Home Garden Plan

Introduction to Home Garden Planning

The area around your house can be transformed into a beautiful garden no matter how terrible it might look right now. Begin by thinking in terms of a general plan. Put aside your thoughts about color combinations and other specifics until last.

On a map of your property, indicate existing trees and natural characteristics like slopes and areas where the soil is best so you can make the most of them in locating other features.

When you have decided on the best location for each in relation to the house and exposure to sun and wind, indicate the areas where plantings will tie the units together. You will soon see where trees are needed for shade and where shrubs will give you privacy and enclosure.

When the general plan is complete, you will be ready for more detailed planning. Consider the texture, form and color of various plants as you work out individual gardens and other plantings.

Here’s a kit with everything you need to get started with organic gardening from Clean Air Gardening.

Creating a Garden Path

Paths that are frequently used should be at least 3 feet wide, have a hard surface and lead you from one point to another on as direct a route as possible. Paths, drives and parking areas are the first items to locate on your plan.

You should then decide on the placement of terraces, utility and play areas, as well as flower gardens.

Utility Areas in your Garden

Compost piles and bins and other utility areas should be as near as possible to the kitchen, garage or major garden areas for convenience. If they are unsightly, consider screening them with fences or hedges.

Terraces and Patio Gardens

Terraces, patios or decks are probably already in place at your home. Brick, stone, concrete or wood are all good materials for a terrace or deck. The larger your terrace, the more comfortable it will be. Set off your terrace with an accent piece like a beautiful garden arbor.

Shade trees

If you don’t already have trees in your yard, then you probably want some! In making a planting schedule, put shade trees first on your list, because it takes a lot of time for them to gain enough height to cast significant shade. Select native trees to your area that have deep roots so that lawns and groundcovers can grow beneath them.

Flowering trees

Bright with flowers in either spring or summer, many flowering trees also have colorful autumn foliage. Once again, look for native varieties for best results. Use them as specimen trees on your lawn or as accents in the flower garden. Flowering trees don’t typically grow as tall as shade trees, but they are useful for pinpointing shade on picture windows and doorways.

TreePlantingGuide.com provides more information on tree planting.


Deciduous kinds and most of the needled evergreen types of shrubs need sun. Broadleaved evergreens thrive in the shade. Flowering shrubs are attractive as screens and dividers, although they do require more space than borders composed of hedges.

Flower gardens

Select a location for flower gardens where they will receive at least a half day of full sun. Plan them in detail after you have completed the general planting plan showing their location. Don’t miss our entire section about planning a flower garden.

Vegetable gardens

The more sun the vegetable garden gets, the more productive it will be. A vegetable garden looks best when it is enclosed by berry bushes and dwarf fruit trees. Grapes trained on a tall fence make an excellent background. Paths edged with herbs and flowers bring color to the vegetable garden, and ornaments like strawberry barrels and sundials, if used judiciously, heighten interest and insure a good year-round effect.

For more information on herb and vegetable gardening, visit Vegetable Gardening Ideas.