How to Choose a Gardening Plan

A gardening plan allows you to develop your ideas about how to organize your space and its various elements, and share them with others. But what type of plan do you need? We'll help you pick.

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Overhead Plan

Plans that have been drawn to scale and show accurate arrangements, locations, and dimensions of proposed elements and features are known as finished plans. These plans are intended mainly for construction purposes and will need to be read by builders or contractors who use them to measure areas and lengths (for costing purposes), and to identify exact locations on the ground.

An overhead plan should show the correct sizes and locations of all proposed elements, such as horizontal surfaces, areas of planting (topsoil), locations and alignments of linear elements(walls, fences, screens, hedges) and singular components (trees, specimen shrubs, pools, stepping stones, steps, lights and drainage points).

Planting Plan

A planting plan is important for calculating the correct number of plants in the garden and identifying their exact locations. It also shows the position of larger specimens, as well as groups or drifts of the same species. This plan is most useful, and needs to be most accurate, when contractors are planting without the designer present. If you are doing the planting, a plan can help you accurately calculate the number of plants you’ll need and show how to set them out prior to planting.

Cross-Section Plan

If you have a sloping garden and want to make changes to it, you may need a plan to show the impact of these alterations. For steeply sloping yards, hire a land surveyor to draw a cross-section, or elevation plan. This will show the significant levels before and after any changes. More complex slopes may need additional plans. Less complex slopes can simply annotate the change of level on the overhead plan.

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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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