Do you have big dreams for your garden this year, but don’t know where to begin?
Get started on the right path with these 7 basic design rules:
1. The Law of 'Significant Enclosure'
To create a sense of refuge & security within your garden follow the law of significant enclosure.
We feel safe & enclosed when 'the vertical edge of a space is at least one-third the length of the horizontal space'.
For example, if the area you are creating is 9m across (the horizontal space), the hedging / fencing / wall / should be at least 3m.
It can often be difficult to achieve this with boundary fence height constraints at 1.8m, but it helps to judge heights of hedging plant you might be considering.
2. Follow The Regulating Line
The concept of the regulating line is based upon identifying a distinctive or unique feature in your home, garden or the surrounding neighbourhood that can generate an imaginary line that connects & organises your garden's layout.
This might be a beautiful tree, a view, swimming pool, patio or outdoor deck, archway, pergola or sliding patio doors that open out into the garden.
This line can then be the basis of a grid formation which gives your garden an orderly, cohesive & clean structure that is then softened by planting.
3. Use the Golden Rectangle ratio to get the proportions right
The golden ratio is an equation of proportion to create a space that feels balanced.
The ratio is pretty much 1: 1.6 which you can use to decide the measurements for lawns, decks, raised planter beds, garden beds, swimming pools etc.
For example a 3m long lawn would be in proportion with a width of (3 x 1.6) = 4.8.
4. Bigger Is Better
Another rule of scale & space is that if you are faced with a decision about making a deck bigger or smaller, a main entrance pathway wider or narrow, a pool longer or shorter, an arbor higher or lower, the answer is always to go with the bigger option. It just makes the space feel generous & roomy.
5. Plant Big To Small
Plant big to small, starting with the structural trees & feature WOW plants, followed by the shrubs & filler plants and finally the groundcovers.
Having the larger plants in place first helps you see the composition of the garden beds in a clearer way. It is also more practical. Planting larger trees & shrubs requires more space to dig & move earth about and if this is done first you minimise the risk of disturbing smaller plants.
6. Plant a 50-cent plant in a $5 hole, rather than a $5 plant in a 50-cent hole.
If plants are not well planted at the most favourable times of year, the results are highly likely to be disappointing.
A suitable plant for the soil conditions, placed at the right height in a sufficiently sized and well prepared hole, soaked before planting, in autumn and early spring is far more likely to thrive.
7. Plant In Masses
Russell Page, one of the great twentieth-century landscape designers said it well: “the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element. Imagine the Parthenon with each column a different kind of marble!”
Once you have chosen a combination of plants that complement each other in relation to size, colour, form & texture feel confident to purchase significant numbers of them to fill the space. Measure your garden bed and find out the spread / size of the plant at maturity, so you can calculate how many you need to completely cover the garden bed.
If you are making plans to build, expand, or redesign your garden (or even just one area) in 2019, following these tried and tested garden design rules will definitely help you lay the foundation for the perfect garden design.
If you need some additional garden design advice & guidance, our 90 minute garden design consultation is the perfect solution.
Your 90 minute personal onsite consultation includes:
Contact us now to book your spot - email email@example.com.
P.S. During the month of February, the cost is $350 incl. (normally $450) so get in touch today.