Once you are comfortable with the decisions that you have made in relation to your garden design you can begin to draw your master-plan. This may sound a little daunting, however all you need to do is take a sheet of tracing paper, place it over your survey and start to draw. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, simply start again and each time you will be closer to completion.
It is often easiest to begin by placing the elements on the drawing that you are sure about, for instance utilities such as the shed, the laundry line, the sun or shade terrace and any focal points.
Following this you can begin to design your circulation pattern, deciding where you want your various pathways to go.
Once these decisions are made it becomes easier to locate your planting beds and the other elements of your Garden Design.
A common problem faced by designers who are starting out is to place planting beds and other elements very close to the edge of the garden and also to push areas of interest into the corners. You must resist this temptation. Bearing in mind that you may want some open areas for informal recreation and relaxation, as well as more active pursuits like ball playing, do treat your garden as a blank canvas.
Bring you planting beds and other features into contact with yourself and other users by locating them within the body of the garden rather than at the edges. One of the most useful techniques here is to bring the planting close to pathways and to pinch-points in the circulation.
Your master-plan will contain all the broad details of the design, such as planting bed size, pathway layout and widths, lawn, patio, focal points and so on.
The master plan is a scaled drawing (for instance 1cm on the page can equal 1m on the ground). This plan contains lots of information including details of your hard materials, such as the type of stone used to create the patio as well as the size of each paving-slab and the spacing between them.
If you want to go into more detail relating to individual areas such as paving for instance, then begin a separate drawing scaled to fit that part of your garden which contains the paved areas.
Similarly you should produce a separate planting plan, detailing locations, quantities and other details such as pot sizes. Again the planting plan is usually drawn at a scale suitable to allow you make decisions while drawing, in relation to the planting areas.
The more thought and consideration to detail that is included at the master plan stage the more likely it is that the creation of your garden will run smoothly.
Be aware that even though you have made some decisions before you start to draw your garden, you will make changes and discover better ways of doing things while going through the master-planning process.
Your garden will also go through developmental stages as it matures that may mean you will adjust your plan at a later stage. This however should be a choice that you make rather than something arising from not having engaged fully in the master-planning process.