Do you want a spectacular garden, one that soothes your senses and impresses the neighbors at the same time? Garden planning is the key to creating a garden space that fulfills your design desires. Although planning might not seem as exciting as planting, a garden plan will help save you time and money in the future. It will also make your garden more pleasant, usable, and beautiful.
Before you start to consider your desire for more tulips, think about the bigger picture of your garden planning. Thinking about your garden layout will help you highlight those tulips and all of the other plants in your garden. While you can design a garden plan with the help of a landscape designer, you can also make changes by yourself. Start with a map of your property. Some of the factors to consider when you design your overall landscape plan include:
- Areas that are optimal for the growth of specific plants. What areas have sun? When do they have sun? What areas have shade or partial shade?
- What are some of the other environmental factors that are changing your garden, such as wind?
- Where is the soil well-drained, and where is it not? Where is the healthiest soil? Is it compacted anywhere?
- Where do people naturally sit or walk?
- Are there play areas that you’d like to keep, such as spaces for children and pets?
- What can you see from inside your home? What can you see from the second floor? If you have a patio, what can you see from there?
Think About the Details
After you have a rough map of where you’d like to plant, plan what you would like to plant or add to your garden. Think about the details that you value. For example, you might want:
- Seating areas for time alone, such as a reading chair
- Places where you can gather family and friends, such as a fire pit
- Water features
- A place where pets can run
- A bee garden
- Ways to save water, such as rain barrels and water-savvy gardening techniques
- Lots of lush flowers to look out onto when you’re on your top floor deck
Your needs are specific, and you should note these in your plans before you advance any further. You don’t want just any beautiful garden – you want to create a beautiful garden that not only looks good but meets the needs and wishes of you and your family.
Does Your Garden Have a Theme?
Now is also a good time to note what kind of overall feel you’d like to have in your garden. If you want a garden with clean lines and lots of structural features, your planning will be very different than the planning for an English country garden. Other themes might not be focused as much on the visual elements of your garden – they could focus on other aspects instead, such as water use.
Plan Your Hardscaping Elements
Now it’s time to start to plan your garden. As you plan, consider the hardscaping elements first. These are the ones that are the most difficult to change. Garden hardscaping elements lay out a path for all of the plants to follow. They can include:
- Water storage and movement, such as rain barrels, gutters, and gutter covers
- Large features such as rocks or logs
- Seating areas
- Fire pits
- Sand, gravel, and mulched areas
Whether these structures already exist or you’re planning to put them in, you will need to plan your garden plants around them.
Get The Water Moving
As you plan your landscape, think about where the water pools and flows. If you have problem areas that are too wet, consider whether you’d like to add a water feature or a rain garden there or whether you would prefer to send the water to a French drain. By thinking about the underlying flow beneath your garden, you prevent problems in the future.
Connect Indoors and Outdoors
Certain kinds of garden structures not only help make your garden more usable — they also make your home and garden flow well together. Indoor-outdoor living spaces such as sunrooms and outdoor rooms are becoming more and more popular as people seek to see and engage with the outdoors in comfort. These transitional spaces might involve a sunroom surrounded by windows, or they could be a deck with comfortable chairs tucked underneath an awning to protect it from the weather. As you design your garden, design it to echo existing indoor-outdoor spaces and add details to these spaces that tie together your garden and interior design.
Plan for All Seasons
As you plan your garden, plan for all seasons, not just the usual focus – spring and summer. A fall garden can be just as beautiful as a spring garden, as long as it is well-planned. According to House Beautiful, balloon flower, snakeroot, alyssum, celosia, Michaelmas Daisy, beauty berry, goldenrod, and heather are all gorgeous additions to your fall garden. Gardening doesn’t stop there, either: the bark, branches, and berries of trees and shrubs are also pretty in the winter season. Consider the views of your garden in every season, and plan accordingly.
Plan for Flow
As you plan your garden, think about how people will move around the space to talk with each other, enjoy the plants, and look at the views. Plan for resting spaces and also for pathways. Depending on the size of your garden, you may be able to create private nooks and public spaces.
Consider Your Storage
Does your garden get bogged down by too many landscaping tools sitting on the lawn? If so, make sure you incorporate storage into your garden plan. This could look like a garden shed, but it could also incorporate potting shelves or boxes around the garden so that you can easily work and then tuck your tools away.
Keep a Garden Journal
As you plan your garden and then enjoy it throughout the year, keep a garden journal. This will help you make notes and remember what time of year certain plants bloom, when you have problems with drainage in a certain area of the garden, and what you would like to change for the coming year. Your garden journal can be your best asset when it comes to planning your garden for the new year.
At Harry Helmet, we want to help you create the home and garden of your dreams. Whether you’re just starting to create your new garden space or you’re changing the tone of a garden that you’ve had for years, we can help you integrate your home and garden infrastructure. Talk with us about gutter covers, gutter heat, roofing, awnings, and more, so that you can spend more time enjoying your garden this year. Schedule a free estimate today.