How to Design a Simple Garden in 5 Steps

Designing a garden seems daunting and complicated. I promise you it doesn’t have to be. I have prepared a simple step by step with some design rules to break it down for you. There are many different styles of gardens but these rules still apply no matter what the size or shape.

1.  Determine the light requirements for different parts of your garden beds. Shade can be caused by many things such as buildings, trees, and direction of the rising and setting sun.

2. Calculate size. Once you have the lighting requirements you can figure out approximately how big and small your plants can be within the space. Take into consideration that plants grow on average 60% bigger than the size you plant them in.

3. Pick your favourite colour. I find it is best to pick your favourite colour so you can spread it out over the entire garden bed. Then use complimentary colours to break it up.

4. Pick your favourite specimen plant. Most likely you have a unique plant you completely love, so be sure it work the design around that particular plant. Then take into consideration step 1-3 and pick plants that will fill the space, match the lighting requirements and contain your favourite colours.

5. Tallest to shortest. This golden rule is mean’t to help you see the small little plants and soften the overpowering large plants. Evergreens work well as foundation plants to hide the ugly foundation’s up against your house. Grasses work great at softening corners and adding linear texture to a garden. Shrubs add structure to a garden and fill space. Perennials are your pops of colour and require the most maintenance. And specimen plants catch your eye and make great conversation pieces.

Remember to consider the style of your house. I like to draw out elements of colour and texture from homes and put them in the garden. For example if a house is modern and contains a lot of linear accents, I would attempt to capture that in my garden design with small hedges and rows of plants.

After you work through steps 1-5 you will have a much better idea of your space. I hope you can image it a few years from now full of colour, texture and your personality.