How To Design A Garden
How To Design A Garden
This VideoJug video is designed to walk you through all of the basic techniques needed for completely redesigning your very own garden.
Designing a garden is more than just being able to produce a beautifully illustrated plan. It's more to do with finding creative solutions to the technical challenges that an outdoor space presents, and then turning this into a beautiful garden of course, but one which is also practical and easy to use and meets all the requirements. Before you put pen to paper, you need to decide how you want to use the garden.
Have you got children? How much time have you got to maintain the garden? Have you got pets, elderly visitors? Have you yourself got mobility problems? What do you want to do in the garden? Once you decided how you want to use the garden, you should have a list of requirements, and this will form the basis of the garden design process. The next thing you need to do is a thorough site survey and analysis. You need to measure the house, including the positions and heights of all the doors and windows.
Then you need to use surveying techniques, like triangulation and offsetting, to plot in the boundaries of the garden. Then the location of all the existing plants and garden features, buildings, garages, anything else that is in the garden. Whilst you are doing the survey, you also need to look at things outside the garden, anything like overhanging trees, and make a note of these on the survey.
These will all affect the eventual design of the garden. You also need to do a site analysis as well as the measuring. Take a soil sample, it's really important that you know the pH and the type of your soil when it comes to planting.
You need to look beyond the garden boundaries as well, see if there are anything outside the garden, any features that you can use as part of the new garden design. This is called borrowing the view. If you have got a very beautiful view, you need to try and bring it into the garden.
Note down any boggy places or other potentially troublesome areas that the design needs to address, mark these up on your survey. Survey any level changes in the garden, and mark these very clearly on the survey. The next thing you need to do is draw up the survey to scale.
Use pencil and then finally ink the plan in, on a piece of tracing paper large enough to allow you to set out the garden, and also put in all the labels and everything else around it clearly, equipment that you'll need - some tracing paper, a scale ruler, drawing board, some pens, some pencils, an eraser, pair of compasses and, probably a circle template. The next step is to use your survey and your list of requirements to create a new design. Use a series of interconnected geometric shapes and create a pattern.
The final design should create a pleasing picture, and each element should be the correct size for its intended purpose. For example, if you want to seat six people on your terrace, it should be large enough to hold a table of the correct size, with room to pull out chairs so that people can sit down and then stand up again comfortably. The garden design should address slopes within the garden, this is so important.
If you want flat spaces and the site is sloping, you will need to put in retaining walls. You also need to allow for practical things like drainage. Draw out the design to scale in ink and label everything clearly including paved areas, lawns, edgings, pergolas, planted areas, walls with their heights and water features and anything else that you intend to put in the new garden.
Next, you need to choose some materials that you're going to use for constructing each new part of the garden. Do some research around local DIY stores, garden centres and building suppliers. Find materials that suit your purpose and fit your budget.
For example, paving slabs come in many different types of stone and man-made materials. The next part of the garden design process is to create the planting plan. For each planted area, shown on your design layout plan, draw up a planting plan.
Plants give the garden s