5 Tips for Planning Your Garden

5 Tips for How to Plan Your Garden Space

What to Consider When Planning a Beautiful Garden Space

Spring is upon us, which means it’s time to plan out your garden. Whether you’re planning for a new vegetable patch, planting flowers, or designing a low-maintenance yard, creating a blueprint for your garden space is always a great place to start.

You may already have some fabulous ideas percolating in your mind and are ready to get planting. But if you are looking for ways to increase your chances of success, here are our top 5 tips for planning your perfect garden space.

#1 – Lay it out on paper

You may be hesitant to pick up a pencil and draw, but you don’t need to be an artist to start sketching out blueprints for your garden. Start by creating a rough outline of your garden beds as if they were seen from the top down. Then, you can see what you’re working with and are better positioned to design the most effective and organized version of your plot.

When drawing your garden space, don’t feel like you need to have everything in perfect rows (unless you want perfect rows of carrots, that is). Make use of curves and try to keep in mind how much sun each area gets. That way, you’ll be sure to design a garden that is spatially optimized, fruitful, and flourishing.

Another great tip for designing your garden space is to measure the area so that you can draw the sketch to scale – even if it’s just a rough estimate. This will help you to decide which plants fit best where and allow you to predict whether your space can accommodate larger elements, like trees and shrubs.

If you are still skeptical about putting pencil to paper, consider using a handy app – there are plenty of garden planning apps that will assist you in getting the best results possible, with minimal effort. Here are some of our favourite options:

  • Planter Garden Planner: This app has been designed to help you organize and plan your garden while teaching and instructing users on how to grow successful plants. It takes into consideration garden zones and frost dates and provides detailed plant advice.
  • Veggie Garden Planner: With a catalogue of detailed plant information, this app is specifically designed to help users grow vegetables. It offers up information about which veggies can be planted next to each other, ideal spacing, and determine sowing and harvest times.
  • Urban Veggie Garden: This app targets those using a terrace, balcony, windowsill, or other small space to grow their garden. It instructs users how and when to transplant seedlings into pots, and tells you how often to water them, among other useful tips.

#2 – Picking the right plants for your region

A big part of planning your perfect garden is selecting the right plants for your climate zone. That way, whether you are planting herbs, flowers, vegetables, or shrubs, you will have a much better chance of choosing plants and veggies that will grow prosperously all season long.

If you are living in the Lower Mainland, or in the coastal Vancouver area, you are in climate Zone 7/8. In such a moderate climate, you have the freedom to select a wide variety of annuals and perennials to fill your garden spaces and allow for a lush look. Annuals are particularly fantastic to add to planters and hanging baskets, for additional color and life.

Here are some great options that grow well in Zone 7/8:

  • If you are looking for a year-round perennial, try lavender, peonies, or daylilies
  • If you need something for a shady spot, try hostas, begonias, or impatiens
  • If you are considering planting a shrub, consider hibiscus or hydrangea

With the right plant and a perfectly located plot, you will have no problem growing a flourishing garden this season. For full details on climate zones, including temperature information and suggested planting times, check out these great resources:

If you are still not sure about what will grow well and where, Urban Roots Garden Market is proud to sell locally grown plants that make sense for our region. Check out one of our 11 locations for straight-from-the-greenhouse products.

5 Tips for Planning Your Garden

#3 – Adding a variety of heights and blooms

Another aspect to consider when planning your garden is the various heights and blooms of all your plants. Depending on what you plan to grow, you will want to think about breaking up the visual layout of your garden by strategically spacing out the plants that reach assorted heights or prosper at different times of the season.

Irises offer a beautiful tall bloom with vibrant purple flowers that blossom early in the season and grassy stems that stand up to three feet tall throughout the summer. Alternatively, heather features a low-growing flower with purple, white, or pink blossoms in the summer and green leaves throughout the winter.

Some other great options to keep your garden full of variety include early bloomers like pansies, hydrangeas, or kale, while late bloomers include squash, coleus, or salvia.

A handy tip is to check the tag on each plant you are considering buying; it will often show how tall and wide your plant will grow, and whether it prefers sun or shade.

An additional rule of thumb is to closely plant groups of the same plant in odd numbers. By planting in groups of 3, 5, or 7, the seedlings will provide each other support as they grow, and will create a full and lush garden that fills out quickly with beautiful results.

5 Tips for Planning Your Garden

#4 – Consider natural stone features

When you design your garden space, you may also want to enrich the area with easily attainable features, like stones and rocks. Consider placing large boulders in the middle of an area surrounded by flowers or creating a flowing rock river from one side of your garden to the other. Rocks can also be used to outline a natural path that runs alongside or through your plants.

Rocks and other subdued visuals, like grasses or mulch, allow the eyes to rest between taking in the busy and colourful features of your garden, letting the more vibrant elements of your space be admired and amplified.

By giving your garden layers of visual texture, you will be adding a practical edge while enhancing its beauty. No matter the purpose, rocks can add a visually appealing and useful element to your creative garden space.

#5 – Using mulch

Mulch can be a fantastic asset if you are looking to add a low-maintenance option to your garden space. Mulch has an array of different uses and comes in plenty of different colours and sizes. The purpose of your mulch will decide what type you are going to need, and how much.

For example, some people replace grass with mulch, as it reduces the need for maintenance while reducing those pesky weeds. You can also use mulch to create pathways or to surround shrubs and trees with a weed-fighting and moisture-locking element.

If you decide to use mulch, you may consider laying landscaping fabric underneath, though it’s not required. However, by laying the fabric, you’ll deter the top layer of mulch from settling into the dirt underneath over time. It also suffocates weeds, and therefore reduces the need to use pesticides or other harmful weed killers. Additionally, using landscape fabric helps to keep the soil underneath moist and soft, which is beneficial to other elements of your garden.

However, it’s good to keep in mind that the fabric should only be optioned for specific situations, and can be totally avoided if that’s preferred. For example, if you lay a thick enough layer of mulch down, the fabric underlay is unnecessary. Then again, if you’re planting a tree or shrub, landscape fabric is a great ally in keeping weeds away over time.

So, there you have it! We hope that our top 5 tips for planning out your garden were helpful and provided useful and practical gardening advice on what you may want to consider when designing your most successful and beautiful garden yet.

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