Planning a garden
of your dreams

Planning a garden for you to use can really be useful if the garden you have acquired is new or has very little growing in it. 

Exciting as it is, whenever you find a new place to live it is always best to leave the garden alone, apart from general weed and lawn maintenance, for at least the first season.

If the garden is with a new build home, you could do a plan straight away as there is nothing likely to grow. 

Leaving the garden will enable you to see what bulbs emerge from the ground, what shrubs or trees blossom and any other flowers bursting into bloom.

Bulbs, corms or tubers are hidden from view until it is time for them to sprout and flower.

These could be recorded on paper their location and time of year the blooms appeared. This will also help with your planting scheme.

Getting to Grips with Planning a Garden

The view from the house

Take a paper and pencil to draw a square, rectangle or any shape that can represent your garden. Looking out towards the garden from the house. Start with the view that will be seen the most or take a look from two major windows. It is nice to have a slightly different angled view on a garden. 

Depending on the position of the rooms within the house, one view would be through a back living room window or patio door. Another view can be when seated in a conservatory if there is one or out of a side window.

Another different view could be from a study or kitchen. Remember that the front view can be as important as the back regardless of the size of space available.

Concentrate on one garden at a time and if that has to be broken down into the various sections like a patio, play or vegetable growing sections it shouldn't feel like it is going to be a mammoth tack.

Whatever the size of your garden if this is new to you or a mature garden is being changed then time needs to be take to make a change and see if it works.

Focal point or interest

When looking out at the view where does your eye rest, is it on a existing tree, looking along a garden path, at the corner of a fence or a shed.

On your paper mark the objects that are existing such as a tree or anything else you do not want to alter. If there is nothing in the garden add some items you would like to include.

In one of the gardens I have had there were a few existing concrete paths that I had no intention of changing or moving. They led to different parts of the garden with the main one heading up to the shed, this worked for me and at that time I had little interest in making a garden.

Following the sun

Do this step over a few days when the sun is out and shining. Make sure it is done at different times during the day to allow for the movement of the sun. On your piece of paper mark where the sun shines on your garden with the time it is there.

This will give an idea of the shaded and sunny areas of your plot. A really sunny corner wouldn't been a great place to put a shed but it would be ideal for a seating area or a second patio if the garden was north facing. A shaded or a broken sun area could be a children's play area, place to put a shed or a vegetable plot.

A lot of plants thrive in mottled sunlight rather than full sun all day. There are also shade loving plants if you find the sun doesn't visit very often. This will then give ideas of where to place structures and flower beds.

Make no changes

The garden may already be established and works well for your needs. Apart from planting some annual or perennial flowers that you like there could be no need to change at all.

Containers growing seasonal flowers or some vegetables would give these spaces if they are not included already.

Some of my garden that stayed as they were

This was a small garden with raised grass area bordered with a small brick wall, borders along the fence edges and no access to the front of the house.

This was a small to medium sized garden with outbuildings adjoining to ones next door. The garden had borders along the fence sides, a grassy area and a patio.

The garden plans above were already in place when I moved into these houses. They had all the elements I wanted and apart from adding some flowers in pots and borders, these gardens worked so I didn't change them at all.

Hope you have fun planning a garden for your home.