Irrespective of whether we are creating a new garden or refurbishing an old one, a good garden plan is basis for successful design and quality work. The end result is a design plan by which we design and arrange the garden. Planning is certainly among the most important steps, if not the most important step at creating gardens. If there is mistake in design, it will be difficult to correct it later.
We should take enough time for garden design. If you are building a house, then is good to think about the garden during construction and not wait until the house is finished. Surely it is easier to plan a garden, formed in an empty land, as if we start conversion of an existing garden. Rearrangements are very demanding, as we have to include our wishes in the existing garden as with incorrect handling we may damage the image of the garden.
Before planning a garden, we should have a very good understanding of the environment and surrounding. Garden in the countryside will surely be different than in the city. Country gardens are designed with subtle transitions in the landscape, selection of plants is more or less restricted to domestic plants. In urban gardens, we have more freedom. We design according to the surroundings, especially nearby surroundings. If the garden is visually completely closed, the surrounding area is not to be taken into account and we can use a variety of styles. Gardens in cities are also suitable for exotic plants as they are not suitable for rural areas.
The first step in planning is the formation of wishes and desires. We have a lawn or bare surface, which is to be converted into a beautiful garden. How can we design a garden is question to be answered. When dreaming about garden, do not create boundaries. Leave dreams to go their way. Something may be completely impossible idea but may be later transformed into a fully executable form, which will make especially attractive garden.
When you desires and wishes are roughly moulded, start thinking of the garden more specifically and make first decisions. This is the moment of encounter with reality. Desires and dreams should be rewritten so that they are achievable. We decide whether we will create a family garden, collectors garden, decorative garden or a garden for producing vegetables and fruits. Do not forget the family members. What are their wishes and needs? Let's listen to them and take into account their wishes and comments, as they will use the garden too. And there is another important factor we need to consider: how much time we are willing to put in the garden? If we do not have time tfor gardening, then it is best to plant some simple trees, put a wooden or concrete fence and sow grass. The garden will be beautiful and we will have to work for only a few hours per month. In contrast, the rich ornamental and collectors gardens require a lot of time and effort to be constantly appealing.
In the next phase can start thinking about the individual parts of the garden. First, take a look at the land thoroughly and try to understand its features. Based on this, think about the style of the garden and the shape of the garden you would like to have: flower beds, water pond, rock garden , vegetable beds, an orchard, etc. Do not forget individual garden elements: fences, paths, nooks for sitting, garden furniture, decorative items, garden grill, pergolas, terraces, etc.
The base of each garden are shrubs, trees and flowers. Trees and shrubs require a lot of space, so when designing a small garden think about them very conservatively and use dwarf varieties. We must decide whether we want to have a different flowers each year or we prefer to have flowers to develop slowly through years. If you choose annuals, you will have to plant them every year and flowering image will be constantly changing. If you decide for perennials, then the effect will be more or less the same through years. If we like ferns, we need to provide enough shady conditions.
When designing the garden we need to consider whether small children and animals will use it. We must not use poisonous plants and expensive plants. Dangerous are mainly those poisonous plants that have attractive fruit that can be eaten by children. Plants with thorns are also not suitable as children can get hurt by touching them.
When we have roughly sketched out our wishes, it is time to forget them for a few days. After a few days, when we were occupied with other things, is time to think over them again. Something we thought it was appropriate, may now not be anymore, but we'll get new ideas.
Now we draw a simple sketch of the garden on a sheet of paper with all our ideas. This will be the starting point for the preparation of real design plan of the garden.