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Garden Plan - part 1. Plan your garden project. The garden design process

Garden Plan – Part 1


Garden Plan – Start a clear Garden Design Process


This Garden Plan post is aiming to provide you confidence and clarity with your next garden project. How can we find good methods or design processes to help you achieve your desired landscape space?

There are several key components to planning your garden space. As with many creative projects, brainstorming and understanding what you want to achieve is paramount. A good garden plan can mean the difference between an average garden and a great garden. Put a little effort in on the plan stages and you will be rewarded over many years to come.

To develop a garden plan some people like to get out a large piece of paper and create a very visual project. Other people may prefer to use technology and setup a project on your PC, Laptop or portable device. This is your starting block, your objectives, what you hope to create. Naming your project provides scope and clarity. You could call your project something like: “Landscape Our Backyard”, “Create Productive Veggie Garden”, “Reduce Our Lawn”, “Reduce our Garden Maintenance”, “Attract More Birds To Our Garden” etc …  Create a title that encapsulates your goal. You may find that you need to change the title as you progress forward into your project.

Now that we have the title sorted out, we need to start with brainstorming our Garden Plan. Sometimes we may be very certain of our end goals and objectives, other times we have little to no idea about what we want to achieve. It is important to really utilize the brainstorming phase and make it highly productive. During the brainstorming phase we can refine our goals and narrow down our objectives. This stage also helps greatly if multiple people want to be involved together ie your family, married couple, partners, co-investors etc … The key stakeholders in your project should all have equal input to create sound objectives.

The brainstorming session can be a great way to bring about family unity and create a feeling of togetherness.


Garden Plan – Rules of Brainstorming

Rules of brainstorming:  there are no rules … kidding! Create your own rules and your own objectives. Enhance your chances of building a successful garden plan.


1)  Assign a scribe or someone who will write ideas down and co-ordinate the direction and focus to stay on track.

2)  Let everybody have a say. Either take it in turns or alternate between ideas.

3)  Write most ideas down, even if you think they are not what you want (it may be important to someone else).

4)  Try not to speak over each other. Make sure discussions can take place without too much pushing or poking… so to speak.

5)  Allow ideas to flow and to grow with the level of enthusiasm.


Now that ideas are down on paper or collated on your technological device, it’s time to narrow the focus. During this stage we need to narrow ideas down to what is possible and practical. Should everything be done in one stage or multiple stages? Should you create an evolving process over time? Sometimes a garden project may be bigger than we thought, and it makes complete sense to break it up into several stages. Maybe we have learned that our potentially small weekend project is actually much more complex than first thought.


Understanding your Garden Plan Project

While we are narrowing down our ideas and garden plan we may want to get some external help. Gaining advice and outside help can help us to understand our project better. You could search for information online, read books and magazines, go to your landscape supplies, hardware centers and garden centers. Join your local garden club or community garden hub. Sharing your passion with like-minded people is a sure way to improve your skills and knowledge.

If calling someone externally for ideas, it’s important that you try to make things efficient and practical so you don’t waste other people’s time. If you waste other people’s time then they may not be interested in working for you in future. You want to be open and honest about what you are trying to achieve. Someone helping you to develop clarity, design ideas and concepts is valuable.

On the other hand, you may require, or want to call a landscape design firm to draw up your ideas and to implement a practical efficient garden plan. If you are getting your garden drawn up or designed, your brainstorming and ideas will come in very handy to convey the objectives and desired outcomes of your project. A clear customer is a good customer when it comes to getting external help.

Do not just ring up local gardeners or landscapers to come out to ‘quote’ when all you are wanting is to get ideas. This is a waste of their time and effort! You may soon find it harder to call out people when you really need help. Be honest and upfront about your intentions and let the contractors decide if they want to help you. A clear garden plan, transparency and honesty leads to better outcomes.


Using an Online Garden Planner for your Garden Plan

Here is a very helpful online garden design tool (cannot save in free version, can print though) to help you draw up your Garden Plan. Click here if you want to play around with an  Online Garden Planner.


Now we have finished Garden Plan, stage 1 of our project. In summary, we should have named our project, brainstormed our ideas, narrowed down our ideas, goals and objectives. This will stand us in good stead for putting our thoughts and ideas into practice!

In the next Post I will cover Garden Plan, Part 2. This post will talk about products, product selection, maintenance elements and continued steps to get closer to achieving our project goals.


garden plan part 1 design process garden design landscaping ideas


If you have any Garden Plan questions, please leave a comment below or use our  OUR CONTACT PAGE.