A beautiful garden can be the most striking feature of any property. It's a perfect place to enjoy summer evenings, admire the scenery from your kitchen, or grow produce that you can eat. Before investing time and money in your garden, take the time to research and think carefully about how you are going to arrange the plants.
Method 1 of 4: Imagine the garden
Step 1. Examine your land
Take a tour. What type of garden do you have in mind? Try to visualize it. Identify the areas that you cannot edit. Locate the cardinal points (north, south, east and west) as well as the parts that are in the sun or in the shade and those where water seems to be collecting.
Step 2. Make a simple plan
Draw a very simplified version of the area where you will be doing the garden. This will allow you to visualize the terrain around the permanent structures to help you decide what type of space you want to create in each area.
- Draw a diagram of the house, fences and other fixed structures.
- Identify the areas where you want to plant.
- Indicate north, south, east and west.
- Remember to include the seats.
Step 3. Find your hardiness zone
Each region corresponds to what is called a "hardiness zone". This is a categorization system developed in the United States to indicate the range of temperatures you can expect in your area and the plants that may grow there.
Step 4. Do some research
Check out gardening books at the library and buy gardening magazines. If possible, look for books about your particular climate or hardiness zone. If you find plants you like, find out if they can grow in your area.
Step 5. Visit gardens
Different gardens open to the public can be excellent sources of inspiration. Look for landscaped gardens attached to buildings open to the public, such as castles or botanical gardens. You can also take a tour of monuments and gardens.
Step 6. Use online software
There are many free and paid tools. These software allow you to create a digital plan of your garden. Some even allow you to upload a photo of your house and / or garden so you can completely customize the design.
Method 2 of 4: Design a perennial garden
Step 1. Choose species
Perennials will form the basis of your garden. These are varieties that grow back every year. This is why in general, they cost more than the others. The colors and shapes you choose now will affect the appearance of your garden for the longest time.
Step 2. Determine the size of the flower beds
Use the size of your home to choose the dimensions of the flower beds in which you will plant the perennials. In general, several small areas produce the best effect for a small home. If you have a large house, you can surround it with several large flower beds.
Step 3. Surround the permanent structures
Make flower beds around things like the house and the garage. Perennials may be further away from access points than others, as they need much less maintenance than annuals and vegetables.
Step 4. Mark off the chosen areas
Plant wooden stakes in the corners of the areas you have determined and tie them to each other with colored string to mark out the locations of the flower beds. You will be able to visualize the garden more easily so as to choose the location of each plant with precision.
Step 5. Take the sun into account
Choose sun-loving varieties for sunny locations and shade-loving plants for shady areas. Research each species to make sure it is compatible with your hardiness zone.
Plant the species that need shade at the foot of trees and shrubs already present
Step 6. Make a rock garden
Many perennials grow well in rocky soils. Reserve part of your land for a rock garden. It's perfect for people who can't pull weeds out. Look for species that like dry areas with little water.
Step 7. Plant the plants
Before you begin, determine which species will go to which flower beds and where each specific plant will be found in its border. You can use your online garden design tool to help you.
- Position the larger plants at the bottom of the flower bed. Otherwise, they will overshadow the little ones.
- Make room for large species. The beds may look empty the time they grow, but they will get bigger and bigger each year.
- Alternate between different colors. You can create a set where all the adjacent plants have different colors, or you can make diagonal rows with one color in each row.
- Plant very small species along the edges. Some perennials grow well next to walkways.
- You can use mulch cloth to prevent weed growth. You can cover it with mulch or pebbles to prevent it from spoiling the aesthetics of your garden.
Method 3 of 4: Design a garden of annuals
Step 1. Find space
Choose the areas where you want to plant annual species. Unlike perennials, they only live a year before they die. They are perfect for areas near walkways, fences, or yards, as you'll have enough room to replant them each year and pull out weeds.
Step 2. Choose the location of the tall species
Large annuals, such as sunflowers, produce the best effect along the edges of flower beds. In addition to sunflowers, you can plant zinnias and cleomes.
Step 3. Determine the position of the flowers in clumps
These are species like marigolds, California poppies, and geraniums. These flowers take up a little more space than the others, allowing them to fill a space efficiently. Plant several in the same place. Their bright colors will form pretty patterns.
Step 4. Position plants with flowering stems
These are species like sage, angelonia, and snapdragon. These plants have tall stems covered in tiny blooms, which helps to bring height, variety, and texture to your annual ensemble.
Step 5. Determine the location of the leafy varieties
These are plants like grasses, perilla, ornamental cabbage, and coleus. These species are perfect for filling the space while adding volume to the whole.
Step 6. Cover the ground
You can use very low plants to fill the space between the flowers. Purslane, maritime alyssum, scaevola aemula, and Million Bells petunia are good choices.
Method 4 of 4: Design a vegetable garden
Step 1. Find a sunny location
Most vegetables need to be in the sun for 6 to 8 hours a day. The first criterion to take into account when designing a vegetable garden is the brightness of the location. Choose a location where the plants will receive sufficient light.
Step 2. Provide a source of water
Make sure there is one near the location. After light, water is the most important element in a vegetable garden. Whether you plan to water the vegetables by hand or set up an irrigation system, you need to be able to water the area regularly and effectively. Vegetables are particularly vulnerable to drought.
Step 3. Test the soil
Vegetables grow best in rich, well-drained soil. If necessary, you can incorporate mulch or compost into the soil to increase its organic matter content.
Step 4. Adjust the size of the vegetable garden
Be realistic when determining its dimensions. If this is your first vegetable garden, it is advisable to make a small one. A well-maintained 3 x 3 m bed will be much more productive than an 8 x 8 m plot that is poorly maintained and filled with weeds.
Choose flat ground. In some cases, you can dig the ground and level it, but it may need to be redone in the future when the earth settles down
Step 5. Choose species
Decide which vegetables you are going to grow based on their compatibility with your region and what you want to eat. Also determine how large the area where you will sow seeds directly into the soil will be and how much of the plot will be reserved for transplanting plants (those that are started growing elsewhere before you plant them in the garden).
- Beets, carrots, parsnips, peas and radishes can be sown directly in the ground.
- You will be more likely to transplant species like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.
- You can buy seedlings to transplant (this is the most expensive option) or sow seeds indoors so that you can transplant the young plants afterwards.
Step 6. Pick the correct date
Before you plant the vegetables, you need to know the average date of the last spring frost in your area. Planting should be started as soon as possible when there is no more risk of frost. It can be a risk. You want as long a vegetative period as possible, but a late frost can damage the plants in the garden. Choose a date based on the date of the last scheduled frost.
- You can inquire at a garden center near you or consult an almanac to determine the approximate date of the last frost.
- If you want to sow seeds indoors, count back from your chosen planting date to determine when you should start growing.
Step 7. Draw a diagram
Before you start planting, take the time to determine the location of each type of vegetable. Place the larger ones at the back and the smaller ones at the front of the plot to prevent some plants from overshadowing others. Make rows so that you can separate the different species and make aisles between the rows.
Start by making rows 120 cm long spaced 60 to 90 cm apart
- If the soil in your garden is hard or rocky, you may need to build raised beds and fill them with more fertile soil.
- You can incorporate compost into the soil to enrich it.
- Don't forget the seats. No garden is perfect without a place where you can sit and enjoy it.
- Before preparing the flower beds, make concrete terraces, plant trees and build wooden terraces. These elements can have an impact on the amount of sunlight an area receives.
- Install fountains and other water features around your perennial flower beds. Group the permanent structures together so that your bird pond or fountain has its place year after year.
- Make compost. Place it between wooden pallets to contain it or buy a barrel that you can hide. If you have homemade compost, you will save on soil maintenance.