Garden Planning & Design

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Now is the time for you to gather your books, catalogues, magazines, camera, and sketchbook and your garden organizer, together with a few pens or markers to sketch with, and maybe a few sheets or roll of tracing paper. For February is garden planning time and it is time to get creative.

Just in time for our garden planning time plantify ( is also bringing out it online garden design tool. But you may still want to start the old-fashioned way before, as it will not launch until February 28.

So, let's get started:

  1. Take a walk around the garden. Observe the architecture of the garden and the vertical and horizontal structure of the plants and hardscape elements without the distraction of foliage and flowers.

  2. Take a few photos of your garden from different angles, from both inside the house and outside. Looking through a camera lens offers an entirely different perspective.

  3. Head back inside and flip through your favorite garden books and magazines. Look for ideas that might work in your garden and bookmark them.

  4. Make a plant wish list. Flip through your plant catalogues and earmark anything and everything you're interested in. Write the list down on a piece of paper or in your garden organizer or journal for future reference.

  5. Paste the photos you took into your sketchbook or garden organizer leaving plenty of room to add notes for ideas around the picture. If you're handy with a pen lay a piece of trace paper over the photographs and sketch out some ideas.

This way of designing your garden – or even with a computer program, whether a dedicated garden planning tool or simple vector graphics – works equally well for flower gardening as well as vegetables.

In fact you should really plan your vegetable garden well and consider the aspects of the garden. That is to say the areas as to sun and shade and wind and all that jazz.

Do your homework, so to speak, before sowing and planting and you can save yourself a great deal of time and money and disappointment too.

© 2012