7 tips for designing your dream garden

Whether you've got a huge garden or a small balcony, these tips from Garden Rescue's Harry and David Rich will help you create an outdoor space that's beautiful and practical

garden plans

3. Bear ALIGNMENT in mind

How elements are aligned in an outdoor space, whether they are a group of potted plants on an urban balcony or lines of trees in an orchard, is key in creating a visual connection in your outdoor space. A seemingly random disalignment of trees creates a subtle connection and natural character, whereas aligning the trees creates a more formal, uncluttered space and gives a structured feel to the garden.

4. Repetition, repetition, REPETITION

Bringing repetition into a garden can strengthen the design by emphasising a sense of rhythm, like a thread running through the garden. By repeating form, colour or texture you can create a sense of overall balance and harmony. Repetition also helps the eye to travel through the space as repeated forms or plants lead your attention. This visual journey creates interest in your garden. For example, recurring form, colour and texture provide a modest, understated theme whereas repeating the same shape using different objects, such as water, planting and topiary provides subtle continuity.

5. Consider CONTRAST

Contrast plays a pivotal part in the development of your garden design as it allows you to emphasise certain areas.

If a garden is dominated by similar, blending colours for both materials and planting – for example brick paving and orange and yellow planting – a thematic scheme is produced. By choosing materials and plants with opposing characteristics to this theme, you can create a contrasting wider spectrum of colours and highlight certain elements, making them stand out more within the garden.

6. Always keep the SPACE in mind

Space has the ability to change the atmosphere of a garden dramatically and so is fundamentally important when designing a beautiful and yet useable garden. 

An open space will convey a simple, airiness, whereas adopting a more enclosed design and manipulating the available space will suggest more mystery, seclusion and surprise. The space will also dictate whether you move more freely or in a more measured way through the garden, so it is vital to consider how your garden will be used. 

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