When you renovate an old garden you have the advantage that most of the broad structure is in place. Renovation is easier and cheaper than starting from scratch. Some components may need cleaning, repairing, replacing or maybe even altering, but there is usually a lot that can be used. That means a garden renovation can provide quicker results than a totally new garden construction on a bare area of land.
What Should be Restored?
In any garden restoration project; there are components that can be left as is; other components that can be restored, and other things that simply must be replaced (or removed). Having assessed a garden properly, you have a basis for making these decisions.
Why Keep Something?
Because it is in good (or at least acceptable) condition.
Because it contributes to the integrity of the total design
Because it is sustainable (It is not going to continue degrading)
It is integral (i.e.. It supports/affects or integrates with other components). To remove it would create negative impacts.
Why Discard Something?
It is beyond salvage
It is too costly to maintain (Resources are not available to ensure it is maintained)
It was introduced after the original development; and does not contribute to the garden in any significant way.
Garden Restoration requires Diverse Skills
Garden restoration is a specialised area of landscaping that requires not only a knowledge of horticulture and landscape construction but also involves combining these skills with those of a researcher, historian and detective. Altogether, garden restoration is a diverse and rather unique field for a landscape professional to work in.
ACS offer a course in Garden Restoration which has been developed with a unique set of resources, to fulfil curriculum set down by the Royal Horticultural Society.
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