new garden but will also mean you are seeing the best of what’s in season.

For year-round interest, think about the following plant types:

Spring: The time for lots of bulbs to pop up starting with snowdrops, crocuses, grape hyacinth, daffodils and tulips. These are generally planted later in the year, between September and November. Flowering or fruiting trees will also burst with blossom at this time of year and azaleas will be a riot of colour.

Summer: Plants such as lavender, verbena and aquilegia can flow through your borders and will pop up year after year. Financially, it is cheaper to plant herbaceous perennials which will keep coming back than annuals which will need replacing every year.

Autumn: Sedums make great ground cover and will flower throughout the autumn. Grasses, salvias and anemones will all stretch the season, creating both colour and movement.

Winter: This is where any evergreen plants will be the stars of the show but some colour can also be introduced with winter flowering heathers, dogwoods and mahonia.


Whatever design you choose and however you use your garden, take the time to sit back and reap the rewards. Outside spaces are vital for your health, both mental and physical, so remember to enjoy what you have created.

Earth Cycle garden products

Here at Earth Cycle, we have everything you need to help turn your blank canvas new build garden into the outdoor space of your dreams.

If you need bulk bags of compost or bulk topsoil, we can deliver across the UK and better yet, all our prices are inclusive of delivery! We have a handy Bulk bag calculator so you can work out exactly how much you need, and if you want to lay turf, you can use our turf calculator and order your turf from us as well!

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