Planning a garden design is not an easy feat – where to put patios, plant trees, place your borders, all whilst making sure it looks great and gets the correct amount of sunlight – the challenges are endless. So, if you’ve recently moved and are taking on a new garden, or think that you’d like to have a design-overhaul in your garden, then you’ve come to the right place.

Let us introduce to you Rosemary Alexander who has shared some of her expert wisdom with us and has created 10 top tips for when planning a garden design. Her advice will help ensure that you make the most of the space in your garden and make it look as beautiful as you can. Creating a fabulous garden is all about having a detailed plan in place before, and, we’re here to help you with that.

Rosemary Alexander

Rosemary Alexander

Garden design: 10 practical tips

1. If you’ve recently moved to a new home, then wait a year before doing anything new to your garden. Observe it at different times and seasons throughout the year making sure you note down sunny or shady, exposed or particularly sheltered areas.

2. Make lots of notes and take photographs throughout your year of observation. It may seem unnecessary as you think you’ll remember, but you can see things more clearly in a photograph than with the naked eye. And, you can always go back to these images for reference when you start to plan the space.

3. Look for sources of inspiration from other gardens or books, and make a scrap book of plants, features and furnishing. When it comes to purchasing for your garden you’ll have seen so much inspiration that you should feel pretty settled on your choices.

Gardening tips and design

4. Knowing your garden’s characteristics will help no-end when planning the design. Start by analysing the soil type to discover what plants will thrive in your garden.

5. Take accurate measurements of the site, and draw up a detailed plan of the space you have to work with.

6. When drawing up your plans, ensure there are adequate provision for paths wide enough to take a wheelbarrow, and access to compost heap, dustbin, shed, washing line. These practical considerations will make all the difference in the long run!

Garden paths

7. Collect different samples of local hard landscaping materials, checking wet and dry, in sun or shade, to ensure they match existing materials.

8. Your garden will need some year round structure, so in your plan include some key permanent plantings that will create this – you want your garden to look nice all year round.

9. Once you’re happy with your plan, mark out the main elements of the plan on the ground with bamboo canes to ensure it works practically.

10. Be sure to check that the views looking out from indoors will be appealing – as well as the views from different angles in the garden.

Thanks to Rosemary for her brilliant tips and advice. Rosemary’s gorgeous garden at Sandhill Farm House in Rogate, has featured in the Woman’s Weekly Gardening special magazine. Her gardening style is described as including ‘architectural lines that are surrounded by an abundance of planting within designed areas from the small, sheltered woodland, sun-baked terrace to the billowing borders of a traditional English country garden.’ Sounds delightful to us!

Get started! Our online shop has everything you need…

Over in the gardening section of the Woman’s Weekly Shop there are products galore that will help you once you have a plan in place. Plants, shrubs, flowers, utensils – to name but a few – you’ll find everything you could ever need for your garden. Plus, you can place your order from the comfort of your living room and then all you have to do is wait for your order to be delivered directly to your door – easy!