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Planning a Garden: Step One

Beautiful gardens rarely happen by accident. They are usually the result of a lot of thought and planning as well as many hours of physical work. Considerable expense is often involved too, making planning even more important. So, the big question is where to begin? Organizing your thoughts, dreams, and resources is a good start. Use the following questions to guide you; as you work through them you will probably think of other factors that should be considered.

Write down your answers to each question and keep them as a guide as you plan your garden. The answers will help you focus on the items that are most important to you.

1. How big a space is available for a garden? Do you prefer one large garden or several smaller ones?

2. How much time do you have to devote to garden chores per week, or month? Are there certain times of the year that you can’t work in the garden?

3. Do you expect the garden to look good in every season? Which seasons are most important?

4. Which is more important to you, specific plants or the over all look of the garden?
If plants are more important then are there certain plants that you simply must have?

5. What is the main purpose of the garden? Provide a landscape view? Create a setting for your house? Be a place to enjoy nature? Hide an eyesore? Provide cut flowers? Something else? You can have many answers to this question.

Garden Design pointerOnce you have all the questions answered you might see that some answers contradict others and you will have to make choices. For example, a garden that looks good in all seasons may not be a reality if you only want to spend time gardening in the spring. Something has to give and you are going to have to compromise something. As you work on your garden you will be making choices all the time and modifications can be made. This is to be expected and is part of the process. Remember, this is just only the first step in the process of planning a garden.