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Creating Your Design

Garden Planning
Using Your Garden Plan

Designing or improving your garden is a creative project. Once you start drawing, ideas will start flowing. As with any creative endeavor, look for inspiration. Read below for tips to help you get started.

Don’t despair if inspiration does not come easily, or initial attempts seem disappointing. If you try these tips, you will almost certainly produce workable plans that you will be pleased with.

1. Look through books and magazines to decide which style of garden you like: formal or informal; the emphasis on plants or on hard landscaping; mainly foliage, texture and ground cover or lots of colorful flowers.

2. With the style decided, look at as many garden pictures as possible and for design ideas that appeal. Do not be influenced by individual plants, these can be changed.

3. Choose a grid, if applicable, and draw this into your plan. This will help you think things through on logical lines.

4. Start sketching lots of designs but do not attempt to perfect them at this stage. Just explore ideas.

5. Do not concern yourself with planning planting schemes at this stage – concentrate on patterns and lines.

6. Don not spend time drawing in paving patterns or choosing materials yet.

7. Make a short list of those overall outlines that you like best. Then, forget them for a day. It pays to take a fresh look at things after a short break.

8. If you still like one of your original roughs, begin work on that, filling in details like paving, surface textures such as gravel, and the position of focal point plants, etc. Don’t include any planting plans at this stage.

9. If your original roughs lack appeal when you look at them again, repeat the process with another batch of ideas. You will probably see ways of improving some of your earlier efforts, so things will be easier this time around.

10. If you find it difficult to visualize sizes, peg the design on the ground with string, then modify the layout of your plan if necessary.


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