A great option to consider for home improvement is designing your own garden. A garden design gives personal expression, and it can be an enjoyable hobby and passion that you can pursue. Here are some of the basics that you should look into before you start your own garden.
Garden Design Principles
- Balance, Order & Proportion – In garden design, the first thing that you should consider is the basic structure of the garden. You should obtain order by observing symmetry. This is dependent on the sizes, colors, and the ratios you want to achieve. Though gardens need not be technical, you still should consider where the plants would be before you start digging.
- Unity & Harmony – In simple terms, this means that all the parts should work together as a whole. All the elements must be connected to each other, and the garden must not look like an eyesore. You can also accomplish this by using a limited color palette and using the same critical plants throughout the garden.
- Transition, Rhythm, & Flow – A beautiful garden design must not appear static, so if you want to design your garden, you should keep the eyes moving. A gardener can accomplish this by varying the heights and color of the plants, assigning a focal point in the display, creating the illusion of a larger space, and curves that cannot be seen until you are there.
Garden Design Tips
- Give the garden a wide berth. – Make sure that the pathways are spacious enough that walking is comfortable. Narrow spaces are uncomfortable, whether your patio is located outdoors or indoors. A useful measurement guide would be the measurement of area for two people walking side by side with ease. Gardeners must keep in mind that if you have tall structures and plants in your garden, the pathway you create must be broad enough so as not to restrict space.
- Install the proper paving. – If you were to install paving in the garden, make sure that it won’t wobble and that it would be stable. Avoid using slick surfaces that might lead to slips like tiles or polished granite, because it can be a hazard during wintery and rainy climates. Unsifted gravel can be used, as well as similar materials.
- Plan for plant growth. – When designing your landscape, give your plants some room to grow. But if you want to go for a full scene right away, you can plant quick-growing and short-lived filler plants to blank up your garden temporarily. Some of the favorite fillers include delphiniums, verbena, butterfly bush, and golden tree mallow.
- Measure the distance between plants. – If you would install tall plants 30 to 36 inches away, place them at least 2 to 3 feet away from patio edges and walkways. If you do not do this, space will feel crowded and cramped. On the other hand, you should also keep thorny plants like roses away from areas with high traffic. If you want roses on an arch or over a walkway, you can go for thornless ones like Zephirine Drouhin, Legras de St. Germain, and Reine des Violettes.
- Identify the purpose of your garden. – In the past, gardens were designed with three primary goals in mind: to raise vegetables, to be visually pleasing, and to create living space. Before you plan your garden, try asking yourself what do you want your garden to accomplish?
- Know the ins and outs of your property. – Every piece of land has its own distinct set of features, and you have to look at the situation in your own space. Consider the areas where the sun lands, where the shade is, elevation changes, windy spots, existing trees, mature shrubs, and soil conditions. Gardeners should also identify the microclimates and topography. You should check if the soil is acidic and if the composition is clayish, sandy, loose, and heavy.
- Choose the right dimensions for a walkway or a path. – In a tight space, you can layout a pathway that is as narrow as 18 inches. But, if you create a broader way, it will give off the illusion that the garden is more spacious. Gardeners can also experiment by laying out a path that is narrow with a widening effect or a curve so that they can stimulate visual interest.
- Place your patio, depending on how you would like to use the space. – A patio can serve as your dining room outdoors, a sitting area where you can read a book, or a place where you can entertain some guests. If it’s for dining, you can locate it nearer to your kitchen. If it serves as a reading nook, you can install a patio toward the edge of the garden.
- When planting a tree, plant for the tree’s future. – A tree in its maturity will be extremely different from how it was when it has just been planted. Imagine how sad it can be if a tree’s branches will just be hacked off because it got too big for the available location. Provide a tree with plenty of space to grow as wide and as high as it wants and needs to be.
In conclusion, your garden will serve as a reflection of your personality, so you should give it your all when you are designing it. Many things can affect the overall image of your garden, and you can start by efficiently planning what you envision for your garden to become the best that it can be.