How to plan a garden

Make the most out of your yard

Whether or not you’re currently a proud gardener, curious about new ideas or you are trying to transform an empty plot into a beautiful backyard; a stunning garden can make all the difference to a property. Besides, to many people a garden is more than just a plot covered with grass.

Before being able to enjoy a beautiful garden in most cases a lot of time, money and effort needs to be invested. Thus, before planning a garden, it is important to take a closer look at the plot itself. There are several aspects that need to be considered such as sunlight, shade, wind, footpaths, balance between lawn, shrubs, flowers and many more. A helpful first step can be to draw a map of your plot. On the map you indicate trees, plants, sitting areas, walking paths and any other objects that you already have. This map will serve as a good base for planning your future garden.

Garden sketch

The next step would be to find out how your dream garden looks like, possibly by glancing next-door or grasping the latest edition of a magazine filled with inspiration and advice from professional landscapers. These tips are typically easy to implement, nondependent of budget or level of ambition, and will make an enormous difference. However, keep in mind that it’s better to choose a design that won’t overwhelm you - especially if you’re new to gardening and only have a limited time to devote.

One aspect to think about can be the shape of your lawn, which will in most cases take up the biggest space in your garden. This space doesn’t always have to be rectangle. Think about different shapes by using flowerbeds and bushes to change the form of the lawn.

Colorful fence

Hedges, boundary walls and fences are one of the main things that catches your eye when standing in small gardens. Make sure that those are nice looking and provide visual links such as climbers in coordinating colors between them. Finally, give sitting areas enough space. Especially when you plan to include a table to your sitting area, it is very easy to forget how much space people need to sit comfortably.

When planning your garden, you should also think about the different seasons. Would you like a beautiful garden most of the year, make sure to plant flora that bloom during different seasons. Apart from flowers that bloom during the summer and spring, include early bloomers such as snowdrops and crocuses, as well as late bloomers such as echinaceas or christmas roses. Another important aspect is to coordinate the colors in your garden - think about which colors you would like to have and plant harmonizing colors next to each other. Keep in my that frequently used walking paths in your garden need to be made of different material than the ones you rarely use. Therefore, invest in material that will keep up with you walking routines.

Woman holding flowers

If you want to take gardening to the next level and you wish to enhance your sensual experience in your garden, you can try to appeal to the four different senses feel, hear, taste and smell when planning your dream garden. The smelling experience can be intensified by planting flora that provide you with a lovely scent. The hearing experience can be extended by adding natural sounds such as a fountain to the garden or by planting trees and plants that rustle when blowing in the wind. The fourth sense of feel can be enhanced through varied experiences such as building your walking paths with varied and unconventional materials. Walking barefoot over your lawn will feel different than walking over a path made of bark chip. Not to forget the experience of taste. Plant berries, vegetables and fruits to be able to enjoy your garden at a completely new level.

Girl in gardening center

Once you have an approximate overview of the garden you prefer, it’s time to put your dreams into reality. Think about what you want to use your garden for and include this aspect when planning. Before getting your hands dirty have a second look at your budget and the level of maintenance you are willing to invest, but then again most importantly - take your time. Are you in need of further assistance and support? Contact your local gardening center and get expert advice.    

 

Checklist

  • Get an overview about your plot and what possibilities you have
  • Think about how much time you want to invest in taking care of your garden
  • Get inspired and think about how your dream garden looks like and what you want to use it for
  • Experiment with shapes, colors and your different senses when planning your garden
  • In case you budget is short make sure to check for alternatives at your local gardening center

 

Sketch of a garden

Further reading

Even lawn