Introduction – How to Design a Backyard Garden

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This video is an overview and introduction of my 7 STEP DESIGN GUIDE. This series is a tutorial exploring the basic principles of landscape design and teaching you how to apply them to your home and backyard.

This is for anyone who:
Has NO IDEA where to start when trying to design their own garden.
Has a NUMBER OF DIFFERENT IDEAS, but they are all separate and you don’t know how to put them all together.
Has a ROUGH PLAN already in place but wants to explore a few more options and ideas with a more professional process.
Has an EXISTING GARDEN that you want to make over cheaply, or combine existing elements with new garden decorating ideas.
OR wants to work from a CLEAN SLATE and learn some tips or tricks when it comes to starting a design.

This series will go in depth into each step, ensuring you understand the WHY behind each point and HOW it will help you generate a beautiful, functional garden that is truly unique to your backyard.
It starts with you collecting as many different home and garden design ideas as you can find. It doesn’t matter where they come from, or if you like the whole image you see, or even just one small idea from it. Find videos, images on line or in print as well as real life examples through your everyday life.
Start to take note of things you like (or dislike) as you live your life. Don’t just stick to gardens – look at streetscapes, the city, public places, other people’s houses, churches, galleries, alleyways, forests, beaches – everywhere you travel.

The key to sourcing ideas is to look beyond the style you like, or the size or situation you are dealing with. If you follow these steps, you won’t simply copy an idea and paste it into your garden. That is a mark of poor design. Good design uses the local conditions to help shape an area or activity. Rather than simply drawing random nice shapes on a plan, good design recognises how and when certain spaces in the garden will be used, and places them in spots that take advantage of the local environment and climate, enhancing the overall design.

If you look beyond your specific condition, it is possible to draw ideas and inspiration from any number of different sources. And you can see that the internet is full of examples, tips, tricks and ideas for any number of garden types or areas, such as:

Vegetable gardens – raised beds, companion planting, interior gardens, herbs…

Specific garden styles – Japanese gardens, French provincial gardens, English gardens, Cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, Modern gardens, Contemporary gardens, Native gardens, Formal gardens, Coastal gardens, Low maintenance gardens, Desert gardens, Tropical gardens, Drought tolerant gardens, Tuscan gardens, Country gardens, Xeriscape gardens, Colonial gardens, Southwest gardens, Spanish gardens, Winter gardens…

Small gardens – small balcony gardens, apartment gardens, interior gardens, courtyard gardens, raised garden beds, pot plants…

Specific activities – swimming pools, ponds, water features, bonsai, trampolines, backyard entertaining, outdoor dining, hammocks, cubby houses, playgrounds, basketball hoops, tennis courts, water slides….

As you can see there is a ton of information out there, as well as all sorts of decorating tips and tricks to try out if you’re on a budget. The BIG PROBLEM is that they are all individual, separate ideas, with no connection or relation to each other. This guide solves those problems, getting you to look past the ‘thing’ and focus on how to make the ‘concept’ flexible and adaptable for your garden.

It’s a simple step by step guide that walks you through a professional design process, and if you follow each step you will end up with not just one but MULTIPLE well thought out and designed plans that you can use in any number of ways:

You can choose your favourite and refine it further, cleaning it up, drawing it again and making it suitable for tendering for construction.
You can use it as a guide if you want to do it yourself construction and landscaping.
You can take it directly to an expert (such as a landscaper, builder, horticulturalist, designer(!) etc.) and have them offer suggestions, clean it up or even quote it.

The whole point is that regardless of how long it takes you to implement, you know you have a plan that covers the whole backyard. Even if you take years to fund or build each stage or area, everything will work together seamlessly because it is all coming from the ONE PLAN. And while it is a drawing, you can always tweak and change things as you go to account for more information or changes as they come up.