Planning your garden is a delightful experience that can bring you great pleasure. To get the best results, forward planning is essential. This is something that shouldnt be rushed. You need time to analyse the changing conditions in your yard as the seasons change. Plan out on paper the basic structure and shape of your garden, starting with fixed permanent features like fish ponds, patios, etc. There are a wide range of garden styles to choose from. The one you choose will depend upon the look of the house, the surrounding environment and, of course, the space available.

To get ideas for your garden layout consult the many books and magazines that flood the marketplace. Rather than finding one plan that suits your unique yard, it is more likely that you will mix and match between different layout ideas. You should also visit other gardens, both public and private. That way youll be able to see how those baby plants will mature as well as getting a feel for the use of rockeries, water gardens and pools.

Take accurate measurements of the space that you have available. You should take straight lines as well as diagonal ones. This will be invaluable when planning irregular shapes in your garden. Find out what type of soil you are working with. Clay soil, which is grey, is heavy when wet and has a tendency to crack when it is dry. Sandy soil feels gritty and loose. Acidic peat soil is dark brown and flaky. Each soil type will suit particular types of plants and not others. So, when you talk to your garden store retailer it is imperative that you can tell him just what sort of earth you are dealing with. You should also make note of the slopes and gradients of your yard. Be aware also, of the passage of the sun and the intensity of winds on your proposed garden area.

With all of this information gathered, it is now time to draw out your ideas, Mark out the shapes of your garden areas and fill in the positions of major features. Make sure that your plan is to scale and use squared graph paper. Next, you are ready to plot the design on the ground itself. Using pegs and a string line, plot the garden areas, pathways and features. Then, try a few experiments to see if the plan is practical. For instance, can two people pass by each other on the pathway?

When planning your garden keep the following considerations in mind:
  • Site your pond away from overhanging trees and check that it can be reached with a hose and electricity for the pump and night lighting.
  • Make sure that there is enough room on the patio for your garden furniture.
  • Make sure you provide enough room in a driveway to open the doors and, ideally, turn the car.

Spend the time planning out your garden in advance and you will inevitably save a lot of wasted time and effort when the fun of converting your plans to reality begins.

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