Garden design video: How to layout your garden

Create a basic garden design sketch

Create a basic garden design sketch

Start by drawing a rough outline of the shape of your garden. Have a look on Google Maps for the precise outline of your garden or if you have a larger budget, buy a scale drawing of your plot from Ordinance Survey.

Once you’ve got your outline down on paper, start to think about the spaces you want in your garden. It’s worth considering if you want big open areas or more intimate areas.Choose garden surfaces erlocking shapes to form the surfaces of your garden. Concentrate on circles, rectangles and squares - you don’t want anything too bitty. They should be interlocking shapes that fill the whole outline of your garden. Don’t think about what the different shapes represent but come up with a layout that you think looks attractive.

Points of interestIf you’d like to see some examples of some garden design layouts, take a look at the PDFs created by garden designer Charlie Dimmock. These include ideas for a creating a low maintenance garden, courtyard space and advice on transforming a blank canvas garden space on a budget.

Choose garden surfaces

Once you’re happy with the arrangement of shapes you can start to consider the surfaces they represent. For a low maintenance garden with areas for entertaining you will need to think about areas of paving, brick and gravel.Garden design video: How to layout your garden thin your design might represent a different material. You are trying to create a big open space, concentrating on varied textures.

To create a more intimate garden, focus on the interlocking shapes, making them areas of hard surfacing. Start with a large terrace, moving through transition points, to a path, through to a large area for seating. gs the hard landscaping to create a more mysterious space that hides areas of the garden from view. Watch Alice Bowe’s video, choosing garden surfaces for small gardens for more advice.

Points of interest

Start by thinking about the windows and doors of the house - the ways in which you look out at the garden. A particularly important vista is the view from the kitchen window, especially if you have a sink underneath it. You need to make sure the view from this window looks good all year round.


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Some companies are landscape companies. Most do minimal design work, are just in it for the money, will ignore soil health, not be in touch with a plant's unique needs, and will come by and just plop down shrubs and give ya a bill.
Other companies are more like personal, garden design companies that actually care and consider what they're doing to be creative, artful, etc. Again, many of these companies will not know what they're doing, I've found.
Personally I'd go with anything *but* a landscape company, but either 'types' of companies have their drawbacks

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My space: Abigail Ahern, interior designer  —
Sitting in here, you feel like you can touch the garden.

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