View Full Version : Starting from Scratch

June 23rd, 2007, 04:55 AM
Planning a garden from scratch

Many people have gardens that they have inherited from a previous home owner and some have gardens that have been planted by landlords and will have to work with what they have or alter things. Some will have a blank canvass and will be starting from scratch.
A wilderness of weeds can be daunting as can a bare lawn or bare ground.
So where do you start?
Things to consider
Make a list of:
What you have.
What you want or need from your garden.
What is your garden used for now and what it will be used for?
Who will use the garden.
How will local wildlife be affected?

What do you have?
Do you have fencing, a wall or a tree to work with?
Are their paving slabs or a concrete path that has to be used?
Work with what you have and work around these things.
Is you garden long an narrow?
Use curved shapes to help widen the area.
Which part of the garden gets the most light?
Draw a simple plan of your garden and plot where the sun is at various times of the day. This way you will be able to grow plants in the correct position, a shade loving plant will not thrive in full sun and a sun lover will hate the shade.
Test you soil to find out what you have as some plants hate acid soils. This is not hard as cheap kits can be bought at garden centres to test the soil.

What you need from your garden?
Do you want to have a vegetable plot to grow your own vegetables in?
A seating area to relax in?
A barbecue area?
Do you have children or planning to have to them?
Write these things down and make your plans accordingly.

This includes insects as well as animals.
OK weeds are a pain but that clump of nettles houses some insects you want, so try to keep some if you can. Add a small heap of rotting wood to a corner for ladybugs to encourage them to stay in your garden so they will eat the aphids.
I have a pile of wood and leaves that is home to ladybugs and a hedgehog who helps eat the slugs and snails.

Neighbouring Gardens
Take a look at what is being grown in your neighbours garden, chances are if they can grow it so can you. Ask them what the plants are if you do not know the names of them, they will happily help you out with tips if they think you are going to tidy up an overgrown garden. They will be pleased that you getting rid of the weeds and will be growing flowers instead.
http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/gardening/reports/garden_design/design_ideas/Planning%20your%20garden/Planning_your_garden_report_657_6737.jsp (http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/gardening/reports/garden_design/design_ideas/Planning%20your%20garden/Planning_your_garden_report_657_6737.jsp)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/design/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/design/)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/design/des_ins/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/design/des_ins/)
http://www.bhg.com/bhg/category.jsp?categoryid=/templatedata/bhg/category/data/gardenplans.xml (http://www.bhg.com/bhg/category.jsp?categoryid=/templatedata/bhg/category/data/gardenplans.xml)


Planning a garden is not as hard as it seems simple is always better to go with. Watch a few gardening programmes to get a few ideas and please remember they are experts and have a lot of money to play around with as well. Plants can be bought small and grown on with some TLC and will become mature plants to be proud of.

What sort of garden do you want?

Cottage Gardens
These are full of plants and many are perennials so easy to take care of. This type of garden is very colourful and has plenty of flowers.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/htbg2/flat/module3/cottage_garden_tips1.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/htbg2/flat/module3/cottage_garden_tips1.shtml)

Low Maintenance
Lack of time to get out into the garden can put people off gardening but low maintenance gardening could be the answer.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/htbg2/flat/module7/low-maintenance_plants1.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/htbg2/flat/module7/low-maintenance_plants1.shtml)

Maybe you prefer the geometric lines of a formal garden with everything being symmetrical. There is a wide variety of plants that you can use and this also lends itself to growing herbs as well.
http://www.kingco.co.uk/design.html (http://www.kingco.co.uk/design.html)

This is just a small sample of the type of gardens that you can design go with what suits your lifestyle and area as well as your budget. Above everything else have fun and enjoy your new garden. It will take time to create your garden but it is worth the wait and the work you will put into it.
My own garden is now 6 years old and we have a large amount of plants in a small space, it suits us and we love working in our garden. When we moved in it was nothing but ground ivy and rubbish but with a lot of work and love we have turned what was a barren waste land into a garden we can be proud of.

This is my Garden in May 2007

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/9029/may2007mz0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/1936/bottomofgardenob4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/1161/bottomrightofgardenjg1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Willow Rosette
July 5th, 2007, 03:57 AM
So sorry I missed that you had started posting, but Im reading now and thank you!!! I love all the options and links.

July 5th, 2007, 04:04 AM
You are welcome Visha's Mommy I may be slow to reply due to having to use the computer at the library but I will be here when I can.

Willow Rosette
July 5th, 2007, 04:12 AM
You are welcome Visha's Mommy I may be slow to reply due to having to use the computer at the library but I will be here when I can.

LOL Since I hadnt noticed it was even up yet I doubt I will have a problem :lol:

Restless Willow
July 18th, 2007, 03:46 PM
Thank you..I like your garden.