How to survey your garden

To view this garden survey video along with many others visit the Successful Garden Design YouTube Channel

The video above shows the first stage in how to design a garden and is for anyone suffering from tapemeasureaphobia!

Yes, we finally have the first of the infamous garden design in Spain video series up and running…. hoorah – well not quite hoorah, more horror. I don’t know what is worse, being in front of the camera to do these (yes I do feel like someone auditioning for a reality tv series) or the horrific editing process where I have to sit through hours of gaffs!

So why would I put myself through this horror?

Because it is REALLY important you measure the garden if you are going to design your garden well. The survey is the first step to take to successfully design a garden, without it you won’t succeed. Yes the reality is as harsh as that…

The other aim of the video is to show you there isn’t anything to be afraid of. Garden design is straight-forward. There’s no rocket science involved, no sorcery, just a tape measure and a sheet or two of paper.

So watch the video, but most importantly get out there and survey the garden. It really is critical to survey the garden so you can create a scale plan to work from and that will enable you to design a garden properly.

If you have a really awkward garden to survey that’s a strange shape or you have lots of plants or level changes to contend with, then the garden survey course will show you step-by-step how to survey more complex gardens and draw a scale plan.

This short mini-course will also show you how to draw up a scale plan. Having a drawing to scale will help you order the correct quantity of landscaping materials and enable you to check your ideas will fit in the garden.

Leave a comment if the video has been helpful, or if you have a question you would like answered on garden surveying.

To see how to draw up your plan, watch part 2.

And if you’d like to attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page:



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    6 replies to "How to measure a garden [part 1]"

    • Carole

      Great video! I’m sure there were no available gardens at home, so you just HAD to travel to sunny Spain to shoot this video! What a beautiful place to photograph in. I’m focusing on that because my mind is rebelling from the geometry you are about to teach us. Haha. It’s amazing how few people actually measure their gardens and end up with shrubs that get way bigger than the intended space. Planning ahead of time is really important. Thanks for teaching us how.

    • Rachel Mathews

      That’s correct Carole, not a single garden in England was available – I had no choice but fly to Spain…

      Don’t worry, I will make the next part -drawing up the survey to scale as painless as possible – if I can do it, anyone can! ;o)

    • Alison Kerr

      Fun video. You made it look like something I’d like to do, and that’s saying something!

    • Rachel Mathews

      Glad to hear it Alison – get that tape measure out!

    • […] Successful Garden Design in the UK have an excellent video on how to accurately measure an outdoor  space […]

    • […] you missed part 1 the garden survey or part 2 drawing a scale plan click on the purple links to view […]

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