The Importance of Planning


Although much of the pleasure in gardening comes from unpredicted effects, thorough planning is vital to ensure a consistent design. Determining the basic outline of the garden on paper before making any actual changes will help you to avoid any costly mistakes. Although minor alterations can always be carried out later, the position of long-term features such as trees, patios, and walls should always be worked out in advance. The garden should be planned as a whole rather than tackling different sections bit by bit; this makes it easier to create a feeling of continuity, so that the separate elements are not merely appealing in their own right but effective when viewed as a whole.

If you have just acquired a garden, whether it is established and overgrown or brand new, you should always spend some time getting to know the space, before rushing in and re-designing it. You and your family need time to get the feel of it, to note down your requirements, and to put together some ideas about the kind of garden you want. A little patience at the start of your project will save a great deal of confusion - and expense - later on. You also need to remember that some plants are not visible at certain times of year: most bulbs, appearing in the spring, are gone by the summer, while hardy perennials die down during the winter. It always makes sense, therefore, to wait before digging the plot over; those dormant plants could add to the eventual garden design.

Planning is a logical process to create a design that combines the desirable and functional with the realistic. This is also the time to decide how much time you plan to spend on routine maintenance once the garden is established. It is possible to plan a garden so that relatively little upkeep is required.

Your budget, as well as the design, may establish how much, if any, of the work you want to carry out yourself. You may feel that you can quite easily undertake relatively straightforward jobs such as laying turf or general planting, whilst other more complex tasks, such as levelling and construction work require experience and skill, and may best be tackled by a professional.