13 May 2014

The Art of Garden Design

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For todays blog, I thought I would talk a little about garden design. I have been designing and building all types of gardens large, small, ornate, practical and natural to fit the need of my customers. I have taught it in college and have come to realise I have never repeated the same design. The reason is,everybody who wants a garden wants something different, (sometimes similar), but never the same.

My point in this preface is: you are the one with the vision, so the first step is to identify what you want or need from your space. Realize that and make notes on things like recreation, shade, functionality, sun, privacy, lighting, maintenance and many more of the things you need from your space. Now walk around and see what the area looks like and make simple little sketches of these areas, they do not have to be anything major, just scribbles and notes. After you have compiled enough information take your sketches and redraw them the way you would like to see the areas transformed. It is helpful to make mock lines around the garden using string, hoses, lumber etc. A plan will begin to form. This is when you make measurements to find out if the features you have included fit. It also functions as a beginning ground plan at this stage when you have added the dimensions you can go ahead and add details. These details involve knowledge of many things in the designers world; knowledge of soil types, plants, hard materials, carpentry, plumbing, basic engineering, etc etc etc.

If you can imagine it in your space, then it can be built. The design you make, depending on your scope of knowledge, is a reflection of you, and, should, if possible grow alongside you. As in all things, any landscape will need to be maintained, and you will have to have a plan in order to keep things in perspective.

Maintenance can be drastically reduced if you add certain design features to your plan,such as: mulch to reduce watering needs; hard areas to reduce weeding; intensive planting also does this. Structures in gardens can quickly become disproportionate, so a general rule is to undersize anything permanent or make 3d mockups before you build.

There are so many aspects to designing an individual garden and the end result of the project depends upon perspective, so think big and reduce. Simple eh? Give it a shot, you might surprise yourself.

DD

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