Tips for Designing a Beautiful Garden Space
By freelance editor, Rae Steinbach
“Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career within content writing. She specializes in curating content that speaks to her passion for gardening and lawn care. This has included everything from the best uses for a lightweight wheelbarrow to selecting the right fertilizer for a spring garden.”
A thriving garden can add a lot of beauty to your property. That is, if it’s arranged and designed properly.
Don’t worry if you don’t have garden design experience. Arranging your plants in an eye-pleasing manner can be simpler than you think. To create a design you’re proud of, consider how these factors influence its overall look.
The right lighting ensures your garden will look impressive throughout the day. That’s why it’s smart to supplement natural light with artificial light.
Experiment with different arrangements to find the one that produces the ideal effect. If you want to highlight the silhouette of a larger plant in low-light conditions, backlighting will help you do so. Front-lighting is more effective for showcasing a specific feature or plant. You may also want to try side-lighting to see how the shadows of your plants play off one another.
If you notice that shrubs or tree branches are simply shading too much of your lawn, consider trimming them with an electric chainsaw. This is another easy way to help open up your garden space to natural light.
Context is important when planting various garden features. You need to consider the scale of neighboring property elements when choosing how to arrange your garden.
For instance, if you’re planting small flowers, arranging them as a border or walkway for a large house doesn’t make sense. The size of your home will overshadow them. On the other hand, planting a large tree or shrub in front of a small garden feature will create a sense of imbalance.
A garden often appears best when arranged around a key focal point on your property. Essentially, you want the pattern of your garden to create borders around elements. These elements may be doors, water features, sculptures, or any other lawn or property features you want to highlight.
A beautiful plant on its own may seem like an ideal choice for your garden. However, too many similarly-beautiful plants arranged in similar patterns can actually result in a whole that’s lesser than the sum of its parts.
You don’t want your garden to look predictable. A little bit of contrast can go a long way in garden design. For instance, you can research complementary colors to choose plants whose colors enhance each other. Or, you may mix coarse plants with fine plants to create a more dynamic effect.
That said, too much contrast can result in a garden that looks random and unplanned. You should aim to strike the perfect balance between contrast and unity.
Variety & Rhythm
Remember, a garden doesn’t need to consist solely of plants. You’ll enhance it by adding features such as stone walkways, pavers, water features, and more. A lightweight wheelbarrow can help you move these types of outdoor features around when you’re trying to make up your mind on where to put them.
The idea is to create a sense of rhythm and movement. You want your design to draw the eye to various property features. For instance, you might arrange similar plants vertically between the steps of a small stone staircase, bordered by a curved stone wall, to draw the eye in an upward motion. Punctuate the experience with a different type of plant or feature at the top for maximum effect.
You’ll get the best results if you experiment with your garden design. Although these tips will help you get started, it’s important to indulge your own creativity. That’s what makes garden design so fulfilling. Once you understand the essentials, you can use a garden to truly showcase your personality.