Monthly Archives: August 2014

How To Design A Garden – Expert Series

How to design a garden  Amir Schlezinger

Top pulbished garden designer Amir Schlezinger gives his valuable insights into the aspects he considers when asked “how to design a garden?”.

I first look at the link to the surrounding landscape: skyline, trees, architecture and local context. I then look for creating privacy, shelter from wind sun and rain by looking at the prevailing elements and a compass. Thinking about the sitting arrangements helps in defining a lot of the solutions for the above challenges. Positioning focal point plants helps not only in moving the eye across and creating a dynamic but also in incorporating scale and a link to the surroundings.

In terms of vegetation it is important to use species which are suitable to the site in terms of soil, sun and shade and providing food and a habitat for local fauna. It also serves educational purposes for children and the preservation of heritage in a native context. Because most of my work is in central London and a lot of my clients are foreign I try and create a balance in the plants by balancing native and foreign species. This gives me the opportunity to mix architectural, exotic foliage into more subdued European species.

How To Design A Garden

How To Design A Garden

In regards to surfaces and delineation of level changes I prefer simplicity and directional patterns as I favour a natural progression of ergonomics, ease of use and ease of maintenance. As I predominantly work in small urban spaces it is important to create clear contrasts that give good definition of spaces and provide good detail throughout. Detailing is important to not only add interest in the various layers of a design but also to weave some sort of a narrative into what otherwise can be dull and ordinary spaces – particularly when the weather is unfavourable.

In terms off accompaniments I always look into making sure the space is augmented with pots, sculpture, lighting, heating, cooking facilities, irrigation and the sound of water where desirable as these all add to the natural elements we all seek in an outdoor liveable space. Most of all I tailor those to each individual client – as at the end of the day, each client and each space is different and so each piece of work I am involved in should represent not only my style but also the client’s lifestyle, the site and our mutual love for gardens.

Amir Schlezinger Amir Schlezinger – Courtyard, Patio & Garden Design

After graduating from Middlesex University with a BA Honours in 2000, Amir has gone on to design over 200 projects in London as well as numerous projects around the country.

His well published domestic and corporate portfolio includes city patio, courtyard and larger family gardens. Added to this is his speciality, roof terrace and garden design.

To view more information about Amir and view more of his inspirational designs, visit mylandscapes

Category: Expert Series

Techmar Garden Lighting – Easy How To Guide

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Techmar Garden Lighting

The Easy How To Guide!

Think its difficult to install your own professional 12v LED garden lighting? Well think again with this easy 5 step how to guide from Garden Light Shop

Introduction To Techmar Garden Lighting

techmar-plug-playI realise that not every one would of heard of Techmar so I thought before commencing with the guide I would just give this brief introduction.

Tecmar garden lighting is a low voltage 12v garden lighting system from the Netherlands which is extremely easy to install and very safe. Each part of the system is plug and play, each light unit plugs into the cable system which in turn plugs into a transformer which plug into a normal outdoor plug socket.

All parts of the system are designed to be used with each other making it in my mind the best true PLUG & PLAY system available on the market today. Our clients can’t believe how easy it is to install. So lets get started.

Make A Rough Sketch Of Your Garden

Grab a pad and a pencil and make a rough sketch of your garden, include any large features such as sheds, any large foliage and pathways. Although not imperative, try to keep some proportion as this will help your overall design. Once done add the positions of your power sockets.

Choose Your Lights & Lighting Positions

This is the fun part of designing your garden so take your time and enjoy it.

First I would suggest that you decide what type of lighting you think would be suit the features within your garden. For example, post lighting is ideal for lighting borders and features such as pathways while spotlights are better suited to lighting foliage and garden features. Other types of light available to you include deck lights, usually used to mark the edge and steps of your decking, wall lights which can be used as a decorative light and floodlights which are used for lighting large features or in many cases as a handy light for lighting bin areas and washing lines.

Measure Up For Your Cables

Now it’s time to measure your garden ready for your cabling. You will need, dependant on your needs, an assortment of mains cables, extension cables and cable dividers. Some people find this aspect of their design the trickiest, but if you start your design by adding a mains cable and then see what’s needed to get to your lighting positions from there, I think you will find it will slowly take shape. If you are struggling remember we do have a free design service and can help you. If you need help contact us via the website Techmar Garden Lighting.

We will be producing a how to guide specifically about cabling soon, so I recommend if its a subject your interested in, bookmarking our blog so you can easily refer back to it later.

Choosing Your Transformer

For some reason, it seems that people worry the most about this stage. The thing is though, it couldn’t be simpler. I think the largest cause of confusion is when people buy the halogen version of a light and then use a replacement led bulb. Remember it doesn’t matter what light you have, all you need to do is count up all the watts of the bulbs you intend to use. There are currently 3 transformers available 22W, 60W and 150W.

So for example:

Circuit 1 (Patio)

1 x Callisto (2W), 4 x Linum (2W), 2 x Focus (2W)

(1×2) + (4×2) + (2×5) = 20 So therefore you would need a 22W Transformer

Note: Although the 22W transformer above would work ok, we always recommend that you use a transformer that has 25% spare capacity. This will allow you to add more lights to your system in the future.

Circuit 2 (Shed)

1 x Locos (2w), 5 x Rumex (2w)

(1×2) + (5×2) = 12 So therefore in this example, the 22w Transformer would be ample.

Order Your Lights

Ordering is easy, either simply order via our website at, give us a call on 020 8568 6711 or pop in and see us at our premises in Brentford (Address and directions on website)


I hope you find this article useful, as I mentioned there will be further guides on cabling coming but in the meantime if you I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to ask.

Category: How To Guides