Choosing a Planting Style

Whether you want your garden to be formal or wild and rambling, decide on the style, then follow it through with appropriate plants and materials.

What do you want?

Before deciding on a style, gather together some inspirational images. Take a camera to local open gardens and flower shows, photographing plants or designs that you like. Add pictures from magazines and books and you'll soon have a scrapbook of plants and designs. Think, too, about what you want to do in your garden, whether it's to relax and entertain, tend a vegetable plot, or grow a colorful flower border.

A Place in the Sun

When planning your garden, locate areas in sun and shade, and plan seating and planting accordingly. Here, the seating area is a sunny terrace, ideal for loungers, surrounded by summer flowers. The ferns in baskets need some shade during the day and plenty of moisture to succeed here, and most of the perennials will die down in winter, leaving bare beds.

Meeting Your Needs

It's a good idea to focus on a particular style when designing your garden, but you'll need to factor in your specific needs too. Write a list of practical requirements and incorporate these into your plans. For example, you may need a space to store trash cans or bikes, or perhaps room for a greenhouse or shed. Also consider access to utility buildings. When planning a dining area, consider how many people you'll need to seat around a table, and calculate the size of a proposed patio to accommodate them.

Bicycle Sculpture

Cleverly-Designed Bike Racks

Cleverly-Designed Bike Racks

These helpful bike racks offer a structural feature as well as a space-saving bike storage option.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The problem of storing bikes in a small front garden is solved here with these cleverly designed racks that not only keep them secure but transform them into a sculptural feature.

Beautiful Bins

Shed Hides Bins, Trash Cans In Clever, Attractive Way

Shed Hides Bins, Trash Cans In Clever, Attractive Way

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Most households have recycling bins and trash cans that take up space and look unsightly. Here, a small shed with a roof planted up with baby tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) hides them and blends in with the garden.

Raised Vegetables

Raised Vegetable Bed

Raised Vegetable Bed

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Growing fruit and vegetables in raised beds makes them easier to tend. The beds can also double as seats where space is limited.

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