What is Garden Design?

When it comes to designing a garden, the key is to find solutions that meet your needs and aspirations. Although this may seem daunting, starting with a clear vision can help bring your ideas to life quickly. Consider keeping a scrapbook or notebook to gather inspiration, including flowers, landscapes, furniture, and art that you admire.

To further clarify your thoughts, you may want to create a bubble diagram indicating how different areas of your garden will be used, such as for eating, seating, or play. Remember that the placement of pathways, structures, and other elements is critical to achieving your desired outcome. For example, sinuous paths and organic shapes can create a relaxed and informal atmosphere, while straight paths and symmetrical layouts lend themselves to a more formal environment. With careful consideration, you can create a garden that meets both your aesthetic and functional needs.

A backyard before garden design.
The same backyard after having been designed.

Every garden comes with its own set of challenges, whether it’s a steep slope that needs terracing or a small, awkward space to work with. However, utilizing lines, shapes, heights, structures, and perspectives can help solve any problem that arises. Techniques such as creating the illusion of space and diverting focus to specific features can also be employed to deceive the eye.

Color, pattern, and texture are essential in creating a specific atmosphere and mood, so it’s important to choose them wisely. Additionally, colors can affect the perception of space and size in the garden. Blues and whites, for example, can make an area appear bigger, while reds and yellows can make a space feel more compact. Lighter colors and white can also reflect light into darker areas of the garden.

Texture can also be used in various ways, such as combining rough and smooth surfaces or shiny and matte textures to create striking contrasts. When it comes to garden design, there are no rights or wrongs, so have fun and experiment.

The elements of garden design comprise a range of features:

  • Gathering inspiration and ideas,
  • Shaping and spacing,
  • Creating paths for navigation,
  • Establishing views and vistas,
  • Using geometric or organic designs,
  • Incorporating symmetry,
  • Multi-level layouts,
  • Utilizing height and structure,
  • Color selection,
  • Texture integration,
  • Material choices are also crucial aspects
  • Designing with furniture, lights, and plants.