Beginner Garden Design

garden design advice for beginners-bp-fi

How do you even begin!

Garden Design for Beginners

Creating your very own garden might seem quite daunting, especially if you are not a particularly experienced gardener. I have written a whole series of articles, to help you understand how garden design works. Beginner garden design advice, help with garden planning. Small garden design and ideas to help create a low maintenance garden.


Step 1

Patience; do absolutely nothing:

You need to see how you are going to use your garden before you do anything.

Just start to use the garden.

There will be a place you always put your chair to sit outside and it may not be where any existing patio is. Some plants will always look good and some will always be a just always cause issues. When mowing the lawn, where does the grass grows well. Which parts are awkward to mow & where doesn’t the grass never grow well.

Plants also pop up at different times of the year, so does the garden have later flowering plants? There may also be some unwanted surprises, awful flower combinations and weeds you never thought you had.

Until you know how your garden behaves and how YOU USE IT, you can’t begin to work out a sensible design. Patience really is the starting point to getting the garden right for you.

But you can still look at garden designs to get some ideas….

Here are some of the gardens we have created for our lovely customers this year

Single border planting scheme sunny border

Step 2

Problem Solving:

Gardens like humans aren’t and can never be perfect and your new garden is going to be no different. You need to know what annoying habits the garden has and solve them.

So what sorts of problems are we talking about, well there are those you can do something about and those you are stuck with – these need ‘designing’ in.

  • Solvable problems could include, drainage or waterlogging, weeds that keep reappearing, plants that require cutting back ALL the time, lack of light, thorny bushes right by the garden gate or nowhere to hide the bins and so on.
  • Issues you have to design around can include, shade from buildings or walls, lots of overlooking windows, ugly views, large shrubs or trees (yours and or the neighbours), your climate or your available garden budget!

Step 3

Match your Expectations with your Available Time:

Magazines are full of the most amazing looking gardens – and they are truly beautiful. There are also thousands of images of perfectly tended vegetable patches brimming with lush veg and not a marauding pigeon in sight.

However, these gardens have been cultivated and cosseted by a full time team of expert gardeners. They will have spent hundreds of hours ensuring the garden is preened to perfection for that one photograph….& unless you want to do the same, your garden is unlikely to ever look like one of these.

Do not overestimate the amount of time you actually have spare to ‘do the garden’. If you only have 1 hour a week to spare in the garden; the design and the plants you use must reflect this. Otherwise you will quickly end up with an weedy untidy mess.

Step 4

Don’t Plant a Problem:

Creating a low maintenance garden is desirable for most of us, so that we can sit in the garden and enjoy it without finding lots more stuff that needs doing. Actually getting this right is much harder to achieve. You really need to think hard about how you use the garden. What you like to do in the garden and how much time you have available to do some gardening!

Decide what low maintenance means for you – and then create the garden.

To help you we have designed lots of border planting plans, so you won’t plant a problem!

Bee Bistro garden border design
Border planting plans

See our Blog for loads more brilliantly simple design advice


Send us an email, we will always respond to any question.