Designing Your Own Garden: Creating the design

0 Written by Lisa on 9th Sep 2011 in Design Tips

So, you’ve carried out and drawn up the survey of your garden and analysed the site.  You’ve also made a note of your own brief – what you want to include, how you want to feel when you step out into the garden and you’ve got a good idea about your personal style and how this will be applied to the garden.

Now that you have all this information in front of you, how do you start to put pencil to paper and create a master plan for your new garden?  Now, I couldn’t possible fit a whole garden design course here in one blog post, but what I can do is to give you some tips about getting started.

Within my design process, I call this the concept stage – it’s a sketchy idea that has the essence of the design mapped out, but the has not yet been worked through.

1. A good place to start is to locate your terrace – think about how many people it needs to accommodate, do you want it to be shaded or in the sun, near the house of in a more secluded area at the end of the garden?  If you’re going to eat there you’ll probably want easy access to the kitchen and it will need to be large enough to allow for 1.5m around each side of your table if you are going to feel comfortable when you’re sitting there.

2. Think about how you want to move around the garden, from one area to the next.  If you have to walk around the house (or flowerbeds!) it will drive you mad – you need to plan an easy route.

3. Approach the space from the inside out.  If the design is going to feel right you need to deal with the open space (the void) and ignore the boundaries.  Try not to think about the shape of the flowerbeds – they should be the bits leftover – it doesn’t matter if they’re an odd shape, once they are full of plants you won’t notice.

4. The areas around the house lend themselves to being more formal.  Square and regtangular shapes often “feel” more at ease with the house.  As you move away from the house, the design can become more informal with sweeping curves and meandering paths.

5. Think about the view points from inside the house and at various points throughout the garden.  If, for example, you wash up and look out into the garden, you may want to consider placing a nice pot, bench or piece of sculpture to look at.

6. Difficult as it may be, try to think about the plan in a 3-dimensional way.  Moving the plan round and imagining yourself walking along the pathways or sitting on the terrace can really help to transport you to the new garden.  Flicking through books and magazines can also help you to visualise how the different areas might look and feel…and make sure you refer back to your mood board for inspiration!


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Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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