Prior to moving into our new house 2+ years ago, I decided to challenge myself with designing our garden. I hadn't had any formal training or background and this was the first time I was creating anything of this magnitude.
I found that the best place to start was by identifying a few key aspects:
- What aesthetic was I trying to achieve?
- What lifestyle was I trying to encourage by having the garden (i.e., relaxing, growing, etc.)?
- What was my budget?
- Who was going to do the labour: myself or a contracted company?
- How long would this take?
If there's any advice that I would give to someone that's thinking about designing a garden, I would recommend creating a mood board via Pinterest. Log on and go through lots of pictures over a period of about a week and start pinning gardens that immediately grab your attention. By the end of the week, look at your pin board and look for patterns. Does your garden have a cottage, modern industrial, or perhaps minimalist vibe? What sort of colour scheme do you notice: bright and energetic or maybe cool and relaxing? Take notes on what you see because this will answer your next question which is the lifestyle that you're trying to achieve. For me, I was balancing a modern/minimalist aesthetic with functionality (i.e., a kitchen garden).
The next step was to compile this information into a rough sketch. This was definitely the hard part because I really wanted to create a product that truly captured what I was trying to achieve. I can't tell you how many drawings and days this took to create, but as long as you don't put too much pressure on yourself, then I promise you that inspiration will come sooner or later. Here's what I came up with (pictured below right).
Great! Now what happens next? I had created the blueprints and I was really happy with them, but how do I make this a reality? This is where I had to do my research on landscaping companies that were able to build my vision. After looking online and comparing quotes, I came across Gadd Brothers Landscaping* who provided me with a quote, completed a site survey, and setup a timeline.
Once the work started on the backyard, I could feel my happiness increasing each day since my hard work and dream was coming true. However, something to keep in mind during the implementation process is that there will be unexpected occurrences. For me, it was the raised garden bed layout and the wooden sleeper installation. Believe it or not, this actually worked in my favour per their suggestions since I was able to re-appropriate funds towards three fruit trees which was fantastic.
Over the past 2 years, the garden has developed beautifully and I continue to find ways to plant the right flowers and ornamentals that compliment the space. This doesn't happen overnight and it's something that I'm still working on.
So, what are you waiting for? If I can do it, then you have the power to as well. Good luck!