Planning Your Edible Garden Design

Right now, you might think, "let's just skip the garden design and start digging" -- but I wouldn't recommend it ...

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... because most likely you'll end up with something that won't look good and won't work well with your home.

It's SO much more expensive and time-consuming to tear out landscaping and start over than it is to plan it right the first time.

Having a good garden design really is worth it.

If you're thinking of hiring someone to do the work -- that's fine too. You still need a plan, because a contractor will have no way of knowing what you want until you figure out what you want.

And that's how planning your garden design will help.

Preparing your garden design

The first thing you'll need to do is take a good look at your home.

Go outside and stand out at the street (or at least 100 feet away) and really look at it. Take pictures if you like. Walk around and look at it from the sides and back too.

Bring a notepad and a pencil and take notes on what you see.

Think about:

  • What kind of home do you have? Formal or casual? Brick or wood? Is it Victorian, Cape Cod, Ranch-style? How is it constructed? Is it a tall, thin home or a wide sprawling one? You'll want to bring those themes and ideas into your garden layouts.
  • What kind of exterior is there? Brick, stucco, adobe, wood, vinyl or metal siding? What shapes, textures and colors are in the roof and window frames? Consider repeating those ideas in the garden as well, especially shapes and textures.
  • What colors are in the materials used to build your home (including your roof)?

Brick can have a multitude of colors in it; consider all of them to see which you'd like to use in your plantings and which would make nice colors for accents.

If you don't like your exterior colors, now is the time to paint, re-brick, re-roof, or put up new siding, so you can see at once what colors will work best in your landscape.

Other things to think about:

  • What sort of climate do you live in? A desert garden put in a swampy area or an outdoor tropical garden in a place that is bitterly cold probably isn't going to do well.
  • What kind of lot do you have? Is it flat, or does it have steep slopes? Is it long and thin, or wide and shallow? Or is it irregularly shaped?

Measuring your lot can help you see exactly how much room you have to work with. Take notes, or use graph paper to chart your property.

  • Do you want an area of your yard reserved for an herb garden?
  • Are there areas on your property where water tends to pool during the rainy season? (if it's near the house, consult a professional, as you may have grading problems that need fixing)

Water-loving plants are a natural choice for those areas. Also consider putting water features there: ponds, waterfalls, etc.

  • what zoning or codes are in effect in your area regarding the use and building of ponds, walls, or terracing (for example, in some communities a pond must be enclosed by a high fence, even in the front yard)

Now, these things are applicable to any garden ... but here's some things to consider when working with edible plants that you may want to look at, especially if you're new to edible landscaping.

Need help?

My e-workbook, "How to make your own garden landscape design plans" takes you step by step through the process with interactive projects and thought-provoking questions to help you create your own unique design.

Click here to learn more ...

Want to talk about garden design with other people who love edible landscaping as much as you do? Join the Tasteful Landscape community.

What would you like to read about next? Here are some related pages:

Herb garden design - Perennial gardens - Flower garden ideas

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