Step 1 – How to Design a Backyard Garden


Step One in my SEVEN STEP GARDEN DESIGN GUIDE – a DIY Garden Design Guide that will take you from ideas in your head to a PLAN of action!
CLICK here for the Introduction Video:
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This video looks in depth at finding ideas and inspiration for your very own backyard garden design.
It is broken down into three sections:
– Garden Styles
– Activities & Features
– Resources

It’s a simple process to get the ball rolling and help you determine what you want to do in your backyard garden, what you want to see and what materials or garden design style you want to pair with your house.

There are two main resource options available to you when sourcing ideas and inspiration for your backyard or garden.
– Imagery: Videos or Photos
– Reality: The physical world around you

You rely on Imagery to get ideas from places you can’t physically go, while you rely on Reality to get a more in depth understanding on how different spaces and materials make you feel.

Imagery is best found online. Design blogs, specialty sites, social media like Pinterest or Facebook, Youtube, or even just Google Images. Videos are also good resources because they show the garden in motion, and offer viewpoints you won’t get from still images.

Getting ideas from Reality is very important. It gives you a better understanding of the size and scale of items – furniture, trees, plants, materials – and spaces – large, empty, isolating, cold or warm, inviting, mysterious, intimate. Using your body to measure a space will give you a much better idea of the kinds of dimensions you find comfortable and want to replicate in your garden. It also tells you what you don’t like, and can therefore avoid.

Be careful of falling in love with generic ’38 Garden Design Ideas’ type articles. These articles offer “solutions” to problems, but are very inflexible. They may not answer your specific questions, or tailor the answer to your specific situation. Use them as idea generators, but be sure to let your environment and landscape determine how they come together in your design.

Step Two will explore “How to Define What You Want” to help you develop criteria for your design.
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Links Mentioned In This Video
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Garden Design Ideas – Context Is Everything:
Garden Design Ideas – Tip #2 Clients:
Garden Design Ideas – Tip #3 Design and Construction Process:
Garden Design Ideas – Tip #4 The Image Itself:

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If you look beyond your specific condition, it is possible to draw ideas and inspiration from any number of different sources. And you can see that the internet is full of examples, tips, tricks and ideas for any number of garden types or areas, such as:

Vegetable gardens – raised beds, companion planting, interior gardens, herbs…

Specific garden styles – Japanese gardens, French provincial gardens, English gardens, Cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, Modern gardens, Contemporary gardens, Native gardens, Formal gardens, Coastal gardens, Low maintenance gardens, Desert gardens, Tropical gardens, Drought tolerant gardens, Tuscan gardens, Country gardens, Xeriscape gardens, Colonial gardens, Southwest gardens, Spanish gardens, Winter gardens…

Small gardens – small balcony gardens, apartment gardens, interior gardens, courtyard gardens, raised garden beds, pot plants…

Specific activities – swimming pools, ponds, water features, bonsai, trampolines, backyard entertaining, outdoor dining, hammocks, cubby houses, playgrounds, basketball hoops, tennis courts, water slides….

As you can see there is a ton of information out there, as well as all sorts of decorating tips and tricks to try out if you’re on a budget. The BIG PROBLEM is that they are all individual, separate ideas, with no connection or relation to each other. This guide solves those problems, getting you to look past the ‘thing’ and focus on how to make the ‘concept’ flexible and adaptable for your garden.
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This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:

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