Deciding on the design for your garden
What you will need to design your garden from scratch and how you are going to achieve this can be quite daunting.
Being a very keen gardener myself I would like to share with you my experiences in the garden. I used to potter until I decided it was time to take hold and make the garden not so much of a chore. I had loads and loads of pots with different plants, bulbs and shrubs until I decided it was time to improve.
Recently I have re-designed my own garden, starting from the bare soil, and now having a completely refurbished garden which looks outstanding and has me stamped all over it!
Lets start from the beginning...
If you are starting your garden from scratch like I did you will have the freedom to arrange all aspects of the design. You will need to take into account a few simple factors however, these being the wind, the views that you have as a backdrop to your garden whether they are lovely views or not so nice views and how private your garden is.
You may want to just rearrange your garden and change the layout to suit your individual taste, this could be due to moving home. If this is the case I would suggest waiting at least a year prior to commencing a move around, the reason I say this as you won't know what the previous owners have planted in the way of bulbs until the season's have been and gone, in this case I would be patient and wait a while to find out.
A plan of the layout to your garden would be the first thing to do, with my garden I sat down in my conservatory and looked out at the garden and visualised how I wanted it to look, I then set pencil to paper and drew my idea as best I could, this gave me a good starting point on the layout. I took into account a large table and chairs big enough to sit six people, a barbecue, I wanted one that I would be able to push around the garden so that wherever the sun was I could be carrying out the cooking on the barbey. Then there were pots, lots of pots, small, large, medium, you name it I have them in my garden.
And of course I needed a small lawn and a garden tap.
To give you an idea of my garden try to visualise looking straight ahead, the garden is long and oblong with two borders either side of a small lawn on the left and a path adjacent to the other border on the right hand side. At the top of the garden to the left is a half moon rockery and on the right is my lovely suntop (similar to a conservatory but on a much smaller scale and made of wood with a glass roof and glass all the way round).
My suntop is where starting from the end of February I spend time on a daily basis growing plants from seed ready to plant in my now established garden.
Now back to your design, once you have drawn the design you can arrange various areas to suit your needs and plan where you want your planting to go.
When thinking about the design you will need to take into account the direction your garden faces and the position of the house. You may also have fences already up and trees already established, take all of this into account when you do your drawing.
You will also need to make a note of where the sun rises and the sunniest places in your garden and the shadiest, this is imperative for when you start to design the planting of your garden as unfortunately you can't just put them where you want to put them, some plants need shade and others full sun or partial sun.
Like me you'll want to show the main characters of your garden off, so if you are having a rockery for instance then plan this in one of the main spots of your garden, and if you are having a suntop or greenhouse you need to make sure that this is in a very warm and sunny spot with shade at some point during the day, this will encourage all the lovely seeds that you are going to grow too thrive.
If you have a noisy garden then you need to also take into account positioning evergreen shrubs to block out the noise. All of these factors need to be taken into account when you are designing your garden.
This video will help you to lay your block paving in your newly designed garden and outlines what you need to take into account when doing so
It is also definitely worth thinking about the fact that shrubs do grow
Also when designing your garden take into account the width of the borders. When you plant any new shrubs they are very compact and very small, however, they grow. And they end up taking up a lot of room in the border, so it is worth making sure that the border width is big enough to hold the lovely shrubs that you pick for your newly designed garden.
Take into account the size of your lawn and what your lawn is going to be used for
A lawn is generally not used for a lot. However that said we do sometimes put garden furniture on the lawn or even a bird table and bird bath. What ever you decide to do you need to take into account how big the lawn will be and whether anything that goes onto the lawn is in keeping with the size of it.
Other things you need to consider when designing your garden
These could includePots/Statues
Consider what you will be doing in your garden
An area for a table and chairs
A childrens play area
Consider dogs and cats
Clothes line or rotary line
You need to consider fittings and the structure of your garden
Greenhouse and maybe a couple of cold frames
Rainwater tanks (crucial with water meters in place!)
Patios and Paths
Lawns and Hedges
These are just some of the things that I had to think about when I planned my garden
This video will give you an idea of how much space you will need in your newly designed garden if you opt for a greenhouse
One last thought, if you decide to plant a tree, remember they also grow and some bigger than others!
I love trees but they do take up an awful lot of room in the garden. So, if you decide to plant a tree remember that spindly tree grows into an enormous tree, whether a fruit tree or a fern tree, taking this into account is a must as I have learned before I started my new design and in my old garden the shade provided by a tree is unbelievable if you pick the wrong size tree.
And finally cost your garden right down to the cost of the peat
Designing a new garden from scratch can be very expensive and I would suggest that you cost everything before you commence your project.
My costings were very thorough and it enabled me to take away some of the things that I originally wanted in my garden and plan to add them at a later date due to the whole project originally costing a lot more that I could afford.
Plants can be very expensive depending on what you are looking for and so can greenhouses and patios.
I spent a great deal of time comparing prices on the web until I finally managed to obtain everything I wanted in my garden within the budget that I had set myself at the onset.
Good luck and happy designing!
© 2012 Trudy Cooper