This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Planning and Designing your Garden

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

One of the potentially mystifying aspects of gardening for the newcomer to the hobby is garden planning and design. The beginner who seeks inspiration from the plethora of lavishly illustrated gardening books on the subject, or who visits one of the many gardening shows where there are show gardens, could well be led to believe that there is a great art to garden design, an art that is the prerogative of the talented few.

While it is true that there are a few great designers around - as there are great artists - the truth is that anyone can design a garden if they choose to. Although it is important to consider practical matters, like where is the washing going to be hung out, or the compost heap placed, this is no more difficult a concept to acquire than arranging furniture in a room for convenience and elegance of living. Regard the garden as an outdoor room and suddenly design and planning become less formidable.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Remember that if other folks do not like what you create, or consider it “bad design”, that they are not living in it or with it, and such an assessment is purely their opinion and not necessarily valid. So do not be afraid of designing and laying out your own garden. If the design is right for you, then it is a good design - and do not let anyone tell you differently.The only thing that is important is the conditions for plant growth and arrangement.

You may have a great design, but if the plants are not able to achieve your objective, whether it be the lawn grasses, shrubs or trees, then the design will fail. So it is important to be aware of the canvas that you have upon which to paint your picture, both its limitations and advantages, and then to conduct a simple survey. Once this has been done the practical layout can be addressed. You can then “get out your brush and paint the picture”.

The foregoing is an introduction to home garden design on the GardenMessenger web-site. Today I have added two further Gardening Guides Surveying the Garden and Garden Layout.
To visit click here.

Hampton Court Flower Show Garden Previews
I have added some further previews of the Show Gardens
To visit click here.

Happy Gardening



If you have enjoyed this publication, you may also like to visit the monthly SeedMessenger gardeners’ seed saving and seed exchange blog click here.
and the weekly water gardening blog PondMessenger click here.

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here

To visit the SeedMessenger seed exchange web-site
click here

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