The golden rules of garden planning

Request quote

Invalid number. Please check the country code, prefix and phone number
By clicking 'Send' I confirm I have read the Privacy Policy & agree that my foregoing information will be processed to answer my request.
Note: You can revoke your consent by emailing with effect for the future.

The golden rules of garden planning

Kayla Gulec Kayla Gulec
 Garden by Melian Randolph, Modern
Loading admin actions …

A little planning goes a long way in life, especially when it comes to garden design. Without proper planning, you might just miss something that's an essential element that will piece everything together just right, but have a game plan and your garden could yield more flowers, fruits, or vegetables. 

So for those of you who aren't sure where to start, this Ideabook was made just for you. As a general rule, most successful gardens have the following elements: foundation plants, trees and shrubs, ground cover, and display perennials, annuals, and vines. This guide will go through the golden rules of garden planning and give you tips on how to choose the right plants for your garden. 

We hope you'll find a few ideas, so let's get started!

Rule #1: Consider foundation plantings

First, we want to consider foundation plantings when planning a garden. These are the small plants and shrubs that are located near the foundation, whether it be the entrance to the home or by the patio. Foundation plants soften the linear and angular style of a building and ease in the transition from home to garden. 

Choosing these plants is rather simple. You should opt for plants that won't grow too large and wildly. That way, they don't interfere with your entrance or damage your foundation with their roots. 

homify hint: Evergreens are perfect foundation plants because they look brilliant during each season, and they tend to be pretty easy to control size-wise.

Rule #2: Think about tree types

There are so many different types of trees, so before you go and just pick up a random type, consider what you want and don't want in a tree. The height and width are the most important elements, but then you have to imagine where it will go in your garden. Then you can think about tree accessories, if you will. By that we mean trees bearing flowers, harbouring fruit, or trees with unique coloured bark or leaves. 

After this, you can start thinking about how seasonal changes will affect your tree and how you'll need to take care of it, as well as how much shade it will create and how it suits your climate. 

Rule #3: Think about maintenance; opt for shrubs

No one likes to put in more effort than they need to with any project, but we think this is especially true with the garden. After all, there's already a lot of work that goes into creating the perfect outdoor space, so why not make it easier on yourself when you can? That's why we recommend planting shrubs in your garden. They are low-maintenance compared to flowers, and they offer plump little bundles of colour, should you choose a flowering shrub. Line them along the walkway, and you can create a cute little garden path

In order to choose the right kind of shrub, think about your available space, and the shrub's personal care needs, like how much water, soil, and sunlight it needs to thrive. Just like trees, shrubs are either evergreen or deciduous, so you have plenty of styling options to choose from.

Rule #4: Pick the right ground cover

Ground cover can help your trees and plants grow to the best of their ability if you can pick the right ones. They protect the soil from the direct heat of the sun, and they prevent water from evaporating too quickly. On top of that, they also inhibit the spread of weed growth, so there's really no reason to NOT have ground cover.

When choosing your ground cover, you need to make sure that it can coexist with your other plants and trees. Some species can be invasive, like bittersweet and wisteria, and those run the risk of wiping out your other plant species.

Rule #5: Plant perennials and annuals

To keep a beautiful garden year in and year out, plant both perennials and annuals. Perennials are plants and trees that keep growing back on their own and live for more than two years, while annuals complete their life cycle within one year and then die. When choosing perennials, we recommend choosing ones that are native to your region. That way, they'll be easy to grow and have less problems coming back the following season. For annuals we recommend the same, but these you will choose for aesthetic purposes, as you will be replanting these each year. For that reason, we also suggest you plant more perennials than annuals, just to save yourself time and effort later on. 

One last thing: be sure to find out each plant's individual sun, soil, and water needs before you buy or grow it.

Rule #6: Make use of all your space with vines

The ground isn't the only place plants grow. Make use of all of your gardening space by planting vines. They create shade and add privacy, not to mention they look downright stunning. Small gardens benefit even more from the addition of vines.

When picking the right vines for your garden, you should consider how they will attach or support themselves to your planned structure. Some vines, such as money plants, cling onto walls very tightly and damage the walls. But then there are vines such as morning glories that have a more gentle hold. You might also want to consider their growth speed and whether or not they're an invasive species.

If you liked these gardening tips, be sure to take a look at these amazing garden ideas!

 Houses by Casas inHAUS, Modern

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!