I use my 20 years experience to note the eventual sizes of plants, shrubs and trees to help decide planting distances.
If you can afford to buy mature trees and shrubs, it will make planning of your garden design easier.
For small gardens we can also incorporate garden pots, planters, troughs, raised beds or terraces created by banks or garden walls.
The type of plant also depends on your desire to spend time gardening, us gardeners find spending time in the garden therapeutic but I appreciate that many people lead busy lives and want low maintenance gardens.
When making choices about what to plant and where, we also consider garden sunlight and shade, soil type, and the garden features that you wish to incorporate and whether these compliment or conflict with the planting in our garden plans.I will also consider Companion planting and which plants are compatible with one another.
Plants for different garden types
What type of garden do you want us to create for you; something architectural, an informal or rambling cottage garden with wilflowers , mediterranean, alpine, or do you want a patio, or rock garden.
Garden borders and plant colours
We also need to consider borders and hedging and a garden colour palette for both foliage and flowers. If you want to identify what’s available you can try the RHS advice on what to plant where
Garden plans- distances between plants
Marking key plants on the plan I use circles to show the eventual spread of the chosen plant. If you have a large garden the key plants may be trees . In a small garden it will probably be shrubs and small plants.
At an early stage the boundaries which will become the backdrop to your garden need consideration. This can be evergreens, climbers, or even espaliered fruit trees. It is worth checking with your neighbour to ensure they have no objection to climbers trespassing over the fence.
In front of the screening come the decorative plants – architectural specimens with bold foliage like Phormium and Rodgersia for sunny spots and Bergenia and Asarum (wild ginger) for the shade. Contrast all these with soft flowering perennials and at this stage you should consider colour as well as form.
Finally I will take a critical look at the plan to ensure our enthusiasm has not included too many plants