ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to: Garden Design Basics:

Updated on May 22, 2011

the basics

There are two things that you need to remember when designing a garden. Pay attention to both and you will create a space that you and your family can enjoy.

The first one is simple: It’s your garden. You do not have to please anyone else with your plant choices but yourself.

The second one is what I call the right plant right place rule or RPRP. When you place a plant where the conditions give it what it needs (water, soil, light) that plant will do well and reward you with fruit and flower throughout the season.

For RPRP to work you need to know three things:

One: what are the conditions where you are planning to garden, for example how much sunlight and/or shade?

Two: Be sure the plant gets the water it needs. If you are in a dry area, use plants that can tolerate the dry conditions, if the site is wet, use plants that like it wet.

Three: will the plant grow in your garden hardiness zone.

More on zones in a future hub,

Talk with the staff at the local plant nursery, ideally seek out the manger or owner when you have specific questions.

Now that you have the bare essentials we will move on to the other design elements that will help you create a garden that everyone can enjoy.

Basic Garden Design Elements:

· Line is likely the most important design element and certainly is the one you will most often use in your design. For an informal look use a curved line for a more formal one use straight lines..

· Texture is defined in 3 categories. 1-Coarse includes plants, structures and hardscapes that are bold and large. 2-Medium texture takes in many plants and smaller structures. 3-Fine includes plants such as ferns and grasses and structures that are thin and delicate.

· Form is the shape and structure of your plants, hardscapes or garden structures.

· Colour is the visual POP in your design. Blues, Purples and Greens are calming and seem to move away from you. Whereas warm colors like red, orange and yellow seems to bring things closer to you.

· Scale or proportion in the landscape is simply the size of your plants or structures and how they relate to each other and the area you are landscaping.

You now have the basics. It does not matter whether or garden is large, small or somewhere in-between, if you follow RPRP and apply the five design principles you will enjoy the results. Happy gardening.

designing a pathway

colour in design


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Hans Dekker 

    11 years ago

    Great hub Bob. You are a pro. Come and visit our space when you got time. Critique or praise from people with profesional knowledge is highly appreciated

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    all the best RA

  • Research Analyst profile image

    Research Analyst 

    11 years ago

    This is great, I want to start a herb garden this year.

  • cgull8m profile image


    11 years ago from North Carolina

    Thanks Bob, I will give it a try come spring.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    One way is to introduce them to the new spot for an hour a day for a week and then gardually increase the amount of time they get in the sun.

  • cgull8m profile image


    11 years ago from North Carolina

    Bob, I have two Jasmine plants, it is almost three years old now. I put it in a wrong place, it is under the shade. How I can move it out towards the sun without hurting them? They seem to creep everywhere, I put some wire nets but is not helping much.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thaks gabriella05 let me know how it works out.

  • gabriella05 profile image


    11 years ago from Oldham

    Thank you Bob for this information, I think I went wrong on the lining and the colour in my garden, so I have copied this hub and I am going to re-try again

    Thank you very much to share


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)