Have you moved into a new home or recently become interested in the artistic hobby of garden design? This article will help you plan (or revamp) your home’s garden. Once you understand the basic steps, you’ll enjoy this entire website filled with more specifics about designing gardens.
Designing gardens involves two main phases: structural planting and ornamental planting. Structural planting includes the trees, shrubs, and groundcover that provide a function. Ornamental planting is devoted to choosing plants (trees, shrubs, and flowers) to provide interest, beauty, and ongoing creativity.
To begin designing gardens, first consider the structural planting. The structural planting will provide the consistent framework for your garden while the ornamental planting will provide the daily and seasonal changes.
When considering structural planting, think about what functions you would like your garden to provide. Some common functions of gardens are to provide:
- Wind reduction
- Noise reduction
- A play area for the kids and dog
- An area to host outdoor parties
- An area to grow food
- An area for wildlife
- A place to get away from it all
After you determine what you would like your garden to provide, sketch out where you want each area to be.
Then, determine the details, beginning with the trees. Trees will provide such things as shade, privacy, and noise reduction. For more information about structural planting with trees, see Designing Gardens with Trees.
After you plan for trees, then consider shrubs. Shrubs will provide privacy, wind reduction, and boundaries. For more information about structural planting with shrubs, see Designing Gardens with Shrubs.
The structural planting phase also includes groundcover. Groundcover can be something you walk on, or something intended to fill up the space. It can include hardscape (decks and patios) and softscape (lawns and low-growing plants).
If you don’t plan to step on the ground cover, consider using shrubs as ground cover. Using shrubs as ground cover is ideal for areas where you won’t need to walk and areas where you don’t want to spend any time tending to flowers. Shrubs can do a great job at “choking out” weeds and can be an evergreen landscape that requires minimal maintenance.
After you determine the structural planting, then it’s time for the ornamental planting. Ornamental planting includes the focal points (eye-catching plants and garden artwork) and seasonal changes in the garden (foliage and flower colors). When planning the ornamental phase of your garden, consider using a mix of trees, shrubs, flowers, and garden artwork to provide interesting forms, foliage, and colors.
You can design functional and artistic gardens with these basic guidelines. If you would like to explore more aspects of garden design, visit other articles on this website devoted to the ornamental planting phase of designing gardens, such as Design a Meadow Garden, Create a Focal Point, and Vertical Gardening Ideas. Enjoy!