Garden design is the process and art of designing a space that not only looks pleasing to the eye, but is practical.

The first thing you need to think about, what ever the size of garden you have, (be it a small back yard or half an acre) you have the same question to answer. How do I want to use my garden?

Considering your garden as an extension to your home is a great way of thinking about it.  It shouldn’t be a dumping ground, like that cupboard everyone has in their home, where the ironing board sits alongside photo albums, old books and general clutter.  Use the space well and don’t neglect it, as a garden can bring so much joy and solace to the soul.

Once you have thought about what you want to use your space for, that’s when you can plan it successfully.  If you enjoy just sitting, either alone or with friends then make sure you have space to do so.  If you like nothing more that pottering and tinkering make sure you have plenty space and plants to do that, either making a larger flower or vegetable bed or using pots and planters.

If you are one of those people who love plants and want to encourage wildlife into your space then really think about the plants you use.  Use the motto “The right plant in the right place” and you won’t go wrong. Happy plants are healthier, grow better and bigger with more and larger flowers, they are also less likely to be affected by pests and diseases as they are stronger and more resilient.

Knowing the type of soil you have isn’t a deal breaker, but you do have to think about how shaded or sunny your garden is, if your garden is sheltered or likely to be exposed to strong winds on a daily basis.  Read up about the plants you like first to see if they will be happy in your garden.  Another good way is looking at gardens near to your home, what plants are thriving there or even in the wild.

Don’t get stressed about the perfect design, gardens evolve and you can move things about if they don’t work.  The most important thing is, you enjoy it.