How to design a garden bed

Show Notes

Today’s links: ely.how/episode109

How to Design a Beautiful Garden Bed Like a Pro

When you’re looking for eco friendly landscaping ideas, it can be difficult to come up with a design that looks good.  We want easy DIY landscaping, right?  These design basics will help you design low maintenance landscaping that will look great and require less work.

Topic Outline:

  • Goals  for your landscaping
  • Functions in a good landscape design
  • Design Basics
  • Low maintenance plant selection

How most people design a garden: We usually want to start with the plants.

The wrong way to design a garden: wanting to start with the plants!

The right way to design a beautiful low maintenance landscape:

  • Landscape Design Goals
    • Start with your goals for your garden and entire property
      • What does your garden do?
      • What does your garden mean to you?
      • What do you want your garden to say about you?
  • Functions in a good landscape design
    • What functions does your landscape perform?
    • Providing access
    • Welcoming guests
    • Visual barrier
    • Bringing beauty to your life
    • Providing a relaxing space
    • Others

How to design a landscape like a pro – The basic essentials

  • Your landscape design should be:
    • an expression of your landscaping goals
    • an implementation of your landscape functions
  • Form in a landscape design
    • The structure or backbone of your design
    • You can see structure and form by looking at a landscape in black-and-white
    •  You want variation in your form to not be monotonous
  • Texture in a landscape design
    • Texture is your differences in leaf patterns, lighting, shadows, branching, etc.
    • You also want varied texture to avoid dull landscapes
  • Color
    • You consider color after focusing on form, structure, and texture.
    • This is the last bit – like decorative icing on a cake
    • Color is usually a temporary, changing process in the landscape
  • Balance
    • How various elements across your design are distributed
    • In form, structure, texture, color
  • Symmetry
    • Provides some sense of intent
    • Does not need to be entirely symmetrical
  • Repetition
    • Use of similar elements across your design
    • Plants, colors, texture

Plant Selection (woo hoo finally!!!!)

  • Plants should
    • fulfill your goals and design intent
    • be adapted to site conditions
      • Moisture, sun, soil, etc
    • sometimes provide a funtion
      • foot traffic, sight lines
    • be available for you to find (duh – I promise you might get hung up on a plant and not be able to find it)
    • Meet design needs
      • Evergreen, bloom time/color, mature height/width

Good luck!  Let me know how it goes!

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