On planning a garden – how do I come up with a good design?

shutterstock_449299912Coming up with a design for anything is always hard. Unless you’re a natural artist who is constantly bursting with ideas, the designing process will take you a while. This is especially true for designing gardens, as gardens will be semi-permanently showcased. This won’t be like a painting that you can take off the wall when you’re unhappy with it, as redesigning gardens will take much more effort than that. With that said, here are a few tips that could hopefully help you get through the process of designing your own garden. Take note that this isn’t an absolute set of rules to follow through the process. This is instead a guide to hopefully help you put together a design you’ll surely love.


Look to your home.


The first thing that one should do when coming up with a design for the garden is to look at it as a landscape. This means that looking at the whole picture when you look at the garden. More often than not, this means you’ll be looking at the house too. This is why one should always take a good look at the house first before coming up with a design. This is because you need the look to be cohesive.

The entire image should mesh properly. All beautiful home gardens go hand in hand with the design of the home they’re in, complementing instead of competing with its beauty. If this is a garden in the front yard, think about how it’ll frame the doorway. If it’s a backyard garden, think about the colors and the overall theme of the house’s exterior and how you can use that for the garden planning. This alone should give you a good idea of which direction you want to follow.



The next thing that you should consider is to really be honest with yourself as to what you want. While you’re in the early part of the design process, you need to discern what your non-negotiable aspects of the design are. Do you want your garden to be mainly populated by flowers? Do you want vegetation at a certain portion of the garden? Is there a certain color scheme that you want to resonate in the garden, or maybe you have the textures of the plants a certain way. Maybe you want to garden for a purpose, wanting to attract pollinators and grow food rather than anything else.


It’s important to know what needs to be prioritized. This is so the designing process isn’t hindered by indecisiveness or not knowing what you really want.



Think of a theme.

Many people don’t know this, but most gardens do have themes. Chances are if you’ve found a pretty garden, what you are really appreciating its theme. Whether or not you can pinpoint what that is exactly doesn’t matter. This doesn’t indicate whether or not it has a theme. This is because your theme can be as simple as a shape or texture.


Maybe you want an urban theme. This might mean that you only use white pots. Maybe you like marble pots, instead. This theme might mean that you only purchase plants that would look relatively neat and clean in your garden instead of more natural. There are many different options and inspirations that you can take when considering the theme of the garden. The theme is extremely important because this is exactly what would tie together the look of your garden. This is what’s going to make your design look like it’s for one garden instead of for multiple small ones.


Take a look at recent gardening design trends.

There’s never anything wrong with drawing inspiration for the magazines and the websites. The experts are called experts for a reason and if there’s any way for you to draw inspiration from their work then you should. They’re the ones pushing the envelope in this industry so it’s worth taking a look. An interesting trend that one could consider is the indoor gardening trend. Some people are actually trying to grow produce on their wall. There is the “relaxed style” trend that has been booming with people who want a gorgeous garden but will not be able to tend to it regularly. The design let’s you grow the garden how it naturally would without letting it look unkempt.



Take the world as inspiration.

 The best way to really come up with a design for your garden is to take inspiration from everything around you. Everything can be a source of inspiration. Even the city can be inspiration for something like a garden, depending on how you look at it.

If that seems too deep or intangible for you, there are more concrete examples to take inspiration from scattered all over the world. You have the option of taking natural landscapes as inspiration. Given that, you could choose a region and only choose plants that come from that region, bringing about a natural cohesive theme. If your house has any cultural or historical significance, maybe you’d want to look up garden designs from that place or era to fit. An extremely popular choice in the West these days is to adapt Japanese garden styles to their minimalist homes. This adds a little bit of a cultural nod to your home.

Some opt to make a garden with a minimalist theme. This draws focus on space and how it is used. Neutral colors are the popular and obvious choice for this theme. Making use of shadows and emphasizing huge shapes is another great way the minimalist theme is executed.

No matter what sort of design you come up with, what’s most important is that you trust your personal style. At the end of the day no one can really tell you what looks absolutely good or not because good designs are subjective. Just keep those points listed above in mind and you’re sure to breeze through the process and come up with an amazing design for your garden.

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