Design your dream garden!

Undertaking a project can be overwhelming, and getting your garden in shape is no different. While inspiration may strike while browsing the nursery, it’s essential that you do the proper planning and research for any vision you may have before making purchases. We’ve got some tips and tricks for you to consider before buying anything, so you can design your garden like a pro!

1. Start with what you absolutely need

We all have a dream garden in mind before we run out and buy supplies–or at least you should! Take a moment to consider what pieces you absolutely must have in your garden, or if you want to run with a theme. Do you really want a gazebo? Do you want to go tropical? Research some elements that you can’t live without in your garden, and plan the rest around that before running to the nursery.

2. Play with layers

Layer your garden by height and size. Keep the tallest trees on the outside edges of your garden, with mid-size shrubbery in front of them. Keep the smaller plants in the foreground. Play with shape as well as size, contrasting tall and skinny trees with low, wide shrubs.

3. Get sketchy

Visual aids are great way to plan and organize a garden. It also helps you clear your mind to plan the smaller details. Take dimensions of the areas you plan to work with, take lots of photos, and make some sketches on what you might want to try in your garden. Look into apps like Garden Plan Pro that can help you plan a garden in a visual way.

4. Learn your climate zone

It’s no secret that different plants thrive in different climates and environments, but you might not be aware what your climate zone is! Knowing your climate zone means knowing what plants will be able to withstand local temperatures, and what might require more shade, sunlight, or maybe some time indoors. You can look up your climate zone by zip code, and plan out what plants will thrive in your garden from there.

5. Consider irrigation

There’s no use in setting up a garden that you won’t be able to water! Before planting anything, consider how much water your plants will need, how often, and if you’ll have time to keep them happy. Are you able to provide the amount of water necessary? Should you install an irrigation system? These are some oft-forgotten questions that are better to ask now than later!

6. Give space for things to grow

Don’t bunch up your new plants together, or they’ll have no space to grow! While the sight of a full garden is satisfying, be patient and let your foliage fill up the space as it grows.

7. Beware underground utilities

Don’t burst a pipe! Locate any pipes running under your yard when planning where to dig. The last thing you want is a burst water pipe when setting up your new garden.

8. Pay attention to textures

Like size, you can use texture to make a segment of your garden more appealing or to accentuate different plants. Fine plants like ornamental grass or those with small leaves give a light feeling to a garden, and larger, coarse-textured leaves can bring in a tropical look. Use variety and contrast, paired with size layering, to design an interesting look.

9. Use containers

Containers are functional, and are also great props for a garden. First, containers make it easy to move plants that might have finicky sunlight or temperature preferences. Containers can also be used for directing foot traffic or dividing two thematic segments of a garden. Filling up empty space is another perk that comes with containers, so use yours strategically when planning out a garden layout!

10. Have some easy plants

Make sure you include a nice amount of easy or drought-resistant plants in your garden. This ensures you’ll have a good-looking garden even when conditions turn harsh. You can also devote focus to just a few problem plants while the hardier bunch stays healthy during intense heat or cold.


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