Simple Backyard Garden Plans

Simple Backyard Garden Plans
by Keith Markensen

Planning your new backyard garden is easy if you follow a few simple steps to ensure success. Often, these steps will give you new ideas to ad interest and unique features to your garden you might not have thought of. Whatever your design hopes and plans, there is a simple process that you can follow to make sure that your new garden goes smoothly and looks great when you’re done!

Start by making a list of the elements that already exist in your yard. For instance, you might have a tree or two, landscaping that slopes or has a small hillock on it, etc. If you live in an urban setting, make notes of items that change light gradients and exposures, like nearby tall buildings, trees, and so forth. Drawing a simple map of your yard and including these elements in a simple plot drawing will do the trick.

Now go ahead and make a bullet list of the items you want to include in your garden. These can be plants, flowers, walkways, waterfalls, ponds, sculptures and more. Anything you can think of that you think would fit well and is affordable for you to acquire. If you aren’t sure of its cost, write it down anyway and find out prices later. Don’t expect to get everything you’d like to have right away, so if it’s something you’d like to include in the future, go ahead and list it. It’s easier to plan for these things now than it is to try to “work them in” later.

The next step is to walk through your house or building and look at your garden-to-be from the windows and balconies that might face it. Make note of which spots are easily visible from your location, as these will become your garden’s “hot spots” later on-the spaces you’ll want to make extra-nice and visually geared towards the window that looks out on them.

Cheap Hand Tools

Now that you have all of these things listed and plotted, start thinking about your budget. How much money can you spend? Often, you will not build your garden all at once. Most people, in fact, build their gardens in stages, starting with design elements and working towards completion. So figure an immediate budget (how much you can spend right now) and then a monthly budget for continual improvements. Once you have a budget, you can begin pricing individual elements of your new garden.

Start the pricing process by finding out how much individual items and pieces will cost. How much to buy a new pond? If you won’t be installing it yourself, how much will that cost as well? What about landscaping changes, plant borders, brick landscape bridges etc.? Call a reputable landscape designer or two and get bids on those jobs if you aren’t going to do it yourself. If you will be doing much of this yourself, make sure you’re physically up for the task and that you have the right tools for the job. Most major tools can be rented, so don’t expect to have to buy a $1,500 mixer or former, but do expect to spend some money on basic hand tools like shovels and pickaxes if you haven’t already got them.

Once you have priced the elements (both objects and labor) consider which ones you’re going to do right now and which ones can wait. Often, landscaping labor is cheaper when done as a whole rather than in pieces, so consider getting all of the major landscaping elements done first. If that is not possible or if you plan to do the landscaping yourself, then focus instead on the “hot spots” we mentioned earlier and see what you can do to make those start looking great now.

Now is also the time to reconsider the elements on your list of things you’d like and decide whether they can wait or be done away with or replaced altogether. Overall, your budget and your time and needs will be what decides your garden’s final look. Imagination is very important, and you’ll find that while you might not be able to afford to just buy some things you’d like, you may be able to make them or create similar things to replace them.

Above all, make sure you enjoy the experience. Don’t make your new garden’s creation a chore, but instead make it an experience you’ll enjoy and remember happily. A garden is a retreat, a relaxing place to look at or go to and the creation of your new garden should begin this experience.

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