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Garden Design Checklist

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From English to tropical-themed to European style gardens, there are a number of ways to create a beautiful, relaxing place to grow plants, flowers and vegetables. Once you’ve determined the look you’re going for, there are a few things to think about before diving into the backyard.

  • Consider height when designing the sketch for your garden. Flowers, bushes and trees may be drawn as circles, but picture them how they would look in real life, standing at their regular height.
  • Remember the rules of good design. Your garden should be balanced and harmonious, not overly complex or too boring. Start small with plants and add more after those are decided.
  • Have a theme to bring the garden together.
  • Decide on specific materials and plants. You want your patio or walkway to compliment the plants and foliage you choose, blending together instead of sticking out.
  • Instead of choosing the perfect spot, decide what is the best plant for the space.

During the design and planning phases, here are a few things to consider:

  • Summer shade
  • Winter sun
  • Wind breaks
  • Providing privacy
  • Hiding unsightly views
  • Storage for gardening equipment
  • Widths of paths, steps and gates
  • Outdoor living area positioning
  • Lighting
  • Retaining walls or stairs for slopes or hills
  • Compost
  • Lawn shape/ease of mowing
  • Space for other activities besides gardening
  • Enough space for plants to grow as necessary
  • Permits and approval for structures like fences, pools, or planting near the street

With a plan for a garden design, it’s easier to work with a landscape professional to make your vision come to life. During the design phase, you can decide what to skip or splurge on depending on your budget, and designing in phases allows you to save money.

Before investing all of your savings on your garden, take into consideration how long you plan to live in your home and if the garden will be affected by an addition or another future structure. Choose a great sitting spot and select the main reasons for using the space.

Finally, if there are spaces in your current garden or yard that you love, you can use them in your garden design as accents or as a spot to place an arbor or gazebo. Your garden can include all the character, color, shape and details you desire by making a simple checklist of what is most important to you.

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