Successful Garden Design Tips – importance of proper planning

Get the WOW factor garden cheat sheet now!
Enter your best email address below

They say never work for friends or family… here’s a garden that DIDN’T go to plan…

In the video you will see how important it is to:

  1. Plan properly
  2. Stick to the plan!

It’s SO easy to get carried away when landscaping your garden and not really consider how everything has a knock on effect with everything else.

Make sure you know about design before you landscape your garden!

Need some help?

If you’d like to attend the free fast track garden design class that Rachel mentions in the video go to: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses

 

Front garden design makeover – Case study

Front gardens can be difficult to get right because often as not, they have to be functional, to accommodate the car and driveway or utility area for bins.

Just because a driveway is there, it doesn’t mean to say that the area should not be treated as a garden and be made to look beautiful.

FrontGarden

So how do you go about making a practical space a beautiful one?

Step 1 Design it as if it were a garden first, then make it practical.

This is the most important part of the design process. If you get too bogged down in the practicalities of having a functional driveway or a place to store the bins etc., then you often won’t be able to come up with something that looks pretty.

Whereas if you tackle it the other way round and have a garden first and foremost, do the design you’d like to have, and then work out how to accommodate the car and a drive etc., then it becomes much easier to create something of beauty.

Step 2 Get creative with the shapes that you use.

Your front garden doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Experiment using sweeping bold curves, circular shapes, or if you have a very modern house perhaps interlocking block shapes.

If the area is small, try to use shapes and materials that will visually make space larger.

Step 3 Now you need to make it practical.

So, now you’ve designed your front garden as you would had it has been just a garden, we need to start to think about how you can incorporate space for a car or utility area, or whatever your practical needs are for your front garden.

So obviously, you will now need to modify what you’ve already done on paper, but doing it this way round will enable you to create something much more artistic and visually pleasing.

If you have to accommodate a car into your driveway, allow a lot more room than you think you need.

Front garden case study

Before the builders added an extension to this house, the front garden had just been lawn with a few plants. After the building work had finished, there wasn’t much of either left! However, the owners did not want to go back to having a plain old boring lawn. For a start, there’s the additional maintenance of grass cutting, and they thought that it could look better than just grass.

In our case study garden, a bold sweeping curve shape was cut into the tarmac drive and then small natural stone paving slabs were laid in a random bond, mixed with light coloured gravel and planting.

The paving slabs were of a thickness that if they needed an additional car parking space, near where the pot is on the photograph below, they could take the weight without cracking.

Frontgarden1

Thymes were planted in gaps left in the paving, and these could take being driven on occasionally. This allowed for the area to still look like a garden, yet function as a parking space.

The paving also functioned as a path to the front door as well as around the planting sections. By using the same material all the way through, and in their relatively small sizes, it makes the area appear larger and the consistent use of materials brings clarity to the scheme.

Need more help?

If you’d like to learn more about exactly how you can transform your garden, then check out the online garden design courses I run here at Successful Garden Design.

Learn how to design your garden – Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

 

Questions or comments?

Leave them in the box below!

Front Garden Makeover – SGD Reader’s Plans

Nicole - A Successful Garden Design Workshop 'Student'!

Nicole – A Successful Garden Design Workshop ‘Student’!

I get so excited when people send me photographs of what they’ve done in their garden from what they’ve learned here at Successful Garden Design. So I’m thrilled to be able to share with you a really simple front garden makeover that one of our readers is in the process of doing.

So these are the plans that Nicole, from Washington DC, has drawn up after watching just the garden design workshop (that gives an overview of the whole design process, it’s not even a full garden design course – we’ll feature a garden from a full design course next time!).

Successful Garden Design Workshop Viewer’s Front Yard Makeover

Front-Yard-Makeover-planWhat I love about what Nicole has done is she’s kept things really simple (hugely important).

She’s gone for a geometric shape that makes the best use of the available space, and she’s created interest through the rest of this tiny front garden with a stepping stone path that weaves through the edible planting.

Click on the image of the plan to view it larger.

The photos below show the before, we don’t have a finished photo yet as it’s still a work in progress, but I hope she’ll keep me updated later in the year.

Even though the photos don’t show the finished garden yet, you can see along with the plan image how much better the circular lawn shape is making the space look.

Front-Yard-Makeover-before-after

Helping the next generation of young gardeners learn

Nicole has not only tackled her front yard but she’s also volunteered to design and start the edible garden at her children’s elementary school. How wonderful is that!

She’s currently doing a course on permaculture methods and is trying to incorporate the aesthetics she’s learned here on this website with the practical and functional requirements of the permaculture system.

Here’s the plan she’s drawn up for it. For those of you not familiar with permaculture concepts, you basically work with nature, particularly the contours of the land so that you can make use of all available rainfall by the use of mini-ditches called swales.

Edible-garden-plan

Permaculture principles in a nutshell

So basically, permaculture is not only about self-watering, it’s a system that harmonises the best of nature with how you combine plant varieties, so you don’t have to dig or fertilise the soil when it’s set up properly and there’s very little weeding involved (that’s my kind of fruit and vegetable gardening – the type that does it itself!).

If you’re interested in this type of edible gardening, check out Geoff Lawton – he’s an amazingly knowledgable guy that shows you how to create a ‘food forest’ in any size garden, in any location. They’ve even managed a permaculture system near the Dead Sea of all places, it’s truly amazing what can be achieved when man works with nature…

You CAN do this too!

I’m thrilled to see how people put what they learn from the online workshops and courses to good use. Not everyone is brave enough to let me use their photos on the website, so big thanks to Nicole. I hope more of you will be inspired to have a go yourself.

If you need help…

Then do check out the Successful Garden Design online garden design courses – you can see the results people have got by going to the ‘Hall of Fame – your gardens‘ category of the website.

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

Front garden makeover – Case study

The front garden makeover in this case study had a driveway either side of it and a small lawn at the front. The design needed to be viewed from all angles and be welcoming as you approached the house from the road, whilst also looking good from the view from the window. Front-garden-before So how do you go about creating a garden that looks good from every angle?

Step 1 Choose a shape that enhances the space and looks good from whichever point you view it.

The easiest way to do that is to choose a shape that is simple. If you try to use irregular curve shapes in a small space, it never looks right. So, keep it simple and base the shape on a circle or box shape.

Step 2 Make sure that the shape you choose enhances the area.

Again, circles are wonderful for making any space look larger. Simplicity really is key. If you try and overcomplicate things, it will never look right.

Step 3 Make it interesting with a clever choice of materials or focal points.

You don’t have to fill every last space in your planting borders with plants. If you use a gravel and cobble mulch, you can leave areas of empty space so that you can clearly view the cobbles. This creates additional space and makes borders more interesting, and it’s also low maintenance because you have less plants. If you are going to use a gravel or cobble mulch, make sure you put down a good weed suppressant membrane that will help keep the maintenance low.

You can see in our example garden that we edged the lawn with pavers to match the driveway. This created continuity with the existing materials and it also kept the maintenance lower because it meant the lawn didn’t need to be edged and would never lose its shape. The shape also mimicked the fencing panels, which furthered continuity in the design.Front-garden-AFTER The curved shape pointing outwards from the house helped make the area look longer from within the house as well as creating a welcoming shape as you approach from the road.

You don’t have to spend a fortune and it doesn’t have to be difficult!

This is a really simple makeover. It didn’t need anything overly fancy or ‘designery’, nor did it need a small fortune spending on it. Design shapes are what REALLY make the difference, not how complex you make it or how much money you spend!

Circles and curves really are your best friend in the garden, just having a simple shape like this on your lawn and patio area makes a tremendous difference. Even though we were unable to fit a whole circle or semicircle into the space, the design shape did originate from a circle. Never underestimate the power of the circle, it’s why garden designers use them so much!

Need more help?

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

[DESIGN SHOW 6] – Front Garden Ideas

Get the WOW factor garden cheat sheet now!
Enter your best email address below

Check out the Great Garden Formula online garden design course that Rachel mentions in the episode: https://successfulgardendesigncourses.com/great-garden-formula/

Front Garden Design Ideas

In this video, you will learn how to transform your front garden. Professional international, garden designer, Rachel Mathews, will show you how to plan front garden design ideas in a number of ways.

She will talk about 2 types of front gardens, the purely decorative and the practical ones that incorporate a drive. You will learn front garden ideas on how to landscape these 2 separately and she will also let you in on a golden rule when planning to design your front yard, particularly for gardens that incorporate a drive. This will guide you to creating a much more interesting front garden.

Some of the gardens featured in this episode will show you how you can improve your front garden space to accommodate car parking capability and at the same time keeping the look of the front garden design pretty and tidy.

A nice front garden doesn’t have to cost a fortune…

Front gardens don’t have to be fancy and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to build it. She will discus how one simple dominant shape of lawn can tidy up the look of your garden and how to make it work well with the look of the house and also how to tie up your garden’s landscaping to your surrounding area.

Also, this episode featured food producing front garden which should give you design ideas for your own front yard regardless if it’s just a very small space. Another front garden Rachel featured is one that is low maintenance, where she made use of a simple wire fence.

She will also be out and about to show you different styles of front gardens and share her thoughts and give you pointers about how it can be improved. In this part of this episode, Rachel will talk about focal points in your front garden and how other elements of your garden should tie in to it.

Did you get the answer right last time?

There’s also the answer to the last episode’s question on why the garden wall was staggered and not in a straight line. Rachel is now back in the UK, enjoying the peace and quiet after Spain… well almost – see the outtakes at the end!

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

I’d love to get your ideas for future shows so that this can be as beneficial to you as possible. Leave a comment me know what topics you’d like me to delve into in future episodes in the comment boxes below?

You can also subscribe to the Garden Design Show on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/garden-design-show/id790250905?mt=2

If you want to learn more about the Great Garden formula Rachel mentions in this video, visit:
https://successfulgardendesigncourses.com/great-garden-formula/

Want to learn more about design? Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

Every business has got to have one these days, so here it is - Disclaimer: Please note, the information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, up-to-date, reliable, and complete information. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in rendering professional advice. By reading this website, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, that are incurred as a result of use of the information contained within this website or related downloads, accompanying videos, or other supplementary materials. This includes but is not limited to errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. The material contained on this website is not meant to be a substitute for formal training nor a replacement for professional training or services. Please note some of the links on the site go to affiliate websites where a small commission is earned if you purchase. Please do your due diligence on all linked to products before buying.   Find Rachel on Google+
Google+ Google