How to design a garden from scratch in 17 steps

Starting to plan a garden from scratch, whether it’s a small garden in the city or a sprawling country garden, can be a daunting task. What good design is really about, I think, is mastering the hugely different dimensions that there are in any garden: space, scale, texture, harmony, colour, structure, light, dark, charm, strength, sense of place, romance, history and so on. But once you get going, it’s not really about strict rules – every gardener develops instincts to guide them over time.

The joy of a garden is that you can watch it grow over many years and therefore I think it is best to stick to a simple, classical design. You can then re-energise and experiment with the planting over time, as you become more confident with the landscape you’re working in. Here are the things to consider when you’re starting off.

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