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So, you’ve got the keys to your new home, the furniture is in, clothes are unpacked and then you look outside at your garden and wonder where to begin.

Whalley-based landscape designer Teresa Potter helped us design the gardens of our Mitton Grange show homes so we’ve spoken to her to find out how you can inject some personality into your new garden.

Teresa Potter has been in the business of gardens for two decades so she’s a seasoned expert when it comes to showing gardens some love.

Can you share some tips on where to start with a new build garden?

“The first thing to do is to establish the areas of the garden you will use for certain things. You might decide to add a patio area to the place in the garden that holds the sun for the longest or you might decide to put a shed where the shady part is. Live with it for a while before thinking about plans so you can get a feel for the garden and which areas you will use for which purpose.

“In terms of planting, I’d recommend that you put in structural plants like trees and shrubs first. Invest in some really good specimen’s that offer interest at different times of the year to help the garden feel more mature sooner. Choose three good specimens such as Betula utillis Jacquemontii (white bark for winter), Acer palmatum (lovely autumn leaf colour), Syringa vulgaris (scented flowers in late spring/ early summer). They will have a bigger impact than 20 smaller pots. It is also best to plant the larger things first so you give them plenty of space, you can add smaller plants later on.

“Planting of the supporting scheme should take place over a 12-month period so you can ensure there’s seasonality meaning you’ll have plants in bloom throughout the year, not just in the summer.”

Any ideas for budget-friendly garden ideas to bring some personality in?

“You should always start off at the entrance to the home, as that is where you welcome visitors and it’s the area that makes the highest impact. Plus it lets people know that the house is loved and lived in.

“Find a gorgeous container and plant something in a colour that you love or a smell that you’ll want to be greeted with whenever you arrive home. I’d go for tulips or daffodils for spring colour, anything fuchsia for the summer and topiary trees for all year-round structure. Pots are moveable too so if you want to move it somewhere else at a later date, you can do. You could also invest in some artwork such as a sculpture or purchase some outdoor lighting so the garden looks welcoming after the sun goes down.

“If you want to plant something after moving in, firstly, assess the soil conditions. Look at soil ph, soil type (sandy, loamy, clay) and drainage – so is the area usually wet or free draining? All of these things will influence your plant choices.

“When it comes to planting, I love any type of foliage. During the summer you get the coolness of the foliage and in the autumn the leaves will change colour and provide lovely autumnal tones. These also require little input from you.”

Teresa is behind the gardens at Mitton Grange, our newest development in Whalley.

Her inspiration for these gardens came from the opportunity to show case how the outdoor space on a new build house can offer a high-quality living area that can quickly become an extension of the interior of the home.

“We’ve planted lots of lavender, hydrangea and hornbeam amongst mature trees that were already there before the development started.”

Teresa is also very proud to be one of the RHS Britain In Bloom Judges both Nationally and for the North West region. She says through her volunteer work she sees the ‘power of flowers’ being shared with communities across the country and she is inspired by their work.

The show homes at Mitton Grange are open seven days a week from 10am-5pm.

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To find out more about Teresa’s work visit:

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