Creating a master plan for your garden is a great first step in organizing your ideas and developing a beautiful space.
  • Step 1- Develop goals for each part of the garden. A plan is usually divided into four parts: the Approach and Arrival Sequence, the Hub or house, the Perimeter, and Passages to Destinations. Make a list of what you wish to improve in each section.
  • Step 2 – Make a survey of the area and develop a base plan. A survey is a plan of your property showing all existing trees and structures. You can find a plat and architectural drawing from a surveyor file at the county courthouse. From this, you can enlarge the survey and draw in everything related to your garden. Keep everything to the same scale.
  • Step 3 – Analyze the site. Consider and write down things such as: soil conditions, drainage problems, shade or lack of shade, wanted or unwanted views, congregating spaces, etc.
  • Step 4 – Create a concept diagram. A concept diagram is a rough sketch of your design plan. It will help organize all of your design ideas on paper. Take everything you have developed in Steps 1-3 and apply it to your concept diagram. Roughly sketch in any new walkway ideas, hardscape additions, shade tree locations, water feature locations, etc. Nothing is quite as calming as the sound of flowing water from a pond-less waterfall. This is an opportunity to see all of your design ideas on paper. Nothing is set in stone yet, so draw as many diagrams as you need to get a feeling for what the space will look like.
  • Step 5 – Draw a master plan. Use you concept diagram to draw in the exact locations, sizes, and shapes of your design elements. A master plan should include the location and specific boundaries of the design area, all design elements and their dimensions (walkways, planting areas, large trees, parking areas, patio covers, etc.), proposed materials to be used, a list of plants to be used, and any other specifications you feel is necessary.
If you create a master plan, the process of constructing a beautiful garden will be much easier. Whether you are hiring contractors to do the work, or if you are doing it yourself, a plan keeps things organized and presents a clear picture of what the end result should look like.