How to Plan a Garden: 7 Tips for Beginners

Ready to start your own garden? But your not sure how to plan a garden? Whether you have a small balcony or a sprawling backyard, planning your garden is an essential first step. With a little bit of creativity and a handful of helpful tips, you will be on your way to a beautiful and thriving garden in no time!

In this article:

How to Plan a Garden

Too often, novice gardeners get to work without any real thought of what they wish to accomplish. Gardens are unpredictable places, however, and a detailed plan goes a long way.

Begin by creating a rough sketch of your garden. Using this sketch, you will want to measure the various proportions of the space. Use triangulation to place certain objects, like trees or sheds, accurately.

Once you’ve completed your measurements, use a ruler, compass, and graph paper to create a precise scale plan. A scale of 1:50 (2cm = 1m) or 1:100 1cm = 1m) is advisable for the majority of gardens. After finishing the outline, you can add any features and changes you wish to make.

As you create your plan, consider:

  • Sunlight: Observe the amount of sunlight your garden gets throughout the day. Certain plants need full sun, while others prefer shade.
  • Soil: Test your soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. Doing so will help you select the right plants for your garden.
  • Drainage: Ensure your garden has proper drainage to avoid waterlogging and root rot.
  • Access: Consider how you’ll access your garden and plan pathways and entrances accordingly.
  • Style: Determine the style you want for your garden, formal or informal, and plan your features and structures accordingly.
  • Budget: Determine how much you will spend on your garden.
  • Maintenance: Consider how much time and effort you will put into maintaining your garden and choose plants and features appropriately.

7 Beginner’s Tips to Plan a Garden

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to plan a garden, it is time to get creative! Here are seven beginner’s tips to help you plan a beautiful and functional garden:

1.   Get Creative with Borders

Create a defined border around your garden to give it a finished and polished look. Use stones, bricks, or wood to create a natural border, or use unconventional materials like shells or old railway sleepers for a distinctive look.

2.   Choose a Color Scheme

You should select a color scheme for your garden to create a cohesive, visually appealing design. Consider using complementary colors, such as purple and yellow or red and green, to create a harmonious effect.

3.   Curve Your Lawn

Instead of going for the classic straight lawn, try curving the edges to create a more natural and organic feel. Doing so can also help create a sense of flow and movement throughout your garden.

4.   Create Secluded Spaces

Create secluded spaces within your garden where you can escape and relax. Use tall plants, trellises, or other structures to form natural dividers and add privacy.

5.   Add Structural Features

Incorporate structural features such as garden arches, pergolas, or trellises to add height and interest to your garden. These features can also support climbing plants such as roses, clematis, and wisteria.

6.   Plan Your Flower Beds

Consider layering different heights and textures when planning your flower beds to create a dynamic and visually interesting look. Start with taller plants in the back and work your way forward, using shorter plants toward the front.

7.   Consider Companion Planting

Companion planting is the practice of planting distinct species of plants together to benefit each other. For example, planting herbs like basil or thyme near tomatoes can help repel pests and improve their flavor.

Gardening Beginner’s FAQs

Latin plant names. Tons of equipment. Tricky plant requirements. Little wonder beginners find gardening so overwhelming. With so many questions and uncertainties, it is hard to know where to start. Below we’re answering some common questions:

What Factors Should Influence My Plant Selection?

Choosing plants is more than just picking what you like. You’ve got to consider your garden’s climate, soil type, sunlight availability, and space before your personal preferences come into play. If in doubt, ask a neighbor or research plants that thrive in your local area.

How Do I Create A Sense of Privacy?

No one likes onlookers peering into their garden. After all, it’s supposed to be your private sanctuary. Use tall plants, hedges, and fences to create natural dividers and add a sense of privacy. Other structures, like trellises, can also break up the line of sight, fostering secluded spaces throughout your garden.

Can I Grow Vegetables?

Yes! You can grow anything you like. If you want to grow vegetables, create a separate patch. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, and work your way up to more challenging plants.

What Equipment Do I Need?

As a beginner, you don’t need loads of equipment to get started. Essential tools include:

  • Trowel
  • Gardening gloves
  • Water can or hose
  • Rake
  • Garden Fork
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Hoe

As you progress, you may want to invest in more specialized equipment, such as a tiller or hedge trimmer.

Final Thoughts

Creating a beautiful and thriving garden takes planning, creativity, and a little bit of patience. With these 7 tips, you’re well on your way to a garden that reflects your personality and style.

Remember to have fun and experiment with different plants, colors, and designs. As you gain experience and knowledge, your garden will evolve and change.

Take the time to appreciate the beauty and serenity of your garden, and enjoy the many benefits that come with gardening, including fresh produce, stress relief, and a deeper connection to nature.

So, get out there and start planning your garden today!




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Inredningsvis is one of Swedens largest magazines on home decoration, with thousands of readers each month. Maria Ljungström behind the blog has an eye for making your home look more luxurious and personal.


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