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​5 Top Garden Design Tips (DIY)

Not all gardens are made equal, but the size or budget does not dictate the quality that you can achieve in a garden. Our talented Designer Team at Tony Benger landscaping have come up with 5 key tips that anyone at home can apply in order to improve their quality time in the garden. So let's look together how can we turn your unloved patch of grass into Chelsea medal worthy!

1. Never underestimate a Good Plant.

Common plants that we see more often in our local Tesco’s car park might help develop your garden space. Species such as Hebe Sutherlandii or Lonicera nitida are often chosen for areas because they are low maintenance and tough as old boots! Yet, if you move away from the mass planting you see in car parks and use a Hebe Suthlandii Clipped into a ball with Frothy grasses and sweet-smelling nepeta, your garden bed has texture and colour all year round.

Lonicera nitida can be used as an alternative to pest prone box, try planting it at the edge of your beds and you can instantly add the look of the formal low box hedge style but with a half the cost.

2. Plan before you plant!

It is very easy to spend an afternoon at the garden centre and come out with a lot more than you planned to purchase. A common problem is finding room in your beds and a common solution is to dig up a little more of the lawn. This provides you with beautiful beds that might slowly begin to get harder to manage. Stepping over your perennials to hack back a dominant shrub can turn your garden into a war zone between you and the sheers!

If you have a blank canvas then list everything you want from your space, you may find that you can make much more of your patio if you know you want to roll your yoga matt out and have a seating area for your morning coffee. Multi-functionality is a designer’s best friend.

3. Outdoor Lighting is your secret weapon!

A common problem with life today is how much we are stuck inside. We are in our gardens more often, when the summer weather and temperature mean we can use the space long into the evenings.

With outdoor lighting (even something as simple as a solar-powered light you can pick up from your local Ikea or Homebase), your garden can be used later in the year or earlier in the season. Getting out and enjoy the garden. With an awning over your head, a hot cup of chocolate and outdoor lighting in the garden, there is nothing better than a winter sit in the garden to enjoy the stars.

4. Look up.

Looking to elevate your garden to better quality? It Is easy to think of ways to fill space but one excellent focal point can be to add space vertically. Arches with climbing roses, statement trees and hanging baskets are all ways to add extra dimension and colour to your space. Although these items might cost you, these are the features in your garden you don’t want to shortcut. Buy too small a tree and you will not reap the rewards of its full potential for 10 years. Arches or garden structures make for practical outdoor living, whether you put a gate to keep the dogs out the veg patch or a picnic table to help with kids engage with their plant biology homework, these features add an instant purpose and focal point to your space. Using height structures can also keep the eyes away from the weeds you might have forgotten to pull up!

5. Keep Wildlife in Mind!

It is possible to create a bright colourful attractive garden that pleases you and the wildlife that resides in it! The species that we are familiar with such as Hebe, Sedum, Yarrow, Heather, buddleja, alliums, pulmonaria and many more that we know attracts insects are well known as they not only provide you with vivid spring and summer flowers but also keep flowering throughout the autumn and winter. Heathers, mahonia, hellebores and crocus will keep the wildlife fed throughout the harsher months. Serving your garden wildlife unintentionally provides you with a garden of seasonal progression and continuous blooms.

We hope you find these tips useful, however if you rather have more in depth advise or a detailed garden design drawing, please do not hesitate to email emily@tonybenger.com or ring us on 01404 831844.

Award Winning Service


- Google - 5 star rating

'Let down by 3 landscapers, delighted by Bengers'

Having been let down by 3 previous landscapers we just want you to know how delighted we are with the results that have been achieved by your team working on our back garden. From the outset the attitude from your staff has been so professional.

Simeon, Angela, Fabian and Adam have given us a garden which we will enjoy and which can develop beautifully over the years. We have been so impressed with them for their commitment, attention to detail and the interpretation of our requests along the way. There is a pride in the work that was evident throughout as none of what has been achieved could have happened without them. Our scheme is small by many standards but has made a huge difference to how we now feel about our new home and garden .

Thank you to them all.

- Peter & Adrienne

'Excellent throughout'

I visited Saxon Brook Phase 3 & 4 last week and I thought the landscaping looked excellent throughout. Can you pass on my thanks to the site team working on that job.

- Lee Hawker, Managing Director, Redrow Homes South West

'Gob smackingly beautiful!'

Penny - I had to email you! I’ve just been over to the garden you designed and planted in Beer last year. Adrian has just installed a sculpture there. It is gob smackingly beautiful! I honestly can’t describe how uplifting (and humbling) this is

- DKA Design

'The garden just looks so wonderful'

My first task (even before I pour myself a glass of wine!) is to say thank
you, the garden just looks so wonderful. Completely thrilled this end and I
am going to devote my summer to nurturing all the little treasures (well not
really, the gardener may be best at that).
Thank you so much.

- Chris

'Bengers are the best!'

Your chaps were so good and worked really hard to get the job done with no access, fierce dogs and even fiercer weather. And more to the point, they made no mess at all. Brilliant.

Bengers are the best!

- Anthea

'The world would be a better place.'

The 3 guys you sent out doing tree work for us were fantastic.
They were polite caring and careful.
If all people were like that the world would be a better place.

- Anonymous

'Worked in bad weather with no disruption'

We would like to commend Tom and Luke on the wonderful job they have done on our top level paving / stones and finishing. They have worked very professionally with a high degree of quality and diligence. They worked around the bad weather with no disruption and were always neat and tidy. They are a credit to Tony Benger's.

- Colin Newell

'It really is a super job'

Thank you so much for organising this - it really is a super job and you were
absolutely right about Nick being the perfect person to do it.
It was a pleasure to deal with him - nothing was too much trouble.
And the workmanship in the raised beds is impressive.
To say I'm pleased is an understatement. Without doubt [my husband] would be delighted that you have looked after me so well.
Very many thanks again

- Dee

'Very pleased'

We would just like to say that we are very pleased with how the garden has turned out and look forward
to seeing it develop over the forthcoming years. Thank you to you and all your staff.
Many thanks

- Jenny & Tony

'The lads were excellent and very polite'

Just wanted to say a big thank you for the work today.
The lads were excellent and very polite, a credit to your firm to be fair.

- Richard

'Christened our new garden with a BBQ'

We just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for our lovely new back garden - please pass on our thanks to Tony & Fabian too. We absolutely love it and christened it the first weekend with a bbq!

- Katherine

'Amazing Job'

Thank you and all your men for the amazing job you did for me today.
It was such a pleasure to have such nice young men working for me.
They never stopped & no bad language - just politeness. I am very impressed. The work is exactly what I wanted.
Thank you again.

- Janice

'The importance of planting at the right depth'

I just wanted to thank you and your team for hosting me on Friday, they are a great bunch of guys and were really friendly.
I can now tell you that the area I am researching is the level of awareness within the industry of root flare depth.
I was really pleased to find that you and your team are fully aware of the importance of planting at the right depth so that’s great and please keep doing that!
Your guys seemed very conscientious and to genuinely care about the trees they look after and your nursery was doing its job right too.

- Leonie

'So delighted'

I am so delighted with the work. Jerry was absolutely the right guy. And the various other lads have been great as well. And I am so glad Penny suggested the grass! I am looking forward to seeing the plants settle in and grow. Lovely!

- Hilary

'A real enhancement to summer living'

I am very pleased indeed with the finished deck and think that it will be a real enhancement to summer living. Thank you to the whole team who were wonderful.

Many thanks

- Kate

'Made us all so happy'

Thank you so very much - you have made us all so happy - we haven't sat in the house since you finished the garden!

- Eve, Geoff, Rebecca & Will

'Welcome back for any future work'

We would like to say how much we appreciate the work done by Richard and Tom on what has been a very challenging project.

There were both a pleasure to interact with and they left the garden surrounds better than they found them.

They are both clean and methodical workers with a good knowledge of their trade.

Their work gives us so much more usable space on a site that has very steep access.

We would welcome them back for any future work

- John and Geraldine

'Care and professionalism is terrific'

I want to say how pleased I am with everything so far. Jerry and his landscape guys are brilliant, and so is Dave. Their care and professionalism is terrific. I am so impressed!

Thanks a lot

- Hilary

'A first class job!'

Just wanted to say thank you to the two guys who laid our turf yesterday. Really pleased with the outcome - a first class job!

- Alan & Sandra

'Always professional and hard working'

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the workers for their time and patience on the job - which was at times quite taxing. Dan, Tony and the other two lads were always professional and hard working often staying long hours to finish a phase of the job. They never ‘slacked’ and I at no time felt the need to check up on them. Really dedicated, cheerful and hardworking.

Carl who oversaw all the works obviously from start to finish was second to none. Seemed to care so much about the job would come with ideas the next day after having worked late the day before- popped round whenever we had concerns - without hesitation. He showed such patience and understanding throughout.

I would definitely use Tony Benger Landscaping if we do further works and am recommending the whole team whenever the topic arises!

- Richard & Miranda

'garden looking tip-top'

Your team has just completed some remedial work on the drainage to our back garden and we would like to record our thanks for the excellent job Tony and Fabian have done over the last 3 days. It's lovely to see the garden looking tip-top again and we are delighted with the new patio and turfing.

- Jean and Christine

'A Grand Job'

I wanted to say thank you so much for all your input with the garden problems, your lovely guys have worked so hard today and have completed a grand job, they were a pleasure to meet and great credit to your company. Many thanks and Happy Christmas

- Maureen

'Professional job'

I’d like to thank you and your team for the work that they’ve done on our rear garden. All of the men worked constantly over the four days and did a professional job.

- Steve

'Now Enjoy My Garden'

I would like to thank you and your team for a wonderful job. I can now enjoy my garden with my husband and family.

- Christine

'Polite and Helpful'

I am very pleased with the end result of all the work undertaken and would reiterate how polite and helpful all of the men were, working a lot of the time in foul weather conditions. They were a credit to Tony Benger Landscaping and Bailhache

- Biles

'Estate has Improved Hugely'

“I also wanted to let you know that the look of the Orleigh Cross estate has improved hugely since Bengers won back the garden maintenance: it all looks altogether tidier and healthier.”

- Anonymous

'What a great job'

I just wanted to say what a great job Dave and his team did last week on the wild flower banks. It's good to give praise and perhaps you'll pass this on to him

Don't put our prices up though!

- Sue


We are delighted with the garden!

It looks fantastic and has given Mum a noticeable boost.

Please pass on my thanks to your team & especially to Penny.

- Mike

'looking presentable again'

Thank you very much for sorting out our gravel areas and drive - we are very pleased to be looking presentable again, and you have been a pleasure to do business with.

- Trixie

'what a fabulous job'

I just wanted to say what a fabulous job the guys are doing reducing the hedgerows around Cranbrook. It is great to see some traditional laying down of the hedges which have been completed very sympathetically before birds start nesting. Give it a few years and these hedges will grow and thicken up and be a haven for birds again.

Well done to all.

- Alison


Andrew is, as always, superb, I am always amazed at the amount of work he does in a day, more than I'd manage in a month, and always with such care.

- Pam

'Absolutely amazing work!!!'

Thank you for this report. That is absolutely amazing work!!! Thank you so much.

I’ve passed this onto my colleagues for some feedback as well! There’s more coming your way I’m sure!!

- Andy Thorn - Property Manager - Residential Management Group Ltd

'Worked like Trojans'

Andrew and Stan worked like Trojans. The energy! They do so much in a day.

That superb gate and my arches and benches.

I always feel very humble.Will you give them a huge thank you for me and from H who loves the benches.

- Pam

'looking really good'

We are really pleased with the work Jerry has done on the pond. It has had a new lease of life and hopefully the frogs and newts won’t have been too disrupted. It’s looking really good.

- Kate

'Just Thrilled'

Tony, many thanks. We are thrilled with the result!

- Carol and George

'Lovely Floral Displays'

I live very near Gunwharf Quays and am always walking through the area.

I have been particularly impressed this year with the lovely floral displays which I understand your company is responsible for.

The displays are so colourful and imaginative and enhance what is already a very attractive area. Thank you.

- Marilyn

'Sidmouth in Bloom'

In addition to the Gold Award we (and therefore with TB), won the cup for the best garden at Residential/Nursing Homes in Sidmouth. Huge thanks to all TB staff involved and on the next visit we’ll take some pictures with the cup for your records. Maybe not quite RHS Chelsea but ‘Sidmouth in Bloom’ have a pretty strong reputation regionally and nationally so all very pleasing.

- Rachel

'So Considerate'

I just wanted to take the opportunity to feedback how considerate your employees who are currently working in Cranbrook are. I often go for walks around the town and country park and when I do they stop what they are doing, turn off their machinery, and wait for me to walk past before resuming what it is they are doing. It is really nice and considerate of them and I hope you are able to pass on my feedback. Many thanks


'Refreshing to work with a company that keeps to its deadlines and budget'

I have had some reasonably significant tree work and garden landscaping work done by Tony Benger Ltd this year. I have been delighted with the work, the professional attitude, and the resilience and the skill of the workforce - who strived on in weather conditions that were less than ideal. Sam and Tony (Not Mr B, but another) have built us a fabulous stone wall and some raised beds. All in time for the spring planting - and we are delighted. Over the years, I have worked with many landscaping companies, and it is refreshing to work with a company that keeps to its deadlines and its budget, and which keeps it's standards high with regard to the quality of the work. I will continue to use Tony Benger Landscaping Ltd

- Adrian Fairbank - Director - Peristyle Properties Ltd

All so kind and courteous!

The garden looks amazing and a lot bigger, we are all so very pleased with the result. Rich, Sam and Dean worked really hard in the very hot conditions and they were all so kind and courteous, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend your services.

- Diane & Lesley

Very professional!

Really happy with the job. The whole experience has been very positive and you’ve all be very professional.

- Gareth

delighted with the way things are going!


I hope your company jolly goes well despite the grim weather due today.🥺

Just a note to let you know we are delighted with the way things are going. You have a great team there who work well and are nice guys to get on with. They work very cleanly and neatly and tidy up after themselves. I expected a lot more mess I have to admit.

We like to give praise where praise is due.

Thank the boys on our behalf

Have a fun day.

- Pat Lyon


JOIN THE TBL TEAM. To discuss your career opportunities within the landscaping industry,
please call 01404 830124 or send your CV to oliver@tonybenger.com