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How to Plan Your Garden Landscape

You’ve decided that your garden needs a makeover and don’t know where to start?

Don’t fret!

Structure a step-by-step plan and things will gradually fall into place.

Before you consider engaging garden designers for your outdoor space, think about doing the work yourself. It isn’t exactly easy, but it can be very rewarding.

Our list can be used in almost any order depending on your priorities, but it makes sense to do a few things first to save disappointment later on.

It’s all about you and what you want.

How to Start

Think about the size of your garden.

In most cases, you’ll have seen images or know of a garden landscape that you love the look of.

Consider;

  • What aspects make you like it so much?

Some examples could be;

It’s because of the low maintenance nature of the garden design or has some form of  ‘wow-factor’.

It has a water feature, rock feature, or flower beds.

The colours, the plants, and the furniture work so well for you.

Consider how you live in your home and who you live with.

  • Would your perfect garden fit within your lifestyle and budget? There’s little point dreaming of your perfect garden without the means to provide it.
  • Is it practical and possible given the available size, shape and positioning of your garden?
  • Do you have family members to consider the design? For example, will your kids be safe or are they likely to damage that carefully cultivated vegetable garden?
  • Perhaps mobility is a problem for other family members so clear wide paths need to be introduced for easier access.

Determine the size of your garden and what will it be used for.

Take time to determine the overall look of the landscape design, be it a modern minimalistic or Mediterranean look, an outdoor kitchen style country garden, or Japanese inspired rock and water features.

  • Measure your garden carefully.

Not only will this save you time but it will also highlight the practicality of your garden landscape idea.

  • In addition, plotting your garden size on paper will allow you to experiment with different layouts and ultimately impress your chosen landscape designer (should you decide to employ one) that you know your stuff.
  • This link from Gardendesigncourses.co.uk goes into detail how to accurately measure a landscape.
  • Are you designing for a front garden or back? Would your design ideas work just as well in a front yard as in the back? Remember, some plants do much better in shade. Drought tolerant plants such as some grasses, palms and cactii are particularly adept at surviving in direct sunlight.

Look for garden inspiration everywhere.

  • Perhaps your neighbours have inspired you with their asymmetrically clipped hedges or clever use of retaining wall? Don’t be shy to ask them for their garden advice as most would be only too pleased to have their egos rubbed!
  • If time allows, create a scrapbook of garden landscaping ideas that will enhance your own. Video or image sites such as Youtube.com , Getty images.co.uk , Pinterest.co.uk and Shutterstock.com will prove invaluable.
  • Real magazines or digital editions like ‘Better Homes’ and ‘Housebeautiful.com’, all display images that influence layouts and give useful gardening tips.
  • Look for inspiration for your dream garden from garden and interior photographers such as Max Kim-Bee, Lisa Hubbard, and competition winners from newspapers like this one from The Guardian.  
  • Primarily due to being cheap to produce, garden makeover programmes span the TV network and are crammed with garden design ideas.

If your garden is large enough to segment.

  • Design your garden based on the activities you plan to use it for. Carefully selecting the correct plants for ground cover and raised beds will greatly lower costs, create that extra wow factor, and if you plan on being a low maintenance gardener, reduce labour in upkeep.
  • This is all about the stage of creativity and should be guided by the style of garden you’ve opted for.
  • Perhaps the area available is relatively small and you want to plan a container garden for growing plants in pots or troughs? This article from Goodhousekeeping.com has some wonderful hints and tips to make even the smallest plot into a beautiful garden.

The more you plan, the happier you’ll be.

Landscaping a garden is akin to interior design.

If you have a flair for one you’ll likely succeed in the other as colour coordination, material choices, and enhancing available space go hand-in-hand.

Those with a penchant for tackling DIY projects will be equally at home in dealing with the issues of landscape gardening design: It’s decorating ideas for the garden!

When all is said and done, you may not need a garden landscape designer after al!

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