Designing the Ideal Garden

Creating your dream garden is easier than you might first think. Simply follow our golden rules to design the right garden for you.

Wide Enough Pathways

Make sure your pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage. Nobody enjoys squeezing through narrow spaces, indoors or out. Main thoroughfares should be wide enough for at least two people to walk side by side, no less than 5 feet. For secondary paths where people walk single file, the width should be at least 3 feet. Keep in mind that the taller the plantings or structures that flank your walkway, the wider the path needs to be. Tall boundaries make any space feel more restricted.

Allow Enough Room

Patios and decks are perfect spaces for outdoor entertaining. Plan for enough room to accommodate dining and mingling. Consider how many guests you’re likely to host regularly and then plan on at least 4 square feet of space per person. Outdoor dining means outdoor furniture, so try to leave a 3-foot-wide perimeter of open space around any furniture grouping to allow for comfortable circulation.

Consider the Plants!

Give your plants room to grow. If you must have a dense, full landscape right away, plant with the intent to relocate or remove some plants as they mature. You can also plant quick-growing, short-lived “filler” plants to temporarily bulk up your plantings. Some of my favourite fillers include delphiniums, tall verbena, butterfly bush, and golden tree mallow. Just keep track of which ones are prolific self-sowers, like tall verbena, to prevent fillers from taking over.