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Plan your garden design

So, you’ve watched the garden makeover programmes on TV, read the garden magazines, you’ve Googled garden designers and famous gardens in Ireland and across the world, you’ve used Facebook and Instagram to find those wow garden images and you’ve put them all together on your Pinterest account.  You know what you want and you’re ready to get the garden designed.  You deserve congratulations at this stage, as you will have put concerted effort and significant time into getting to this point.  What’s next?

The next big step will be for you to get your garden design plan completed.  You are not alone here as you can be sure that the majority of those wonderful designed gardens have originated with a plan of some description.

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The beautiful Mount Usher gardens in County Wicklow: one for my own Pinterest board!

The ideas behind those great designs will have been condensed into this overarching document from which the garden has evolved.  Even primarily horticultural gardens i.e. those that are created by plant people, “plant nuts” as they are endearingly called, will have some sort of planning to them, very few evolve organically.  In this regard, in my view, it is critical that you condense all your disparate ideas into a fully-worked up design drawing.  This is the professional approach to take to getting your garden designed, and it can be very fulfilling.

The garden design plan can take many forms depending on the preference of the designer in terms of what medium they use to present their designs.  There will usually be an actual 2D plan, then there may be sketches, 3D images and supporting construction details depending on what level of details is involved. Some designers draw by hand, others will use CAD to produce the drawings, others use Sketchup or other rendering programmes.  Many drawings can be beautiful, works of art in themselves driven by the passion of those creating them.

It can be a really exciting part of your project to receive the final version of your drawing.

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Extract from one of my computer generated garden design plans (not annotated)

Aside from being somewhat beautiful to look at, the plan will have not only reconciled all the design ideas (usually no mean feat in itself) but it will also be the template from which the garden gets built.  So, obviously there should be enough information contained on it for the garden to be built accurately, the plan will need to inform the contractor what materials they are using, how much of them they should have and where they should go.

When a project is going well at build stage, I usually see a copy of the plan floating around the garden somewhere, perhaps with further notes or measurements on it and hopefully a few muddy marks, after it has been carried around the garden on a wet day.  At least then I know it is being used!

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Sample detailed garden construction drawing

There is usually a great deal of complexity to the plan and a great deal of time goes into putting it together well.  However, this time and effort will be reflected in the final result.

Good plans will marry creativity with the practicalities of construction also.   In this regard, it is well worth investing in getting the plan done.  And who knows you might be able to frame a copy for your wall at the end of the project!

Click here for further information on the garden design process and plans.

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