Planning Your Garden: The Grand Finale

Back to the drawing board! Image by Freepik

Planning Your Garden, At the end of this series of articles, so that you can design your own landscape design yourself, let’s review some steps and put all the ideas together. After reading the last few articles, you must have produced a significant number of sketches for your garden. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. Now you will want to give the exact shape to the areas you want, in addition to deciding which plants and structures will be that will create those shapes and a beautiful and complete landscaping project, like a professional.

It has been a while since you made the general uses sketches, and you may want to review some of the steps that led you to these choices. Come back, and read the articles before this one:

Planning Your Garden

To successfully complete your project, you will need to have a good understanding of your land, house, and neighborhood features,
as well as having a clear understanding of the design principles we discussed earlier.

On the drawing board, place your best sketch of land use areas over the basemap and terrain analysis drawing. On top of all this, put
a blank sheet.

There are just three steps to complete your landscape design:
– Draw the exact shapes and locations of use areas, massifs and structures;
– Identify specific planting areas;
– Select blueprints and specify materials that meet your project requirements.

Always think about the best way to save energy with landscaping. It is quite possible to reduce costs with air conditioning and lighting, for example, with a good project. Image by Freepik

First, draw the massive and structures that will outline the shape of your external areas
of use. As you design, consider both function (such as saving energy, hiding ugly sights,
highlighting beautiful ones, etc.) and aesthetics (based on general landscaping principles).
Be very accurate on the scale. At this point, don’t think about the species that will go into
the project, but about the desired forms and functions. However, you should already have
in mind if in a certain place there will be trees or shrubs, and if they will be evergreen or
deciduous. This is important to delimit the size and shape of the massifs. Make more than
two different design options, so that you can ultimately choose the best one, as professional landscapers do. Discuss ideas and get opinions from others, like your family and friends.

Planning Your Garden

Then, identify exactly where each plant should be, using the ruler of circles or a compass,
to represent them. Make the circles to the scale of the drawing, representing the closest
possible size to the adult plant, with the exception of very large trees, which should be
represented at about two thirds of their final size. Unless specified in the species description,
use as a general rule the crown diameter of about two-thirds of the final height. So… a tree

9 meters high will reach a crown diameter of 6 meters, for example. Differentiate between deciduous and evergreen plants by making two types of symbols. A representation of palm trees can also be very interesting.

Planning Your Garden

Finally, decide which blueprints and building materials will fulfill your project requirements. The goal here should be to find species that will grow well in your chosen locations, developing the shapes, colors and textures that will complement your garden, as closely as you imagined. In the same way, choose construction and finishing materials that match the architectural style of your home, with the same colors, or similar or complementary colors.

It is also important to make a small manual, with all the plants you specified, with data on the growth and cycle of each one, as well as guidelines on periodic maintenance.


You have completed our mini-course on “Garden Planning”! Now roll up your sleeves, and with your project in hand, acquire the plants and materials needed to implement your garden. Hire gardeners for the execution of your landscaping project and don’t forget that for a good execution, employees must be well oriented and have access to copies of your plants, as well as supervision to see if everything is being carried out as planned. Good luck!

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