Make Garden Design Plans in the Winter

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When winter is upon us and the garden goes quiet, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the successes and mistakes of the previous year.

Once you’ve finished pondering your wins and losses – ideally with a slice of pie and hot coffee in your hand – it’s time to plan for the future. I love to do that by thinking about garden design.
Take a bird’s-eye view of your garden and assess its potential. Are you making the most of your landscape? If not, it’s best to go back to the basic principles of garden design. I have 12 principles I return to year after year to refine my garden.

If you want to dive into all 12, you can read more on my blog, but here’s a quick overview. I hope you find them helpful.

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garden design plans

1. Start with Structure

Consider the basic form of your garden. If you’re starting from scratch, map out the walkways and paths. Where will you sit and reflect? What is the best and most efficient path through your garden? Think about dividers, like tall shrubs, lattice or trees, and consider the views you’d like to accentuate or block out completely. Aim to create a few lovely focal points to draw the eye.
Once you have a map of the garden, start with evergreens or other shrubs to line your paths or segment your garden. Consider standards like boxwood, yaupon holly or even flowering shrubs like viburnum. These are the “bones” of your space, and they will serve as the foundation for what’s to come.

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