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Can you help me design my garden?

(17 Posts)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fibreopticangel Sun 16-Mar-14 06:57:39

Have a look at a website called shoot gardening. You can subscribe for a smallish fee, and it has a design tool on it with a comprehensive list of plants and their needs.

We.had a designer to plan our smallish garden and she registered me on the site. I concluded that if I had had the time, I could have done it myself using this website.

A few tips I picked up:

Preparation is key - dig to at least 1 spade depth, preferably two, and mix in well-rotted manure before planting.

If you have groups of plants, put them in clusters of 3 or 5.

Obviously, taller plants at the back or middle.

Leave at least a foot between a wall or fence and plant.

Good luck - I'm excited to see everything re- emerging now - must get out there and weed and top dress with more manure.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thistledew Sun 16-Mar-14 07:28:43

Sure you can do it yourself, especially if you have a good idea of what you want.

I have designed and landscaped two gardens now, and am very pleased with the result of the last one.

I visited several flower shows and took photos of ideas I liked. You need to have an awareness of how things will look from different angles - do the sight lines complement each other? Use different heights with beds, planters and frames. Work out where you are actually going to walk and put the path there - this is called the 'desire line' and means that it is pointless putting down a path if you are naturally going to take a short cut and avoid it.

I use a lot of 'upside down making paint' to draw out plans on the ground. You can get it from DIY stores.

You could also consider doing a landscaping course- there are often offered to amateurs and last a few weeks.

The good thing about a garden is that it is always changing anyway!

Chewedover Mon 17-Mar-14 11:47:30

I've just found these (garden layout planners). Haven't had a go on them yet but might be what you (and I) are looking for.

Pannacotta Tue 18-Mar-14 20:36:18

Are there any college offering garden design courses near you?
If so I would approach them and ask if any of the students would help you out for a small fee?
If you post some pics on your profile we can have a look and offer advice?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pannacotta Tue 18-Mar-14 20:42:19

Go for it.

Pannacotta Tue 18-Mar-14 20:43:08

Btw would be helpful to know the aspect, soil type and where you live if you are after some planting ideas.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 18-Mar-14 20:46:25

What you pay for is the skill of knowing what plants do and when, and how big they will grow, and what they will look like mature and not just now - plus things like...what plants will actually like having manure dug into the soil before you plant it and what plants prefer better drainage, which plants will grow in the soil that you actually have, how the colours of blossom and leaves work together, plus what will be shading what out, having a theme or a style, having a suitable view from each seating or entrance area etc etc etc.

So you really get what you pay for - if you want a professional standard then that's when it starts costing.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pannacotta Tue 18-Mar-14 21:34:10

I think once you are happy with a layout then the details such as planting will fall more easily into place.
I think it can help to have another point of view re layout/practicalities and these are things which are covered in detail on a design course.
Perhaps the main difference between a lay persons knowledge of plants and a professional is the amount of exposure and experience of how plants behave and also a knowledge of what works together, info which isn't that easily found in books or on-line.

ShoeWhore Wed 19-Mar-14 23:09:44

I've got a great book called John Brookes Garden Design, which I found really helpful when designing my own garden.

I found it easier to get the layout right than the planting. But I've enjoyed it all just the same. Gardens are constantly evolving and what looks amazing one year can just not work the next and vice versa.

This website with advice from Alan Titchmarsh is quite useful too:

He says every garden should have a journey through it, a focal point and a surprise!

ShoeWhore Wed 19-Mar-14 23:10:20

Sorry forgot to convert the link

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