You have a blank canvas and you have no clue how to start, don’t be daunted think of yourself as an artist ready to tackle a canvas. Starting a garden from scratch allows you to reflect your own taste and personality so you can fully enjoy the experience. Remember that gardens are not created in a day and that it will evolve over the years as the plants, trees and shrubs grow. The basics can be added quickly creating the shape and design of the garden suiting the architecture of your home.
The best ideas will come from magazines, books, the internet and just driving around looking at other peoples gardens. Gardens can be classified in to 2 general categories, classical and natural so choose your category to suite your surroundings.
Know your properties characteristics and size and draw a landscaping sketch
This only requires a little bit of observation and walking around your garden with a checklist and measuring tape.
- Climate is all important when designing your garden; make sure you choose mainly indigenous lawns and plants with a few exotics and no alien plants: check with your nursery or internet to make sure they go well together.
- Which parts of your garden have shade and full sun and plan your plant choices accordingly. Keep in mind that certain plants go dormant in winter.
- Pay special attention to any slopes as they can cause drainage problems when we have big rains, keep small beds away from these sloped areas.
- Do a soil check and consider adding other garden features such as rockeries, pavements or water features in soil that is hard or has builders rubble.
- Plan your garden around your tap points for easy watering.
- Look for any servitudes and unsightly structures; you may want to hide these with well-placed trees, shrubs or flowers.
Be aware of any neighbouring trees and shrubs that might encroach over your wall in the future, avoid planting full sun plants in this area.
It’s time for a cup of tea; allow your mind to wander over the possibilities of a beautiful garden. Sit and decide on what elements you would like in your garden whether it is a veggie patch, playground or an entertainment area.
Draw up a plan for your desired garden design
You have your idea of your garden and you have decided on what elements you want in your garden, now is the time to put your design on paper. Start with a few rough sketches and let the plan evolve. Once you have a firm idea use graph paper and try doing it as accurately as possible saving time down the road with inaccurate measurements, keeping in mind that we are not all artists.
Use these principles when drawing up your garden plan.
Divide your space into smaller areas and use curves and lines to try and create movement in your garden plan, it will reflect in your garden when it comes to fruition. Make sure you have a feeling of balance, with a variety of focal points, various shapes and hard elements such as paving. Never bunch too many elements in one space; this will create“heaviness’ in that part of the garden.
Once you have your sketch done and you are happy with it, it is time to think about what type of plants will suite your garden and how easy future garden maintenance will be. This is the fun part, walking around nurseries and home stores finding the specific “It” that you want. The hard work will begin soon enough so really take the time to enjoy the shopping.