A house behind a garden with benches.

How to Choose a Style for Your Garden

When planning your garden or planting design, start with an idea of the look you want to achieve. Whether it’s a formal, ordered design or a wild and rambling feel you’re after, choose a style and 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, snapping plants or designs that you like. Add pictures from magazines and books and you will 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.

Meeting your needs

It is a good idea to focus on a particular style when designing your garden, but you will 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 will need to seat around a table, and calculate the size of a proposed patio to accommodate them.