By now you will probably have a number of ideas about the way you wish your garden to look. You will most likely have thought of a theme and style that suits you. However before you jump into designing, you should carry out a simple analysis of what you and your family actually want from your garden.  What do you need the space to do for you and what do you want to include in it? 

This is your checklist to ensure you have thought of all possible variations and nuances that can be included in a garden plan. You must remember you are not just planning for today, you have to anticipate how your garden will develop and change into the future.  Have you just moved in, plan to have a family and have no plans to move?  Or do you intend to make a garden that you can enjoy now and then move a house that will meet your need when you children are bigger? These kind of questions will help you to focus on what you wan to achieve.

Functional and practical landscaping is considered an extension of your home. This includes ensuring that you cater for everybody’s tastes and practicalities. There should be designated areas in the garden in much the same way as there are rooms in the house; an area for relaxing, for eating, for playing, for parties, for vegetables and fruit and for entrances and circulation. All of these things need to be considered as part of this planning phase.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when designing their gardens is to allow too much space for “kicking a ball around”. While it is important to factor in this kind of active recreation you should also think about the fact that there is more to playing than simply playing ball.

The following list will help you to get started:

  • Colour & flowering plants
  • Herbs
  • Fruit
  • Toddlers, childrens, teenagers and adult play areas
  • Shed/Storage
  • Washing line
  • Pool
  • Parking for 2 cars.  This will change when the children start to drive.
  • Exercise area for pets + sandbox separate to toddlers play area
  • Hobby area – train set
  • Pathways
  • Hedges and fences
  • Ham radio antennas

What have I missed? Let me know what you’d like me to add.