Follow these 7 tips:

Don’t start by thinking about the garden itself. First, think of a fantasy story or painting you really like instead, something that is lively or tranquil, but is totally ‘you’.

Once you have a strong visual scene in your mind, draw on this. Pull out the colours and shapes. There may be navy blue or hot orange, and this will form the colour palette. The shapes may be lines or curves, which is what informs your design ideas.

Go to the garden centre with this image in mind, or better in hand! Choose plants to suit it – one might look like a firework, another like cascading water.

To keep things simple, limit your palette to three colours.

Plant plenty! Propagate to build up cheaper plants in 20s or 30s, then splash out on accent plants if you want to.

Every border needs a few plants that are not felled by frost and will provide year-long structure. try hardy plants which can cope with temperatures down to -15C.

Good soil preparation, watering and feeding make a big difference to the early stages of a newly planted garden.