County Ag Report: Designing Gardens & Outdoor Spaces

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:56 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


[Claire Ackroyd, Landscape Designer & Author | Orono, ME]

“Stand back and decide who you are, what you want, you know -- what kind of style do you want? What do you want your garden to be?”

Claire Ackroyd, landscape designer and author, came to Maine from England pursuing her professional career and sharing her passion for gardening and horticulture; as well as design of outdoor spaces that are equally welcoming and highly personalized.

“It’s not just about plunking down a patio or building a deck. But the idea that your backyard -- I have to keep using the word garden. Because to me it’s all about a garden. But a garden to many Americans means a vegetable patch, whereas a garden to an English person is the yard. So anyway that’s a vocabulary problem. But so, accepting that garden is my term for the space around your house -- making the whole thing a pleasant place to be.”

Claire mentions planning is key, deciding how your garden best serves your needs.

“Make a list, absolutely. What are the things you want? A herb garden, a bocce ball court, a fire pit. If you got a large family, do you want kids and grown-ups in the same place? Or do you want to make sort of separate play space for kids to be? And it’s not a list of -- it’s a list of things you want to do, you know. There’s no right or wrong, you know there’s no rule you can apply to every garden. Because a garden is made up of the house, the yard, the soil, the person. It’s impossible to make a rule.”

Once narrowing down the use of your space, Claire says that’s the gateway to beneficial, healing, and true gardening.

“You find people catch on to the business of actually gardening -- of growing interesting plants because it is so much fun. It’s so rewarding. And so, sort of satisfying to see something that you planted last year, come up and be beautiful this year. To me making a garden that I can share space, time, and activities with friends is -- you know, it’s the whole thing.”

Copyright 2022 WAGM. All rights reserved.