Complete Garden Design from Start to Finish
We followed the same principles in our award winning show gardens. Use these principles to turn your garden into a show garden. Attention to detail is the secret of an award winning garden!Japanese Garden Designs Package has been added to our portfolio. It combines our best Japanese designs into one low cost package, ready for instant download. This offer expires soon.
The information we provide will enable you to assess your garden design and landscaping needs. Our step by step approach allows you to make an informed decision. You will be able to answer the following important questions:
• Do I need a little fixing up of my garden?
We will give you all the information you need as a DIY enthusiast, if you decide to go the DIY route.
Step 1: Basic Design Principles
Keep the basic principles in mind throughout the whole garden design process. Get a good feel for the principles. See if you can identify them in gardens. This will make you aware of endless possibilities for you own garden.
Optical illusion is used to change the perceived appearance of a garden. Balance is achieved by one part of the composition having an equivalent mass to another part. Create unity in your design by repeating patterns and plant materials.
Keep the scale of the garden design in proportion to the size of the garden. Different forms create different effects in a garden. Texture can be used to put emphases on certain aspects of the garden.
Color is used to manipulate moods to create a very interesting and visually pleasing garden. Contrast adds character and can be in colour, texture or form. For more details of these principles review our Principles of Design page. Use the basic design principles if you are doing your own design. Try and incorporate all of them into your design. Know why you are not using a certain principle if it is not in your design.
Evaluate the final garden design presented to you by your garden designer. Look at the detail and see if the principles were applied properly. Do it before you install your garden. Mistakes become more costly to fix later on in the process.
Step 2: Site Analysis
Measure your garden up and make a detailed scaled drawing of your garden. Include all the features of your house, and all buildings, patios, decks, garden paths etc. Include the routing of services, i.e. sewerage, water supply, drainage and electrical cables.
Evaluate your garden against the basic design principles. Make notes of its good and bad points. Look at the views and include notes about what can be seen of the neighbor’s gardens.
Complete a soil analysis. Go to Garden Soil Preparation for information on how to evaluate your soil.
List all the things you want in your new garden. What would you like to retain? What will the garden be used for? Make sure you know what you expect from your new garden. Go to the Site Survey page for more information.
If you are going to use a professional garden designer, she will require you to fill out a detailed client questionnaire.
Step 3: Garden Style Selection
Determine what garden style you prefer. Many fine ideas are contained in our Landscaping Ideas page. Follow the procedure as outlined on that page, and you will be guided into selecting a suitable style.
Make sure that the
style and theme
will fit in with your house architecture and surrounding views. Also look at our sample
These were designed for specific sites, but can be adapted to suit your garden layout.
Step 4: Choose your Hard Landscaping Items
Choose the items you would like to have in the garden. Review your site survey. Are you going to have a gazebo , path way, lawn, water feature etc. Make sure these fit in with your style and theme. Get more ideas from our garden shed design page.
The hard landscaping must complement the architecture of your home. It must also lend itself to functional living and enjoyment of the garden. Choose items that can serve as good focal points. Hard landscaping is difficult to hide away. Make sure it contributes to your garden design.
Step 5: Plant Selection
Take another look at our sample Garden Plans. They all contain lists of plants that are compatible with the specific style. Use these plants as the backbone for your design. Also select a few other plants to emphasise your theme.
Plants are seasonal. So make sure that the plants you select will result in a pleasing effect year round. Your final plant selection must be compatible with your climate. You can’t grow tropical plants in snow!
Gather information on each plant to assist in your garden design. The following is important: fully grown height and spread, and plant requirements for sun, shade, water, nutrients, shelter and soil type.
The final word on plant selection: choose colors that will link the inside of your house to the garden.
Step 6: Design the Garden
This is the creative part. Sometimes ideas just don't want to flow. It could be so frustrating! Go to Creative Thinking to get the grey matter working!
Various drawings are drawn during the design phase. The final design is also a drawing. Each designer has her own drawing style. A quick review of Garden Drawing techniques will assist you in drawing up a good garden design.
Draw an outline of your garden to scale. Also draw your hard landscape items like gazebos and fountains to scale on a separate piece of paper. Cut out these items. Place them on the drawing and move them around till everything is in harmony.
Ensure that there are sufficient open spaces and that the positioning of the hard landscaping complies with the basic garden design principles. Once they are fixed and installed, they are not easily moved!
Make a few concept drawings. Select the best concept and continue with it.
Transfer the final positions of the hard landscaping items to your drawing. Draw in your open spaces and flower beds. Draw in the structural plants using their fully grown dimensions. These are the trees and shrubs.
Finally draw in the other plants to form the complete design. Remember to constantly review the basic garden design principles.
Step 7: Conclusion
Execution of the garden design can be done by you. Follow the guidelines on our
Alternatively you could use a professional landscaper to install your garden.
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