Five Tips for Designing a Garden

Five Tips for Designing a Garden



Best gardens are those that make people happy and comfortable. Great gardens look good, but they have to feel good too. The most ideal gardens are relaxing, easy to move through and not that hard to maintain. Paths and structures must be simple to navigate, while the plants chosen must provide interest. You should be able to tackle these issues of comfort and utility.

Five tips for designing a garden


There are a number of landscape designers in Sydney and all over Australia, who help you design your dream garden. You can search on the internet to find the one nearest to you and also read about their past projects and reviews.

Read further to know about five practical tips that help design enjoyable and pleasant gardens:

  1. Give a wide berth

Ensure that your pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage. No one enjoys squeezing through narrow spaces, indoors or out. Main thoroughfares should be wide enough for at least two people to walk side by side, not less than 5 feet.

For secondary paths where people walk single file, the width should be at least 3 feet. Keep in mind that the taller the plantings or structures that flank your walkway, the wider the path needs to be. Tall boundaries make any space feel more restricted.

  1. Watch the steps

Outdoor steps and stairways should ascend gently; else, they are liable to seem daunting. Steps with a rise of 6 inches or less are the most comfortable. The run or depth of each step plus twice the rise or height should equal 26 inches. Therefore, steps with a 6-inch rise would require a run of 14 inches.

If your garden stairways include more than 10 steps, consider landings after every fourth or fifth step to ease progress. Landings should be at least as deep as the stairs are wide. An ideal landing is an absolute necessity wherever a stairway changes direction.

  1. Heads up

Leave plenty of headroom under archways, arbors and pergolas. Seven feet should be the minimum height and you can add at least another 18 inches if you know there will be plants growing over the structure. This may sound high, but outdoor structures tend to look smaller than they would if they were indoors.

Plus, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to avoid butting heads with a climbing rose or wisteria. Posts for arches and pergolas should be at least a few inches outside the pathways that run through them to allow sufficient elbow room.

  1. Plan for growth

Give your plants room to grow. If you must have a full, dense landscape right away, plant with the intent to relocate or remove some plants as they mature. You can even plant fast-growing, short-lived ‘filler’ plants to temporarily bulk up your plantings. Just keep track of which ones are prolific self-sowers, like tall verbena, to prevent fillers from taking over.

  1. Maintain the distance

Place any plants more than 30 to 36 inches tall at least two to three feet back from walkway and patio edges; otherwise, these areas may feel unduly cramped and crowded. While you are at it, try keeping thorny plants like roses or pungent plants like crown imperials away from high-traffic areas. If you wish to plant a rose an arch or pergola over a walkway, select thornless, fragrant old garden roses.

These are some easy to implement, as well as practical tips for designing a garden. Hope you find them useful.