Ok, you have a little bit of space and your thought is that it will be best put to use by turning it into a garden. You probably have an idea of what you would like it to look like when you’re done but you might not have a real firm plan to how to get there. Hopefully, this will help with that because any small garden design can be made a lot more enjoyable with just a few tips.
As the saying goes, you need to “begin at the beginning”. For your brand new small garden design this means two things:
Select the right plants for your small garden design
First, some homework needs to be done to find out (if you don’t already know) what species of plants will grow best where you live and in the soil conditions you have. Most of this information is easy to come by online, or at a local nursery. And don’t worry too much about the soil conditions; a lot can be done to turn even the worst soil into a great garden bed.
Once this has all been sorted out the next step is to decide on what plants you would like to have in your new small garden. While you don’t necessarily have to decide on every plant, having an idea of what you are going to plant will help a lot in determining the best layout design.
Layout the small garden design on paper first
So now that you have a pretty good idea of what plants are going to make up your new small garden, and how much space they need to grow, the next step is to plan the layout. I strongly urge that you do this on paper first, before you start shoveling dirt around. An hour or two spent with some graph paper will prevent a lot of going back and fixing things later.
It is at this point that you start making decisions on what other elements (besides the plants of course) should be added to the new small garden. The possibilities are endless, limited only by the amount of space and budget you have. Retaining walls, water features, seating areas, decorative paths and a host of other options can be included. Adding them into your plans at this stage, before purchasing, saves time, effort, and money.
This is also where you can decide what type of irrigation system you will need. Irrigation begins with you holding a hose on a regular schedule all the way up to professionally installed underground systems. Again, some homework is going to be needed before a final decision.
Once all these decisions are firm, now it is time to get to work and bring your new small garden design from imagination to reality.
Keep a gardening journal
One final point that needs to be said: I can’t stress enough the importance of starting a garden journal at the beginning of the process and maintaining it for years to come. As sure as the sun coming up tomorrow you will have some plants that do better than other for no apparent reason. Keeping a journal of everything you do in planting, watering, weeding, and caring for your small garden provides you a written record of what you did right and, more importantly, what you may have done wrong. This information is invaluable as your new small garden matures over the coming seasons.
That’s it! It is now time for you to get started with your own garden design.