Gardening layout ideas : Step by Step guide

Gardening layout ideas : Step by Step guide + ideas

There are many different ideas when it comes to landscape design. A concrete project depends mainly on the owner of the house. Sometimes a small and seemingly insignificant change, like a flowering hedge, can make a big difference. It can bring character to the space and surprise everyone who sees it. Do you want your garden to be just as impressive? No problem. All you need is a good landscaping idea for the garden. Don’t waste time – if you have a good plan, take action right away – before you forget your brilliant idea! You can use some inspirations that we have prepared for you.

Gardening layout ideas

Island bed – a colorful landscape design

Have you always been fascinated by garden landscaping and have you decided that it is time you designed something similar yourself? Before you start, be sure to use some inspirations to help you design an interesting looking front or back garden. An island bed is one of the best and most common ideas. You can create it both on the lawn and in front of the house, to enliven the paving slabs, for example. As for this last idea, you should plan the bed of the island before designing the driveway. In this way, you will not have to remove the slabs and waste the material, which is not the cheapest.

If you’ve decided to add an island bed to your garden landscaping, make sure you know what size you can afford. A large space does not pose any problem. But if the acreage is limited, consider creating several smaller islands. They are easier to integrate into the landscape design of the garden.

Island bed - a colorful landscape design
Island bed - a stripe
Landscape design with flowers

Garden landscape design with a rock garden

Rock gardens are as popular as island beds in garden landscaping. They appear in many garden design ideas. The difference between them is not only in the particular project or in the materials used. Some rock garden designs include a pond or small waterfall. It is an interesting addition to the landscape design.

Many homeowners are afraid to design a rock garden because they think it requires a lot of work. It turns out that most of the work is just getting started, including deciding which plants to choose. After planting, all you have to do is water and weed from time to time.

Have you decided to incorporate a rock garden into your landscape design and wonder which plants to choose? You can choose from the following list:

  • Summer adonis,
  • Stonecrop,
  • Edelweiss,
  • Creeping phlox
  • Trumpeter gentian,
  • Winged broom,
  • Platycodon,
  • Blue fescue,
  • Purple Rock Cress,
  • Pasqueflower.

There are many possibilities. You can also plant the popular balcony plants in your rock garden. You just have to read the topic further to choose the right flowers .

Garden landscape design with a rock garden
Source: 40047228.html
Rock garden with water
Rock garden with a pond

Backyard landscaping with shaped shrubs

Ornamental shrubs are often used in garden design . Are you afraid that this solution, although beautiful, is boring? Choose a completely different type of bushes – those that are shaped. These plants are characteristic of parks and other public spaces. But there is nothing against using topiaries in your front or back garden.

Note that not all shrubs are suitable for shaping. Before deciding to plant them in your garden, check if you have chosen the right ones, to avoid being disappointed.

Chestnut wood is the most popular ** shrub used to shape figures. This does not mean that other species cannot be used for this purpose. The most popular are:

  • Wild Privet,
  • Korean Privet,
  • English yew,
  • False cypress,
  • Spindle,
  • Honeysuckle.

It is not too troublesome to shape the bushes . All you need is some imagination and good quality gardening tools. But if you think that it is not something you can do yourself, ask a specialist for help.

Backyard landscaping with shaped shrubs
Landscape design shrubs
Garden shrubs
Source:,113645,17957645,Topiary ___ rzezby_z_roslin__Zdjecia_.html
Shrubs for the garden rabbit
Shaping shrubs in the garden

Garden design: create a relaxation area!

It’s no wonder that garden design ideas often include a relaxation area , where you can spend a quiet afternoon or meet friends. Landscape design needs to be well organized to make it as relaxing as possible. So before you start doing anything in your garden, create at least a sketch of a plan that represents what you want your relaxation zone to look like.

In this case, the basis is garden furniture, rather than plants . But choosing too much furniture in a limited space is the most common mistake. If this is done, the back garden loses its charm, and the quality of rest decreases.

When choosing garden furniture, pay attention to the style of the house itself. For example, wooden furniture does not fit with everything. If you have decided on innovation and minimalism, synthetic rattan is more suitable. What items are worth having? First of all, a comfortable sofa and chairs. If there is enough space – you can choose a hammock or a swing.

If you have enough space and money, you can also create a winter garden with infrared heating. What are the advantages of this solution? Imagine that it is snowing and that you enjoy the views with a cup of tea in hand, without getting cold.

Landscape design: create a relaxation area!
Winter garden next to the house
Relaxation area in the garden
Relaxation in the garden

Garden landscaping – remember the lighting

Well-designed lighting is the foundation of landscape design. Not only does it create the right atmosphere to enjoy while lounging in the relaxation area, it also allows you to freely walk around the property.

Many homeowners fear that the electrical wiring in the yard will not work. It must be designed by specialists who know how to do it. It is best to decide on this element while the house is being finished and before designing the garden. Otherwise, be prepared for major changes to the property, including digging holes and trenches.

Do you want to avoid destroying the landscape design you’ve already created? Gardens often use solar lamps that automatically charge with solar energy. To get the right potency, make sure you choose a good brand and the best products. In this way, they will not only provide enough light, but will also be resistant to changing weather conditions, which is very important.

The most popular garden solar lamps include:

  • ornamental spheres,
  • posts stuck in the ground,
  • floor lamps (installed in the pavement slabs).
Gardening: remember the lighting
Landscape Design of Illuminated Paths
Garden lamps

Elevated flower beds – create a distinctive front garden

Front and backyard landscaping often incorporates raised flower beds . Are you wondering why? The answer is simpler than you might think. They are practical, they look very interesting and they do not require a lot of work. You can use a raised bed to plant:

  • flowers,
  • herbs,
  • vegetables.

Creating a raised flower bed is not difficult, you can do it yourself . Next, put some rocks around to prevent dirt from spilling over the sides. The last step is to plant the flowers.

Don’t have time to create a raised flower bed? There are simpler ways. You just have to buy elongated concrete raised planters. Then put them where you want, it’s that easy!

Elevated Flower Beds - Create A Distinctive Front Garden
Landscaped raised beds
Source: — zielona-gora
Garden design ideas raised flower beds

📍 How to create a landscape design?

When looking for garden design ideas, make sure you know their expectations for the space – they are different for everyone. It is recommended to distinguish two areas: for plants and for relaxation. Don’t forget about adequate lighting to create a pleasant atmosphere and to make it easier to move around after sunset. Backyard or front yard landscaping is easy, but if you’re afraid to do it, have a specialist do the landscape design for you

10 KEYS to GARDEN DESIGN step by step

If you like landscaping, you have probably ever wondered how to design a garden, since a good outdoor space provides multiple satisfactions to its owners but if, in addition, we add the pride of having designed it ourselves, the motivation is even greater.

Surely you have searched on Google, Facebook or Instagram on many occasions for inspiring images from blogs and landscaping websites, dreaming of one day having the garden of your dreams, full of beautiful plants and design corners. Nowadays it is very easy to obtain information on the net and be up to date in trends, so I encourage you to start like this, looking at outstanding works to take note of what you like.

Keep in mind that searching in several languages ​​the possibilities multiply, so you can try filtering also by ” paisagismo “, ” landscape design “, ” landscaping ” or ” aménagement paysager ” and the results will increase.

I do not mean by this that you have to dedicate yourself to copying designs from others, far from it. It’s about taking perspective, getting inspired, but never plagiarizing. The truth is that, as in any discipline, it is important to know the terrain in which we want to move and see what others have done to open our eyes and facilitate learning.

There are many styles and ways to approach design even more, so the first thing you should ask yourself is what kind of garden do I want? From there, other questions will come to be solved, such as what do I want it for? Or for whom? Because how we are going to make use of that outdoor space should determine the way we design it.

It is important that you do not see your future garden as a simple green space to fill with plants, but as an outdoor room where many things can happen . If you manage to assimilate this concept, a window opens to a world of possibilities that perhaps you had not imagined before.

Many times we see a spectacular garden and we think, how did the landscaper come up with all this? Well, there is no more secret than the analysis, reflection, investigation and deciphering of the space that we are creating. Behind solutions that may seem like “great ideas” there is always an extensive process of work and development. The important thing is that things are done to provide solutions and not “just because” or “by inspiration.” Do you really think that a good design comes from inspiration? A famous phrase by Pablo Picasso is ” Inspiration exists, but it must find you working ” and this is an absolute truth. So, if design does not start from inspiration, what is the way to face it?

Obviously, if we wanted to cover the guidelines for creating gardens in a professional way, we would not have enough with a post, since this discipline requires extensive training in various issues such as construction, technical drawing, gardening, installations or decoration. But we have started this article by encouraging anyone who wants to try to make their own design, so we are going to summarize a series of steps to take into account when designing a garden, so that anyone can immerse themselves in this exciting world of landscaping.


1.- ANALYZE THE SPACE TO DESIGN AND THE ENVIRONMENT : Take good note of the geometry of the site, the topography or unevenness, as well as all those existing elements that may condition your design, such as pipes for underground installations or foundations of adjoining walls. If there are trees or shrubs that are going to be maintained, it will be necessary to catalog them and know their exact location, to incorporate them into the plan that we make in the place that corresponds to them. Do not forget to measure approximately the diameter to avoid interference with the new elements that you incorporate with your design. This step is very important, since from a good data collection an efficient design can be obtained, avoiding unforeseen events at the time of execution.

Take all the measurements that are possible, such as the length of each side of the plot, height of fences, width of paths, separation between buildings … You will see that all the measurements you take will be few and that when you start to draw your design you will miss some, so it is better to waste a little more time collecting data than having to measure again. Ah, never forget to write down where the North is, it will be essential when making the design. If you want to do a correct field work you must know how to make a good sketch. 

how to make a sketch, garden drawing, freehand drawing

But you should not only take notes from your garden. It is important to contemplate the environment that surrounds it, as we will find situations of all kinds in neighboring properties that will condition the design. See if there are beautiful views that you can take advantage of, it is not about raising large hedges in all the perimeters of your plot. Sometimes we can take advantage of the views of other nearby gardens or forests that will create a continuation effect of the green areas, multiplying the visual possibilities of our design. It is a way to “appropriate” views that are worthwhile.

On the contrary, there will be occasions when it is necessary to cover unwanted views, such as a neighbor’s water tank, a view of a window in the house next door …  Sometimes it is interesting to repeat solutions that the neighbor has already done , creating an effect of continuity. For example, if in the area where you want to place a hedge in height you use the same plant variety that already exists in the neighboring house, the result will be more homogeneous.

I take this opportunity to comment that today many designs precisely avoid the indiscriminate use of hedges in height to separate the views with the neighbors. If you make a beautiful design on your property, surrounding it with white walls will make the entire garden space stand out much more. The use of hedges in all perimeters dilutes the design effect of the rest of the plantations. In addition, hedges tend to take a lot of maintenance work, so if you reduce their use you will be contributing to a more sustainable garden. 

2.- ORGANIZE THE SPACE BY USES, STAYS AND AREAS OF INTEREST :Now is the time to start the design. The dreaded blank paper will make us paralyzed if we are not fluent enough in the matter. Peace of mind, everything is a matter of dedication and implementing one of the most important design guidelines:  Organize the space . Let’s forget about the varieties of plants for the moment, let’s focus first on configuring the different areas that we will need.

Think about how you are going to use that garden. Are there children in the house? Do you have pets? Do you like to have a reading space in the shade? Is there a swimming pool or is there planned? Are you going to want to have a garden? Do you need to hide views? Do you want to have special views of the garden from specific points inside the house? … All these and many more will be the questions that you should ask yourself and that will give you the keys to organize the exteriors. Start from less to more

That is, forget about the specific details for the moment, just think about configuring areas. Make a first rough sketch, defining where the grass meadow will go, which will be the wooded area where you will place a swing, which will be the ideal sunniest area to make some beds of aromatic plants, where will be the place to locate a landscaped pergola for create a gazebo, or to store the car … It is very important to spend time configuring these areas, as it is what will make the outdoor spaces “work” and meet the expectations that you have set for yourself.

It is necessary that these lace sketches begin to be made to scale, so that we have absolute control over the proportions that we are configuring. .

draw to scale, garden plans, architectural plans, scales

When we make a lace sketch that is already final, we can start a cleaner plane by moving the pre-design that we have configured to continue working on it. Nowadays, the plans are made with computer programs, but you can make the plans of your garden by hand perfectly. However, even if the plans are made with computer programs, it is essential to start by drawing by hand, as it is a more creative and less rigid way to unleash the imagination. .

Hand drawing, garden drawing, learn landscaping, study landscape architecture

3.- DEFINE THE PATH AND TRANSITION SPACES As important as defining the areas well is to draw coherent paths and transition spaces. Remember that for a garden to “work” it must be easy to use and, for this, the paths that connect areas must be operational. Regarding this issue, we can be given as many cases as we undertake designs, but we could say as a general rule that we avoid having to make detours to get from one place to another and that we provide the routes with steps, footbridges or auxiliary paths when necessary. .

Sometimes it is interesting that the routes that communicate areas are configured in such a way that from the starting point, the next area where we go is not completely gone. This does not mean that the paths take detours, but that we know how to interpose strategic elements that only reveal where we are going, to create a feeling of discovery at each step we take through the garden. This is what I call ” before seeing, intuiting ”

Place strategic bushes that prevent you from seeing a fountain the first time, which you will be able to hear and will invite you to walk the path. Hide access to the garden with a landscaped wall, creating a previous room as a landscaped lobby … in short, play with the senses so that your garden invites you to walk through it, ensuring that from the access you do not have a visual that encompasses everything .

4.- DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE AND WHAT YOU WANT TO HIDE : I  already anticipated at the beginning of this post. There will be views that we have to hide and others must be taken advantage of. 

Think of solutions that are not just hedges; there are more things. Walls halfway up wood, shrubs compositions density and high enough to hide something, like a chill – out buildings, which may be a meeting place but also hidden behind the barbecue or irrigation facilities … It It is very useful to have a place in the garden to store outdoor furniture in winter, without taking up space inside the house. Take advantage of those chill-out backs, for example, to create a closet in the garden. It will also help you to organize your gardening tools and supplies. 

5.- DESIGN AND DEFINE THE CONSTRUCTION ELEMENTS OF THE GARDEN : It is important to define the details when we already begin to advance the design. Obviously, for an amateur who is faced with his first design, it will be difficult to face this point, since a more professional level is needed for it. But try it and, as far as possible, make details of encounters, constructive solutions and auctions. The higher the definition, the less unforeseen events during assembly. For example, if you are building new brick or stone planters attached to an existing wall, provide steel connectors to prevent cracks. 

Brick planters, landscaping details, build a garden
Ipe wood, exterior decking assembly, decking for terraces

By the way, when it is time to build everything you have designed, you will need to draw perfectly perpendicular lines on the ground to transfer the drawing from the plan to the ground. You know how to do it?.There is an infallible method, called 3-4-5

squad stakeout, landscaping stakeout, garden construction

6.- CONFIGURE A GOOD DRAINAGE SYSTEM FOR WATER COLLECTION : Collecting water, both from rain and from excess irrigation, is a must in a well-designed garden. You must design a good drainage system if you do not want to have flooded areas and dead plants due to excess water.

garden drains, landscaping, landscaping works, garden construction
Drainage plans, landscaping, garden design, garden water collection

7.- CHOOSE THE PLANT SPECIES AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT DIFFERENT CRITERIA : Now is the time to choose the plants for the garden. By the way, haven’t we talked about them up to point 7? Well, no. Contrary to what many people think, plant selection is not the first thing to do in a garden. Take a look at the number of concepts we’ve covered before getting here. It happens very often to me that when I visit a client for the first time, he asks me again and again what variety of plant I would put here or there while we walk through the garden that needs to be remodeled. I always try to convey that this is something that I cannot know in the first visit, because it depends on many solutions and previous configurations that I must analyze and decide.

Landscaping is not gardening, gardening is a part of landscaping. The fact is that the time has come to decide plants. How do we approach this phase? The first thing we must do is decide the type of gardening that we want to use. Is it low-maintenance Mediterranean gardening? A Japanese garden? Tropical? Depending on the typology, we will think of one or the other species, but there will be many more determining factors … Study the paths of the sun, to know the areas that will be sunny, shaded or semi-shaded. This will already give you clues of the plants to locate in each place. Leftovers are very important,

Shade in the garden, sun studies, study landscaping, study architecture

Try not to put hydrophilic plants together with xerophytes, that is, those that want a lot of water and those that require very little. Group by water needs, otherwise something will be failing and some specimens will end up dying. Take into account the speed of growth and the final diameter that each variety will reach, so that over time they do not interfere with each other. 

garden hand drawing, tree drawing, plant drawing, hand drawing

8.- DEFINE THE IRRIGATION SYSTEMS : An irrigation system is somewhat more complex to do if you do not have knowledge of the matter. Perhaps for this part of the design you need to have a specialist, but if you dare with it, at least do not forget these simple guidelines: 

1.- Make different sectors and control them with an irrigation control unit so that they do not all jump at the same time. This way you will avoid running out of flow or pressure and that the irrigation does not work properly.

2.- Try to use drip pipes with self-compensating drippers or, if not, make closed circuits (circular) so that there is the same pressure throughout the pipe.

3.- Trace well on the plane the sweeps of the sprinklers or sprinklers of the sprinkler irrigation, so that no corner is left without watering. 4.- Carry out a pressure and water flow test before designing the irrigation system, to know if it is necessary to increase the pressure (installing a pump) or if not, install a pressure reducer, know the general operation of pipes distribution, sprinklers and drippers …

9.- SELECT APPROPRIATE OUTDOOR FURNITURE AND DECORATION : Look at many examples, have fun looking for decoration on the Internet, there are thousands of beautiful accessories for the garden. Think that the balance is in designing with plants and furniture at the same time. Armchairs, design pots, puffs or other elements are as important as plants, so define them from the beginning in the project and do not think “we will put something in”. You must be clear that in that reading corner you will place a brand and model seat “such” …

Design chill out, terraces, exclusive exteriors, exterior decoration

In my designs, there are generally far fewer plants than what appears to the naked eye. I try to play with fills and voids in the area in such a way that many plants intersect visually but actually between them there are paved areas, paths, gravel or simply furnished rooms. It is the way to make designs more sustainable and lower maintenance. Think about it, perhaps furnishing an area has a higher initial cost, but we are reducing maintenance costs, so we will end up amortizing the investment.

Sometimes the best decoration is the one made with natural elements, such as this composition of an olive tree with slate monoliths.

Design chill out, terraces, exclusive exteriors, exterior decoration

                                          Design: Ángel Méndez 

10.- CONVENIENTLY LIGHTS EVERY AREA : We cannot think of a good garden if it is not properly lit at dusk / night. 
Correct lighting will facilitate nighttime use and transform the garden into a space full of theatricality.
Combine path lighting with room lighting. In addition, it strategically places adjustable floor projectors illuminating the treetops; you will see how the result is spectacular. Of course, just choose the odd tree, in a corner, at a point of passage … do not overload the environment and get the chosen ones to become true protagonists.
Use led technology and try to use warm light. Unlike inside the home, where white light is used, in gardening the use of yellow light is more welcoming. 
In the living areas, choose a furnished corner to place a decorative outdoor design lamp. There are many spectacular ones on the market.

garden lighting, outdoor lighting, design, garden lamps, terrace lighting

                                                    Design: Ángel Méndez

Actually, although this article may have seemed extensive, it is only a brushstroke on a discipline as broad as landscaping seen from the point of view of landscape architecture. But I believe, or at least that is what I have tried, that the basic keys to guide anyone who wants to get closer to this beautiful world are here. 
Now it’s a matter of you getting down to work and, who knows, if you get hooked and end up joining the exciting world of landscaping.
To design !!! If this information has been useful to you, SHARE it on Facebook so that others can know it and, incidentally, you help me to spread my work. Thank you!!!

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