26 April 2021 By Kitty Yarrow
In March, Garden Designer and teacher Annie Guilfoyle joined us for the second part of her webinar series, The Garden Design Process: Plants and Planting.
We brought together some of the highlights from the session for you to consider as you design and plan your planting schemes.
How to Choose Your Plants
The initial stages of your garden design will be very much research based. This is where you can conjure an idea of how you wish the garden to look once complete. Gather as much imagery as you can on the type of plants, colour schemes, height and structural layouts.
Annie suggests creating a mood board with your favoured designs and styles. She also adds that Pinterest is a great resource for you to start with.
Sketching Your Ideas
When you begin to sketch out the concept of your planting, the best way to achieve a realistic view of what it will look like is to take a photo of your garden, lay tracing paper on top and draw over it. This will determine what you want to emphasise or highlight and what you may wish to hide or screen.
As your designs take form, you will then be able to transfer these into a more detailed drawing. This is where drawing to scale becomes essential. If you haven’t got one already, buy a scale ruler.
Learning From Nature
You may have heard the phrase ‘right plant, right place’ and this is very much the case when planning your own planting scheme. A great way to learn what suits your garden and the surrounding conditions is to look to nature.
Annie suggests buying a PH soil testing kit, claiming it invaluable in understanding what plants work well where. Depending on the PH of the soil (acidity and alkalinity), you will want to choose species that are equipped at dealing with the type of soil you have available. When taking samples, ensure you take them from various places in the garden as the PH can vary.
Another indicator to look out for is the structure of the soil. For example, if your garden is clay based, you’ll be able to determine that it retains water well in the winter but your plants will require extra attention during the hotter months as it dries out quicker.
Catch up with Annie’s lastest webinar. To gain exclusive access to our events in advance and share your gardening tips and tribulations with likeminded individuals, join the Alitex Grow Club on Facebook.