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Basic Garden Design Tips

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Garden Design Garden Planning Plants

Just like any other part of your home, your garden deserves to be thoughtfully designed, so think of it as an outdoor room and plan its design as you would any interior renovations. Whether you want to breathe new life into a neglected garden or design a new one from a blank canvas, some basic garden design tips will help you to achieve a great new look.

Food for Thought

When planning your garden design take into account the people who’ll be enjoying it. A young family with small children is likely to have different needs and preferences to an older couple, for example. Rather than going for what’s in vogue, plan practically and remember that a garden should be both beautiful and functional.

Getting to Know You

Before you start work it’s a good idea to get to know your space so that you can see where the sun and shade fall throughout the day. This will enable you to choose suitable plants that will thrive in your garden. Next, start to plan the design on paper, drawing each element to scale. Begin with the structure of the space rather than the planting features – this will give you a framework to which plants may be added. It’s much easier to make mistakes and revisions on paper than in real life.

Adding Interest

Though arguably the easiest to create, a garden made up of a lawn with planted borders isn’t particularly interesting, so think about adding height, focal points and texture to your design. Hedging can be an effective way to section off different garden areas, and think about using trellis to add height. Creating a pathway will help to guide the eye toward features you want to highlight. Think of a walk around your garden as a flowing journey, and choose features that complement each other while stimulating the senses.

Read and Research

Whether you’re a gardening novice or expert, your garden design will benefit from the guidance of a good gardening reference book. The best list plants and trees grouped by colour and ideal habitat, and will help you to work within a colour scheme (if you have one), and ensure you place plants in the right spots. Unless you’re a very experienced gardener you’ll probably find species you didn’t know existed, and you’ll also find out how to care for them. Planting larger specimens and trees will help to give your garden an established look that can take years to grow naturally.

Planning and designing a garden will produce a beautiful result that’s not only good for your soul, but can add value to your home, too. If you plan to sell your property it’s important to ensure the outside of your home is looking as tempting as the inside. If you want to improve rather than move, spending some extra time and money on renovating your garden will not only be a great investment for the future, but it will bring new energy to a much-loved home.

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