Making your own garden layout may be quite satisfying, both in terms of the satisfaction you get from relaxing or entertaining in the garden as well as the happiness you get from a job well done. Your garden will bring you more happiness for years to come if you put in the effort to create and implement a custom design.
How do you start making your own personal garden space? Here are seven quick actions that will make the procedure go more smoothly for you.
- Identify WHY you want a garden.
How will you employ it? Will anyone else love the garden? Consider that you might not be the only occupant, so consult with your entire family before deciding how to use your outdoor space.
- Do a little dreaming.
After determining your motivation for wanting a garden and your intended purpose for it, use your imagination to play with all the features that might be present in your unique place. You can find the qualities that will leave your own mark on the garden by dreaming a little.
Additionally, choose between a formal and an informal garden. Formal gardens have strong cross axes and a central axis that separate them into distinct sections. Strong, curved informal gardens provide a more organic appearance.
- Make a list of “must haves”.
What supplies are necessary? By outlining your requirements up front, you can make sure that nothing crucial is left out of your final strategy. Is a retaining wall necessary? a wall of privacy? a way leading to the garage? more spaces for parking Do kids require a playground? How about animals?
Take a stroll around your house and make a list of all the necessary items. To produce a pleasing and useful space, your final design should strike a balance between ideal features and “must haves.”
- Evaluate what you already have.
Knowing your beginning place makes it easier to get where you want to go. Do you have a big or little space? Is the location level or sloped? What’s the weather like? Which soil type do you have? What sources of water are there, and how much of it? What are the prevailing opinions?
- Ballpark your budget.
Once you are aware of your wants and needs, you should think about your financial capabilities. The final garden plan’s features, such as trees, plants, hardscape materials, and architectural components like arbors, fountains, ponds, and benches, will be influenced by the budget.
Keep in mind that your “budget” consists of TIME and MONEY. Is there a deadline for the garden’s completion, or is it possible to build it gradually? How much time are you ready to spend on upkeep of your ideal garden? (Speed costs!) Are you fortunate enough to afford a caregiver or do you have a few hours to spare each week?
As you develop and refine your plan, you may need to balance time and cash costs. Be flexible. You may need to spend more time if you can’t spend more money and vice versa.
- Identify your garden’s focal points.
Every garden needs an eye-catching spot that causes you to pause a moment. When you choose a focal point, you are choosing the direction you want visitors to look when they enter your garden. Did your list of “wants” include a waterfall or fountain? An arbor retreat? A blossoming apple tree? If so, you are well on your way to identifying a focal point — or points — for your garden.
- Create a rough design.
Take all the data you’ve acquired and combine it into a practical design that strikes a balance between the “must haves” and the “wants”. You want to design a room that is both pleasing to the eye and useful.
Purchase a pad of graph paper with 8 or 10 squares per inch, then set the size of each square to be equal to one foot. Make a simple map with your property lines and house drawn to scale (e.g., every inch on the paper will correspond to 8 or 10 feet on your property).
Tracing paper, markers, a ruler, a tape measure, a pencil, and a decent eraser are other materials you’ll need. Overtop the basic scaled map, place the tracing paper. Then, as you design the various regions of your garden, refer back to your list of “must haves” and “wants.” Show the general location of routes, activity areas (or “rooms”), and focus points. Use as many tracing paper sheets as necessary to discover a layout that you like and achieves the objective you determined in Step 1.
- Choose your plants and hardscape.
Your garden’s personality will be shaped by the colors and materials you select, which will also offer interest, movement, and aesthetic appeal. Do you like bold contrast to aesthetically pleasing colors? Cool or warm colors? Bright or subtle hues? Giving your yard a distinct sense of space through the use of various colors, materials, and textures.
An important component of your garden is plants. In addition to plants, hardscape elements like wood arbors, brick borders, gravel walks, bronze statues, and wrought-iron benches give variety and texture.
Examine your rough layout and think about the best material for each of the hardscape components. Remember that each component must complement and fit with the others. For instance, railroad ties around a formal garden cause disharmony, whereas a terrace made of the same material as the house unifies.
- Make a scale drawing.
You have so far drawn a simple map of the boundaries of your property and your home, as well as an overlay sheet that depicts focal spots, “rooms,” and routes. Additionally, you get a list of the plants, trees, and bushes in each section of your garden. You must now make a scale diagram indicating EXACTLY where each feature will be placed. This blueprint will be used to lay the walkways, install the arbors and trellises, and plant the flowers, trees, and shrubs.
It’s crucial that you have adequate knowledge to enable you to translate the garden you just imagined onto paper into reality. You will be successful as long as your scale design or blueprint is large enough to achieve that goal.
- Execute your plan.
Before you begin actual construction of the garden, check all local building codes and regulations to make sure that you will be in compliance. Structures such as decks, patios and retaining walls may require a permit from the local city government. Once all permits are in place, you can start to lay out the garden.
With your scale drawing as a blueprint, use a tape measure to position all structures, walkways and plants. Be sure to measure accurately so each element in your design fits its assigned space.
If designing a garden space sounds a bit intimidating, don’t panic. Just follow these steps one by one and let a space unfold that feels right to you. You CAN do it. After all, a successful garden is just another room of your house, which you’ve already successfully decorated!