Designing Gardens - The Passion

by Jo-Anne Hilliar

Designing Gardens – The Passion

You want a beautiful garden but have no idea where to start? By following the basic design principles, a beautiful, landscaped garden can be achieved.

The ultimate aim is to transform your garden space into a haven that reflects your lifestyle and personality. This has little to do with how green your fingers are and everything to do with following a basic set of rules or design principals.
 
These easy to follow guidelines will assist you in designing a new landscape or re-designing an existing one to ensure that your garden is not only aesthetically pleasing but environmentally-friendly too.

1. SIMPLICITY
 
Simplicity should flow through the entire garden, from the curves of the beds to the choice of paving. However with the vast selection of plants and features available to the gardener, we are easy prey to over-complication that is ultimately the downfall of any good design. To avoid this follow these tips:
 
· Identify areas in your garden that are too busy and try to simplify this by minimising the variety of species planted in a limited space.
 
· Space special features such as statues, fountains benches etc. so that they are not cluttered on top of one another.
 
2. UNITY
 
The ultimate way in which to create unity in a garden is by repetition. This can be achieved through colour, plants, foliage, hardlandscaping and special features. It draws all parts of the garden together while bringing a gentle flow throughout the garden.
 
· Look at the basic colours in your garden and decide where you can repeat them to bring unity.
 
· Are there special features that you can repeat through the garden for example; clumps of rocks, water features, style of paving, pathway materials etc.
 
3. INTEREST AND ATMOSPHERE

 
An interesting garden draws people into it. Interest is created by plant selections and planting combinations, using scented flowers, creating contrasts, creating views and clever use of special features.
 
· Does your garden make people want to go and look?     Does it create intrigue?
 
· Increase interest with disappearing pathways, archways, or pergolas.
 
· A water feature with the sound of running water will increase interest and atmosphere to the garden.
 
· Unusual flowers and colour combinations make interesting features.
 
4. COLOUR
 
Colour is achieved not only through flowers but also through seasonal changes, positioning of plants, leaf colour, ground colours and textures.
 
· Decide on a colour scheme and stick to those basic colours throughout the garden.
 
· Look at combining different textures in leaves as well as colours of leaves.
 
· Unify the colour of your paving, pathways and other hard landscaping surfaces.
 
5. THREE DIMENSIONAL EFFECTS
 
By utilising plants of different heights you can create depth in the garden and it gives body to the design.
 
· Give your garden height by planting more trees
 
· Increase the body of your garden with shrubs
 
· The lower storey is groundcovers and these are the foundation of the garden.
 
Use the above guidelines in the planning process and above all gardens are meant to be happy places so "enjoy the journey".
 
Our next tip will focus on plant choices associated with garden themes.

Written by Jo-Anne Hilliar Landscape Design Consultants

joanne@hillscapes.co.za Tel: 031 266 4650

Jo-Anne Hilliar Jo-Anne Hilliar

Jo-Anne Hilliar
Landscape Design Consultant
Tel.: 031 266 4650
E-mail: Send e-mail