In this Garden Design Show Episode…

Rachel will show you how she has designed a wide garden, near LA. She’ll discuss how to get the most from your landscaping materials, to enhance the space in your garden.

How you divide the space in your garden, no matter what shape it is, holds the key to successful design. The garden featured in this episode is a wide garden shape. If your garden is long, just imagine turning the plan around and you’ll get an idea of how dividing the space will work in your garden.

How to Correctly Place Feature Lighting in Your Garden

Rachel will also show you the best way to use feature lighting in your garden. Good feature lighting will really give your garden the wow factor. They do tend to be dearer than traditional garden lighting, but you don’t need many to really liven up your garden at night. Correct placement is critical in order to get the most from your lighting as Rachel demonstrates in the video.

Here are the feature lights she highlighted in the show:

The Havana Pendant lights can be seen here:
The less expensive Pod Lense light 
The Mia Serata floor light
Good quality, standard garden lighting

Your Chance to Win the Garden Design Workshop

Just answer this question in the comments section below: What is it that Rachel didn’t discuss much in the video, that you would expect her to talk about in a garden? Why didn’t she discuss this particular thing?

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

Leave a comment and let Rachel know what topics you’d like her to delve into in future episodes! If you’d like your garden to be featured for the quick sketch design challenge, enter your details on the Successful Garden Design Facebook Page. Subscribe via the Successful Garden Design YouTube channel (iTunes coming soon).

Want to Learn More Top Tips on Transforming Your Garden?

Take a look at the online garden design courses that we run here at Successful Garden Design.

And 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!

    17 replies to "[DESIGN SHOW 1] Californian garden design plan and how to place feature lighting"

    • Larissa

      As always, great show. The answer to the question- plants were not discussed/suggested at all, as the first step of the design is a SHAPE

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Larissa,

        I’ve just held the draw on Facebook and you are our winner! Though, by the sounds of your answer you don’t need the design workshop! You are welcome to choose either the garden design or the plant design workshop as your prize, or you can gift it to someone else if you wish!

        Let me know what you’d like to do.

        Best wishes


    • Nancy Mellen

      you didn't talk about the plants only colors of bloom… people live in different zones and would require different plants for cold, hot, water, dry climates.

    • Laurin Lindsey

      You didn't talk about particular plants! This could be because the design can work world wide but plants are local. Great show i did put in on my Pinterest board. P.S. I couldn't get the light links to work. I love the pendant lights! We use F/X for our lighting fixtures. They are excellent quality. Thanks for the show. Will look it up on You-tube! Cheers

    • Joyce Renfroe Gotsch

      Plants…because you need good design first! Plants fill in the available spaces afterward.

    • Joe horton

      great informative video on landscape lighting in your design I appreciate Rachel’s knowledge and expertise in selecting very nice lighting pendant I did notice that landscape materials perennials and annuals trees and shrubs we’re not discussed thank you for your video and I will pass this on to my constituents at Osuna Nursery in Albuquerque New Mexico thank you

    • Roger

      Great first episode, Rachel.
      It’s interesting to see the “before” site; hear your comments as to what the design challenges are, and then watch as you address them.
      This is the type of episodes I’d like to see – where you have a real life design situation and you go through the stages of design/solution.
      How about front yards and entrances? Will you be covering those too?

      • Rachel Mathews

        Thanks so much Roger, really glad you enjoyed the show. Thank you for your suggestion for front yards and entrances, I’ve added it to my upcoming list of topics to cover.

        Episode 2 will show the design process when I work on a viewer garden, so stayed tuned for that!

    • Fadja

      I really enjoyed the first video of the show and your way of teaching. As Roger says, I’d like to see more of real life situations including the visions of the owners. This would explain your solutions better.

      To answer your question: You didn’t talk about plants. It’s important to get the design right first and then find the plants suitable for the impact and the specific climate.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Thanks Fadja – you’ll like episode 2 as well then, as that will cover the design process more from the beginning. Thanks for your answer, you’ll see if you were right in the next episode!

    • Fadja

      Something to add to my previous comment: You also didn’t talk about your choice of landscape materials you used in your design.

    • Kim Halyak

      You didn't talk about the plant choices. I suspect because that's a decision that shouldn't be made until the design is figured out and the hardscape put it. The plants need to fit into the spaces created by the design, which is the most important aspect.

    • Christine Gorman

      Hi Rachel,
      I always enjoy watching your tutorials. Always very helpful. The answer, as always, is that you didn’t discuss the planting as it is secondary to the design. I would like to submit my garden for you to feature in your next episode, a bit of a challenge I think, but I do not do face book. Can I present it to you in another format?

    • Successful Garden Design

      oh and thank you for the lighting website suggestion, they look great! My YouTube channel can be found at

    • John

      You only briefly mentioned focal points and mentioned nothing much about plant choices.

    • karate kid

      Great post! Gave me tons of new ideas to revamp our social!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.