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Planning and Designing your Garden

Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Hoe/Cultivator
Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Hoe/Cultivator


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When you have made the decision to create a backyard garden, it can be difficult to determine exactly where to start. Ultimately, what you'd like to do is go buy some plants and put them in your yard. While this does give you the ultimate end effect, it's not exactly the most effective way to do things.

In order to create a backyard garden that you're going to love for years on end, you have to plan where everything is going to go, and what you are trying to accomplish.

Step One: Get your plan on paper

The first step to create a great backyard garden is to create a more concrete layout than the one you have in your head. The best way to do this is to map out your plans. Measure out your backyard, and then approximate where everything will go. If you're feeling optimistic and want a true-to-life image, block off where you would have your garden with rope. This will give you a better idea of how much of your yard you're devoting to your backyard garden.

Once you've created a plan of where you backyard garden will be located, you can start to look into what there is to put in your garden, and what will fit where.

Green Tip:

When planning your garden, include trees and shrubs. Placed correctly, they can reduce the heating and cooling costs for your home.

Step Two: Consider what you want in your garden

While most people consider what colours and flowers they want in their backyard garden first, any good landscaper will tell you this is not the way to create an effective plan. When designing your backyard garden, you should consider your foliage in the following order:

Type What this includes Why?
1 The Focal Point Large, Leafy Trees As these trees can grow to be the largest item in your yard, their placement can be an issue
2 The Year-Rounds Hedges & Evergreens These plants are visible year-round - they need to be strategically placed
3 The Accents Grass, Bushes These items can grow to be fairly large, and are present each year
4 The Colour Flowers, Perennials & Annuals These items are not permanently visible, and can be easily relocated after planting

Make sure to include everything you want in your backyard garden in your plan. If you don't wish to have any hedging or any bushes, simply don't include them in your plan! The plan should be a picture of what you want in the end, and if there's something you don't want to include, then don't include it. Learn more

Once you've completed your plan, you should be ready to start putting it to action. Preparing your yard before you purchase any plants is important, so make sure to follow all of the steps carefully.