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:
(1) 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.
(2) Make sure that there is enough room on the patio for your garden furniture.
(3) 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.
Create a low maintenance home garden design that is beautiful year round!
It is absolutely essential when creating a low maintenance landscape garden to plan first. Regardless of whether you are renovating an area or starting afresh, if you don't prepare meticulously, the chances are you'll be spending more time than you anticipated tending to the garden. Having said this though, you must realise that if you achieve low maintenance, there will still be a certain amount of work to do; no landscape garden will completely look after itself.
The first thing you should consider is the needs of your family, or anybody else that is likely to use the garden. If you have children it is advisable to plan a play area for them, whereas if you are elderly, or expect elderly relatives to use the garden, you should consider things such as access and aesthetics. You will also need to take into account things such as tool storage space, the need for a clothesline, areas for refuse storage and the needs of any pets. No two families' needs are exactly the same, so it is best to plan, in order to work out your own requirements. The clever planner will also consider the needs of the family now, and the needs in a few years time. The toddler's wants are somewhat different from an energetic teenager, for example.
Next you need to analyse the site, the place where your landscape garden will be situated. Consider storm runoff and soil drainage. If a slope has a lot of water flowing over it, you may have to change the gradient of the slope to prevent erosion. Use a soil testing kit to analyse the soil. Peat or compost may be required in order to make it nutritionally sound. Decide which areas are going to have a major use, such as an area for a barbecue. Define these areas clearly and try and stick to them. Take note of which areas receive the most sunlight and best views, then arrange your plants and amenities accordingly.
Subsequently, you should begin to create your low maintenance landscape garden, and there are several tips to help make this possible. Avoid excessively large turf areas that require high maintenance. Instead, opt for low maintenance plant options, small trees or shrubs being an excellent option. If you are worried that you'll be left with too little space for entertaining opt for a patio instead; they require far less maintenance than lawns.
Arrange groups of plants together. They require less tending to if grouped. Also make sure each plant serves a purpose. If it doesn't, it is an unnecessary addition to the garden, causing maintenance to become higher. When you are planting, make sure the hole that receives the plant is shallow and wide, and no deeper than the pot that the plant was originally in. This will help them to develop a quality root structure. Add mulch around plants to prevent weeds and conserve moisture, hence less watering will be required.
If you have a large garden it is an excellent idea to target a smaller area to landscape, allowing the rest to naturally develop. If you try to landscape too large an area, you may find it takes vast amounts of time and effort to tend to.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual how much work they want to put into their landscape garden. Be warned though, one that is exceptionally aesthetically pleasing will probably take a huge amount of work. Conversely, one that takes very little effort will probably look very bland. It is best to try and find a happy medium that is suited to your own time limits and horticultural capabilities.
The secret to a successful garden is planning. The more time you spend planning your ideas, the better your garden will grow.
Gardening truly is one of the finer things in life. Watching flowers transform from seeds to bloom is very gratifying. But gardening failures are hard to take. Imagine how upsetting it is to buy bulbs, carefully plant and fertilize them only to have the flowers die because of poor soil or not enough sun. This is why careful planning is important to the success of any garden.
To begin your garden blueprint, get a blank piece of paper, graph paper is even better. Draw an outline of your house, garage, storage shed, swing set, deck, trees, and any other existing landmarks in your yard. Don't forget to include walkways or paths. You should also include existing flower beds or gardens. If you have children, think about high traffic areas. Don't plant a flower bed in an area likely to be the 20-metre line of the family football game.
The next step is to determine the sun's pattern in your garden. Use a pencil to color the areas of your yard that are mostly shaded. Make notations for areas that get morning sun, areas that get afternoon sun, and areas that get full sun. This is an important step because the amount of sun each area receives will determine what plants you will plant there. Take into consideration the mature height of trees in your yard. Just because your oak tree is only 15 feet tall now, doesn't mean it will stay that height. The taller the tree, the more shade it provides.
Next, mark any areas that drain poorly. If you do not have a sprinkler system, mark where your faucets are. You won't want to plant flowers that require lots of water in hard to reach places in your yard.
Finally, draw in your windows and doors as well as outdoor sitting areas. The view of your back garden from different vantage points is an important consideration in planning your garden.
If you are planning to do any deep digging, you should find out where electrical, sewer, gas and phone lines are located in your yard.
The next step is to have your soil tested. Before you can choose plants and flowers for you yard, you need to understand what will grow best in different areas of your yard. You should take samples from several different areas of your garden, since soil can vary from one place to another. Check with your local county extension agency for soil testing information. Once you have the results, you may need to take steps to improve the soil before you can plant.
Now comes the fun part -- choosing plants and flowers. Attach a piece of tracing paper over your blueprint. By using tracing paper, you can create several different designs and then choose the pattern you like best.
Before you start designing flower beds, you should answer a few questions:
- How much time do you want to spend maintaining your garden?
- What type of edges do I want for my flower beds?
- How much yard or grass do I want left in my garden?
- What color schemes do I want in my garden?
- Are there any areas in my garden where nothing seems to grow?
Now begin working on your tracing paper. Start with the shady areas. Consider where you want perennials and where you want annuals. Get a list, or better yet, a gardening book with color photographs of plants and flowers that grow in the shade. On your blueprint, use colored pencils to shade the area with the color of the flower or plant you are putting there. Think about what colors complement each other and the height each plant or flower will mature to.
Now move to the sunny or partially sunny areas of your garden. Think about the type of border you want for flower beds or paths. Don't forget to plant for each season. Make sure you have flowers that bloom in early spring as well as flowers that bloom clear up until the first frost. This way your yard will never be void of color.
Next, work the areas of your garden where nothing seems to grow. Talk to your local nursery about groundcovers that grow well in your area.
The final step is to draw in the location of planters. While you may change the flowers in your planters from year to year, they are still an important part of the overall design of your yard.
Once you have your entire garden mapped out, now it's time to begin the work. Don't be afraid to change your plans if you find something you like better. Most of all, have fun.