Top-down approach in designing
First draw a map which will be a basis for your design. Draw all the regular components already existing in your garden: a building, garage, fencing, high trees etc.
Good tipIt is convinient to draw the plan in the 1:100 scale (1 cm on a map corresponds with 1 meter in the real world). To simplify the process of plotting existing components, it is worth to use grid paper.
Having your plot’s conditions analyzed and your plan drawn you can move on to the first part of designing. In the beginning ask yourself the following questions: what are my expectations regarding the garden? How much time will I have for its maintenance?
Although the particular plants can be replaced, a general layout (“core” of the garden) will remain the same for many years. Therefore, it is recommended to plan your garden together with your family. Each user should find something for himself/herself there.
A good idea is making a list including all requirements. A list often turns out to be too long and not everything can be fulfilled in a backyard. That is why you should determine priorities. Do not forget that a garden is never finished and it is subject to constant changes – when you are giving up on something now it does not mean that you cannot return to this idea in the future. If you dream about a wild garden full of flowers but currently, you are lacking time for plants’ cultivation there is nothing standing in a way of having a colourful flowerbed in a place of today’s football lawn.
Another step is to divide garden into functional zones. Similarly to a house, also a garden is composed of different “rooms” that fulfill different functions. At this stage you do not focus on details yet (as selection of particular species) – these will be taken care of later.Examples of zones:
- entry zone (representative part),
- sports zone,
- relax zone,
- utility zone.
Your garden will be more interesting if you decide to include some architectural elements (e.g. fountain, bench/garden swing, arbour) or such elements as minipond, vegetable garden or herb garden.
You can start arranging particular details by indicating a place where you will sit often. Consider joining two or more components together, e.g. an arbour with a minipond and a field with a playground. Thanks to this trick you will not only avoid composition chaos but also reduce costs connected with alleys.
If you have children it is worth to dedicate part of the garden for them. When designing a playground you need to choose a place that will be easily visible from a window or a terrace. You should also make sure that a playground is not close to a street, a minipond or prickly and toxic plants.