How do I design my own garden

Design tips for large gardens

A large garden is a real luxury in view of increasingly narrow residential areas. Designing, creating and maintaining it, however, is also a great challenge - in terms of time and money, but also in terms of horticultural know-how. We therefore give tips on how to design a large garden that is tasteful and yet easy to care for and what points you should pay attention to when planning.

When is a garden "big"?

In garden planning, one speaks of large gardens when the garden area extends over 1,000 square meters. This is particularly the case in rural areas, where garden plots are often directly adjacent to forests or agricultural areas, or in the case of old existing buildings on very large plots. Due to the tight development plans in new development areas, large gardens are seldom created from scratch. Most of the time there is already a basic stock of trees and bushes, perhaps also a pond or a gazebo, which can then be included in the new design. Tip: Try to preserve old, valuable woody stock - this saves money and many years of time that young trees and bushes need to grow.

Design tip for large gardens: Well thought-out room layout

A large garden offers enough space for creative interior design. First of all, the question must be clarified whether the large property is to be transformed into an ornamental and kitchen garden divided into smaller areas or a spacious park-like garden with tall, sweeping trees and large lawns. Basically, a well thought-out room layout not only looks elegant - it is also necessary in order not to feel lost in a large garden. So first draw up a list of different areas of use that you would like to implement in your garden. Should there be a playground with swings and a sandpit for children? Would you like to create a watercourse, a well or a pond? Would you like to create a barbecue area or an outdoor kitchen? Should vegetable beds or fruit trees be included? And where is the best place for a cozy gazebo or a seat in the countryside?

The rooms can be divided up with appropriate planting - for example with a hedge with a hedge arch as a passage, a bamboo or a larger shrub as a privacy screen - or with privacy screens, walls, buildings or gabions. With a corresponding limitation for the eye, the visitor feels safe in the large garden and at the same time his curiosity is aroused. Different floor coverings (lawns, paved areas, gravel, wooden terraces) also separate usable areas from one another and create individual garden corners. You can also use the existing slopes and height differences with the system or create some yourself - that adds excitement to the room design.

Adhere to design topics

For a coherent overall picture, there should always be a basic theme when planning the garden. In a large garden, it is particularly difficult to apply such a theme consistently to all garden areas. Nevertheless, it is important to select different design elements that should appear repeatedly in the garden. This can be the floor covering of the paths and squares, certain hedge plants, bed borders, trees or the like. In this way you can create a coherent overall picture even in rooms that are far apart. Do not plant one corner Mediterranean and another Asian, otherwise a large garden will turn into a small patchwork quilt. In order to avoid boredom, when designing large gardens, it is better to play with opposites such as spacious and small-scale garden situations as well as open and obstructed lines of sight. This gives a large garden a dynamic and, despite its uniformity, does not appear boring.

Planting large gardens: Don't mess, just plop

A large garden means large areas - and these need to be filled! A lawn is usually the easiest to maintain, but who would want to look out onto a bare football field from the terrace? The nice thing about large gardens is that you can work with large plants here. Trees such as oak, copper beech, cedar or walnut, which would blow up the usual urban mini-garden, find their perfect location here. If possible, do not plant any young plants, but choose older, large specimens. The bed borders can also be lavish in large gardens and be designed with small box hedges or small walls, for example.

When designing large perennial beds, make sure that you always plant larger groups of the same size. Larger leading perennials are planted individually or in groups of three in several places, because repetition is a tried and tested method for designing larger beds. Small avenues made of columnar or spherical trees fill the room, bring calm to the design with their uniformity and can be used, for example, to emphasize paths or lines of sight.

There is practically no limit to the choice of flowering and green plants for reasons of space, because in large gardens there are usually all locations from shady to full sun, from open to protected, and thus offer every plant the right place. However, you should resist the temptation to create as large a collection of plants as possible, following the motto "a dog from every village". This quickly looks very fragmented and there is no longer any recognizable uniform design handwriting. Tip: In order to reduce the maintenance effort in the garden, the more maintenance-intensive plants should be planted in the front garden area around the terrace, while more modest candidates such as ground cover find their place further back. They are - peppered with various onion flowers and perennials - also the means of choice for making areas under trees and bushes as easy to care for as possible.

Infrastructure in the large garden: paths, lighting and irrigation

The paths are often long in large gardens. So plan right from the start how visual elegance and practical use can be combined in the course of the garden paths. Winding paths are romantic and beautiful, but those who have to drag heavy watering cans via detours will not have much fun in the end. Also think of the various lighting options, because in a garden of over 1,000 square meters, the patio light may not reach the garden shed. You should therefore plan power connections for lights and garden tools and also water taps in strategic places - for example at the seat or at the vegetable patch. If you can afford it, you should at least think about automatic irrigation in some areas of the garden, because the water requirements of a large garden should not be underestimated. In most cases, it is even worth building a cistern or drilling your own well for the water supply.

Big gardens for little money? The costs

Having a large garden newly laid out by professionals is very expensive. Those who cannot or do not want to do without professional help should define individual construction phases and gradually approach the dream garden goal. If you plan and plant yourself, you should consider the following tips: Make sure you draw a plan of your dream garden and use it to work out the most important first steps, which are often associated with earth moving and heavy equipment. This includes the creation of a terrace on the house, the terracing of the site and the creation of paths, stairs, retaining walls and bodies of water. Electricity and water lines as well as drainage should also be laid before starting the planting work.

The pure planting work can also be done in large gardens yourself. Even with a little manual skill, you don't necessarily need professional support to create flower beds or to set up fences or privacy screens. Start planting slow-growing trees and shrubs as early as possible that will take a few years to develop. Particularly large gardens are not created in a day, but rather grow together over the course of a few years to form a harmonious whole. So do not be impatient and approach your dream garden step by step.

In order to keep the follow-up costs and maintenance effort in a large garden low, you should choose plants that spread quickly or renew themselves through self-sowing without much intervention. Ground cover and bark mulch suppress the weeds, bed borders with mowing edges make lawn care easier. Use weatherproof materials to furnish your garden that do not need to be painted or oiled every year. A generous composting area saves costs for the disposal of clippings and the purchase and humus and fertilizer.

Garden design: decorating large gardens

A spacious garden area also offers space for decorative objects that do not work in small gardens. Here it is possible, for example, to set up large rose arches, statues on pedestals or decorative fountains. A bench by the side of the path should not be missing in a large garden. Embed the decorations in the surrounding plantings and hide one or the other detail so that it can only be seen from a certain line of sight. A separate seating area under trees or a shade sail or a barbecue area in the green relaxes the garden design and invites you to linger. This is how your large garden gets its unique charm.