If you love the outdoors, you’ve probably dreamed of the perfect garden – how would you design it, what would you plant, and what would it look like? Well, it’s never too late to realize your dream. Gardening offers several rewards, including improving curb appeal, increasing property value, improving your overall well-being, and even protecting the environment. Gardens are viewed by many as an additional room, and they provide endless opportunities to exercise your creativity.
That being said, there are several things to keep in mind when creating the garden of your dreams. The good news is with enough planning even novice gardeners are capable of creating beautiful, vibrant, and functional green spaces. Whether you are looking to build your dream garden from scratch, or add something new to your existing one, or even change the entire look of your yard, here are a few tips to make sure everything comes together:
Make a Plan
Whether you’re starting with bare land or working on an established garden, you need to formulate a garden plan. Start by putting some simple design ideas in place. Let your mind wander as you picture the perfect garden. Consider different styles and what they might contain in terms of features, color schemes, textures, and so on. Grab some outdoor and gardening design magazines, and see what interests you. You can even take inspiration from your neighbors’ designs.
Once you have a clear vision, the next step is to get it on paper. Consider getting a professional landscaper at this point to help you develop an outstanding design for your dream garden. The perfect garden means different things to different people. Therefore, in addition to aesthetics, identify your garden needs. Will you use the garden as a play space for kids or pets, a space for relaxing and inviting friends, a small area of wilderness, or somewhere to cultivate organic produce or flowers? Knowing how you’ll use the space is essential for designing a dream garden.
Assess Your Space
Space is key to a beautiful and functional garden. It can dramatically change the atmosphere of a garden, which makes it an essential factor to consider when designing a dream garden. For instance, an open space conveys a simple, airy garden while an enclosed space portrays more mystery and seclusion. Space will also determine whether you can move freely or in a measured way through your yard. However, this doesn’t mean you need a lot of space to create your dream garden. It’s possible to have a small, impressive garden, so long as it’s well-designed and tailored to your property, vision, and personal style. Even those with minimal space like city dwellers are determined to make gardening possible by creating a garden area inside.
Choose Your Plants
Once you’ve determined the right design and the available space, the next logical step is to build your garden using the best practices. The first step here is to choose your plants according to your garden aspect. The main things to consider are your personal preferences, what you can manage and, most importantly, what will survive in the climate that’s available (be it indoors or outdoors). Be sure to do plant research before visiting the garden center. Plant hardiness zones on the USDA website are a great way to compare your garden’s climate with the climate where a particular plant is known to grow well. The Farmer’s Almanac is where you get a summary of plants that can do well in your zone.
Last but not least, make Google your best friend. Be sure to find plants that will do well in your climate, are the right size for your space, and what you can maintain. Chances are you want to enjoy your beautiful garden all year round, so take seasons into account when buying greenery and include some hardy plants as well.
Add Other Features
The perfect garden involves more than just plants; gardens need to be functional too. Once you have a plan for your garden, as we had mentioned earlier, you’ll know what hardscaping features to add. This includes things like BBQs, sculptures, retaining walls, outdoor fountains for your wall, patios, paver blocks, outdoor kitchens, outdoor seating, outdoor lighting, and decorations to create a pleasant ambiance. These elements make your garden more functional and add texture, color, and pattern to the landscape.
With so many DIY projects available online, you can find creative ways to spruce up your garden without breaking the bank. Ideally, your garden should include soft surfaces (grass/plants), some hard surfaces (paving/seating), some warmth (wood/lighting), and a few accessories (sculpture) to achieve balance. Also, don’t just think ground level only, add some vertical elements as well. That being said, all this will depend on the amount of space available and your garden needs.
Implement a Management Plan
Now that your dream garden has finally become a reality, you need to make sure you’re providing the right care. Make sure you have the necessary resources, in terms of time and money, to support your garden over its lifetime. Have a source of irrigation nearby to preserve your garden’s beauty and lushness, and remember to trim/harvest the plants. Your hardscaping will also need maintenance. In the long run, it’s landscape maintenance that keeps your dream garden alive.