Basics in Garden Design and Planning

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 12, 2020)

Perhaps you've finally bought your first house and have adequate land and space for the large garden you've always wanted. But before you turn your first shovelful of dirt, you'll need to design and plan your garden. While you could simply scatter seeds and plantings haphazardly without a plan, your plants and flowers might not grow optimally, nor accentuate the overall design of your home. Instead, design your garden and form a concrete plan using these guidelines:

  • Type of garden. Determine first what you want to plant. Perhaps you enjoy cooking and want to plant herbs. Maybe you have a large family and want to grow your own food with surplus to store away by canning or freezing. If you enjoy gardening, you might want to plant a flower garden or enhance existing trees and shrubs with flowerbeds. Decide why you want to have a garden, and what you want to grow, before you buy seeds or plants.
  • Growing zones. Certain varieties of plants may not grow optimally in the growing zone in which you live. Find out what your growing zone is and, once you've decided upon the plants you want to grow, consult online catalogs or magazines to determine if your plants will flourish in your zone.
  • Location. Some plants need full sun for at least five hours each day, yet some plants grow best in partial or full shade. On a piece of paper, draw a diagram of your yard and note the areas that receive full sun and partial and full shade. Watch the sun and shadow patterns of your yard over several days and note them on your diagram. If you have large trees or sheds, or if your home casts shadows on areas of your yard, note the times of the shadow occurrences. Think about drainage, too. Don't plant at the base of a hill that slopes inward, since water may pool there, encouraging root rot.

After you've determined what you want to plant, your growing zone, and the best location for your plants considering sun, shadow, and drainage, plot your garden on your diagram. Visit your local nursery to buy established plantings or seeds, or buy them from reputable catalogs or an online nursery. Prepare the ground by removing all grass and large clumps of dirt. Before digging, however, make sure that there are no underground gas or water lines. If you're planting flower beds, install soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems to make watering easier. If you're planting a vegetable garden, leave enough room between the rows of crops to walk so that you can weed and harvest without disturbing other plants.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Top Sexy Hairstyles

Asking your stylist to give you a Paris Hilton haircut will not make you look like Paris Hilton. Find a sexy hairstyle to ...

Discover More

Creating Your Own Mulch

Mulch is comparable to the organic litter found on a forest floor, providing protection as well as fertilizer for your ...

Discover More

Glazed Ham with German Potato Salad and Creamed Peas

Keep your ham moist by glazing it often. Prevent the glaze from burning by turning the oven heat down a little during the ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Planting a Southwest Garden

Planting a southwest garden can be more than growing cacti. It is quite possible to successfully grow flowers and ...

Discover More

Making an Herb Garden

Whether you live in a small apartment with no room for a garden, or a large home with plenty of back yard, you can grow ...

Discover More

Making Your Vegetable Garden the Right Size

If you want to grow a vegetable garden, but don't know what size to make your garden plot, then here are some great tips ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)