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When designing a new garden - what's the most important feature/element you consider?

It's a big question isn't it?

Does it depend on who will use the garden? Adults, children, pets?
Does it depend on how much you can spend?
Does it depend on what part of the world you live in?
Does it depend on how much patience you have to see it completed?
I wish I could garden all year round!


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    pansyface said:
    All of the above. 🙂
    Apart from the last one- gardens are never really completed.

    Also - it depends very much on how much time you have to maintain it.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,870
    I'd add to all of the above, how much effort you're prepared to put into creating / maintaining it
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,691
    I'd also add "what you would like " as well as considering how your needs/maintenance time may alter over the next few years.
    A "quick fix" is rarely a good idea unless you plan to move on within a couple of years.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,961
    Orientation, soil type, location.  No point planting masses of sun loving plants that need free draining soil in a north facing garden on clay.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,488
    The most important thing for me is to consider how the garden will look in winter, at its worst, and to start the plan from there, including evergreens and plants with good winter outlines or seed heads and then adding further plantings for colour and extra interest as the seasons move on.  Not being too ambitious at first is also important as you get to know the plants already in your garden, decide whether you like them and then move them around or replace them!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,870
    I know I'm odd, but I don't care that my garden appears bare in Winter. 
    I love the eruption in Spring when everything takes off
  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 120
    Novice gardener here, who has endured an immense design process lately. 
    My two pennies worth. 

    Does it depend on who will use the garden? Adults, children, pets? I separated the garden into children space, pet space and adult space and designed accordingly. 

    Does it depend on how much you can spend? Yes, very much so. Fully grown plants and some ornamental trees can be rather extravagant. 

    Does it depend on what part of the world you live in? Oh yes! One must not fight the weather and condition. It's best to yield to Mother Nature than fight it. 

    Does it depend on how much patience you have to see it completed? Yes! I am quite frugal and cost has been a major factor in my decision making. The first gardening skill I learned was propagation because I loved the idea of perpetual free plants. Then I learned how to grow plants from seeds. 

    The most important feature/element is the condition of the plot. Soil type, wind exposure, sun exposure, acidity, fertility and size are the first elements to consider. 
  • My priority when moving to a new garden has always been the natural line of footfall. Where does everyone naturally walk around the plot. 
    Plus all of the above!
    Also, note which plants grow well in your local area.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Place - the space, orientation, climate, soil etc.
    People - who, what they need/want, level of knowledge, time to maintain
    Paving - and other hard landscaping
    Plants - starting with large and/or structural and working down

    Those would be be the ideal elements to consider and in that order, but gardens, like life, is rarely so ordered and most of us just wing it, I suspect. I know I did!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Lots of important questions already listed but what I would regard as the most important element to consider is connected with the first one mentioned, who will use the garden and for me that is not just the people involved?
    For me I like to see a garden that has lots of wildlife active and supported by it and by the wildlife being happy and active in the garden it helps make it a nice place for me to spend time.
    Happy gardening!
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