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Garden Design: Introducing the Basics of Landscape Design

Gardening is an incredibly rewarding pastime for those of all ages and abilities. Knowing the foundation principles of garden design helps you to create an elegant landscape that perfectly fits your needs and the environment. Here, we discuss some basic tips on how to design an outdoor space that suits your lifestyle.

The best place to start in designing your garden is to first understand the structure of your outdoor space. Are there any pre-existing structures like patios or pathways? Any slopes or existing plants? Are there sunny spots for flowerbeds, or do you need to introduce trees or fences to create pocket areas of shade? How much space do you have to work with? Collecting these details helps you to develop a design that works for your environment, and allows you to prevent any mistakes later on.

Choosing a specific theme for your garden helps to create a coherent space that is balanced and well-composed. Perhaps you prefer a classic cottage garden full of wildflowers, a chic modern courtyard or an Italian-inspired terraced space. Consider the purpose of your garden and the lifestyle you aspire to, to help determine the right direction for you.

Before choosing your plants, it"s important to understand the climate zone your property lies in. Knowing your climate zone helps you pick the best shrubs, trees and plants that are suited to the humidity and temperature levels in your area. And, once planted, they will thrive with minimum upkeep.

Before selecting your plants, consider any allergies and restrictions you have. For example, if you have pet dogs or cats, are there any plants that may be toxic to them? If you"re prone to certain types of allergies, are there any flowering shrubs or trees that could trigger reactions? Being aware of the situaton helps you design a space that everyone can enjoy.

Seasonal flowerbeds are a great addition to any garden and can give life to your landscape. Consider which plants and shrubs you would like to include during the different seasons. Plants like Pansy, Primrose, and Anemone are perfect for springtime, while Dahlias, Marigolds and Zinnias are ideal for summer months. Doing this will help you to keep your garden in bloom and full of vibrancy all year round.

When deciding which flowers to add to your seasonal flowerbeds, take into account how much of an investment in terms of time and effort you are willing to give. Choose low-maintenance plants and shrubs that won"t take up too much of your time. This could be species understood for their hardiness like Lavender and Geranium, or evergreen shrubs and bushes that look stunning year-round and require minimal upkeep such as Buxus and Elaeagnus.

Not having much direct sunlight in your garden can seem like a limitation. However, it doesn"t have to be. Make the most of the shady spots by choosing species that love the dark. Plants like hellebores, ferns, and hydrangeas are woody perennials that thrive in shady conditions. You can also look for evergreen fuchsia, mahonia, and pieris for color and vibrancy.

When designing a shade garden, think of the other elements you can introduce to create a cozy atmosphere. Introduce lighting around hidden pockets and alcoves, or add a few outdoor furniture pieces for visiting guests to observe your oasis. You can even consider introducing water features and seat walls to help bring your space together.

Creating the perfect outdoor space requires a lot of consideration and understanding of your needs, desires, and environment. From distinguishing the precise layout of your garden, to planting the right shrubs and plants fitting for the climate and soil type, it"s important to take the time to design your outdoor space with thought and attention. Now that you understand the foundation principles of garden design, you can get to work creating your perfect space.