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Garden Designing - The Basics

Techniques for developing your garden can be made easy through a few simple tips. Think about a particular shape for a bed. For example, lets take a square. There are different ideas you could do inside the square. Generate rows similar to what you see in vegetable gardens. Another thought, you could actually use different shapes such as a triangle or circle inside the square.

In the triangle, put one or three of the same or different shrubs. Herbee Greenthumb goes by the basic rule of thumb in design, plant in odd numbers. Another consideration is to border your triangle with flowers and put a series of three shrubs inside the triangle. Think about what you want to plant in each of your shapes as you draw them. Next to your triangle, make a circle. You love Indian Hawthorn, put Indian Hawthorn in your triangle, add flowers inside your circle. Does this sound confusing to you? Take a piece of paper and and try these steps.

Basic Shapes

  1. Draw a big Square - use a pencil so you can erase.
  2. Think about putting a triangle somewhere inside the square.
  3. Before you draw the triangle, think about what plants would fit well in this shape.
  4. Draw your plants in your triangle. Don't worry about drawing an actual plant, put an x for now and make a key and identify what your x is.
  5. Continue putting X's in or if you want something different, make that an o. You can use whatever code or key you want. Make it as simple as you can for yourself. Use letters or numbers.


Square With Flowers

This is a basic square done with colorful daisies and marigolds. As you can see they are still in the containers. Another one of Herbee's rules: "always set out your pattern before digging holes!"


Triangle With Flowers

This pattern represents a triangle. Notice how the daisies are in the front part of the triangle. The marigolds are lining each side of the triangle.

You can create any type of garden designing within a design. I drew the square, put a couple of of triangles in each corner, a kidney shape in the middle and two circles on either side. This could be your backyard or front yard. You do not have to have this many shapes. Make it as simple or get real creative and design several shapes or beds. Also there is an easy key to follow with a few tips and suggestions on what kind of plants to incorporate.

Circle And Full Circle

Flowers Make A Circle
Full Circle With Flowers

A circle is another option for this type of garden. You can do a simple circle or get a little more creative and put another variety of flower in the center. This will give you a mass planting effect.

Simple Illustration Of Designing Within A Design

Designing Within A Deisgn

  1. A - Trees - Consider putting two evergreen trees in the triangle, such as an Emerald Green Arborvitae, Douglas Fir, Redbud, or a Nellie Steven Holly. You could go a little smaller and put a Osmanthus, (Tea Olive) Cleyera, or a Weeping Youpon Holly.

    The open space where there are three trees, consider maybe two evergreen trees on the outside and a deciduous tree in the middle. A Purple Plum, Maple, (provides great shade) or maybe a flowering Crabapple. Add some color with the evergreens such as a False Cypress, Black Dragon Cryptomeria, or a Leyland Cypress. Leyland Cypress looks striking with a Purple Plum.
  2. B - Shrubs - Put a couple of evergreen shrubs in either side of your triangle. Try a Loropetalum, (Chinese Pizazz) Mop Cypress, Indian Hawthorn, or a Blue or Gray Owl Juniper. (nice teal color) Mix and match some deciduous shrubs also. Winged Euonymus, (beautiful red tones) Spirea, Peegee or Annabelle Hydrangea.
  3. C - Dwarf Shrubs - dwarf shrubs are wonderful specimens around flowers. Dwarf Hinoki Cypress, dwarf Hemlock, Blue Pacific Juniper, or a Birds Nest.
  4. D - Flowers - annual or perennials would look nice. Do two beds of perennials or mix some annuals up with the perennial flowers. In winter, those annuals will die out and you will be left with a dead space. Some great annuals are Petunias, Impatiens, Dusty Millers and of course some marigolds.(a very popular annual flower) Mix in some perennials such as Phlox, Columbine, Bee Balm, or some Coreopsis.

These suggestions from Herbee above are a few basic landscape design techniques and tips. As Herbee has mentioned before on this site, balance and your own personality is the key to successful gardens.

Other Pages You May Be Interested In

List Of Perennial Flowers --- evergreen-plants

Flower Bed Ideas --- Other Idea For Planning A Garden ---

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