Landscape Design Ideas - Create a Better Looking Garden | Robert Pavlis | Skillshare

Landscape Design Ideas - Create a Better Looking Garden

Robert Pavlis, Instructor of all things gardening

Landscape Design Ideas - Create a Better Looking Garden

Robert Pavlis, Instructor of all things gardening

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10 Lessons (1h 46m)
    • 1. Introduction to Landscape Design Ideas

    • 2. Design Secrets

    • 3. Creating a Complete Design Drawing

    • 4. Landscape Design Ideas

    • 5. Garden Design Styles

    • 6. Sun Map

    • 7. Design Garden Bed

    • 8. Garden Design With Snow

    • 9. Toronto Scultures

    • 10. Free eBook - 24 1/2 Garden Design Ideas

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About This Class

Do you look at your garden and think, that's kind of boring!

Do you want to create a better looking garden but don't know how to start the process?

Do you ask yourself why some gardens seem so special?

If you answered yes to these questions then this course is for you.

This course will show you tricks that professional landscape designers use to create better spaces. It will show you lots of examples both from my garden and others so that you can really understand the design principals.

I am a big believer in learning the "WHY" and not just the "HOW". Once you understand the why, the how becomes so much easier to learn and understand. In this course I will explain design principals and then show you why they work so you know when and when not to use them.


  • Design principals such as focal points, elevation, hidden destinations

  • I'll show you ways to make a plain pathway into something really special

  • Tricks to make a small space look bigger

  • How to select and place art to best effect

  • I'll explain some of the thought processes I use to design my 6 acre botanical garden


Free ebook called 24 1/2 Garden Design Ideas, where I show you how to use the neighborhood to get great design ideas.


The information in this course is an accumulation of professional train and over 40 years of practical experience. I'll not only give you the technical information, but I will also provide you with my personal insights. You will learn things that took me a lifetime to learn by trial and error.

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Pavlis

Instructor of all things gardening


My name is Robert Pavlis and I live in southern Ontario which is hardiness zone 5 in Canada and US systems. I have been gardening for more than 30 years – I stopped counting at 30! I am a Master Gardener and speak about gardening at many local gardening events and horticulture meetings.

I wave written several books in including Building Natural Ponds, Garden Myths Books 1 and 2, and Soil Science for Gardeners. I also publish two blogs GardenMyths and GardenFundaments as well as teach local courses in gardening and garden design.

A few years ago, I bought 6 acres of land and have developed a large private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens. We now have about 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees.

I am a plantaho... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Landscape Design Ideas: Welcome the landscape design ideas. This course will help you create a much more interesting Garden. There's your garden now look something like this. When you really wanted to look like this. The difference is between these two gardens is not that much. That you get more experienced in gardening. You realize that there are much nicer gardens around. And if you're the type of person who wants one of these nicer gardens, then this course is for you. I've been teaching garden design to local gardeners for many years and most my students have absolutely no garden design experience. What I do is I teach some of the real basics and I do that by explaining what they are, showing you how to use them, and also explaining why they worked, what our garden design principles. There are things like scale. Put the teahouse, it's on the hill behind me into this garden. I spent quite a bit of time making sure that the size is correct relative to the rest of the garden and that scale focal points are really important. The idea of moral view and using room. Those are all basic design principles that are really easy to learn and implement. And this course is going to get you to the point where you can use these in your garden. Garden design is all about the visitor. When that visitor comes to your garden, what is their experience like? If you make the right decision, you can make that experience really special. And I'm going to show you some tricks on how to make it special. I gotta teach you how to use other people's ideas. When I want to design a new area in the garden, I don't sit down and dream up completely new ideas. I go out and steal ideas from other places and I'm going to show you how to do that. So now it's your turn. You really want a special garden. If you take this course and follow some of my ideas, your garden will improve tremendously. It doesn't actually take that much to go from this to this. Come and join me. We're going to have some fun. 2. Design Secrets: Alright, so what makes a garden special? Bo, 15 years ago I was shopping around for a new house and new garden. I was going to get a big garden. And so I collected all kinds of pictures of all the gardens that I thought were great. I went through magazines and online and books. And anytime I've seen some really special, I took a picture of it. Once I had this big pile of material, I sat down and asked myself, why do I think this particular picture is that special? Like why did I take it over all the others? And the answer I came to was that every time I see a really special garden, it has something unique in it, something that you don't find everywhere. And I think a lot of times we make a mistake while making our gardens look like other people's gardens. And if you do that, they're just not special. Let me show you a couple pictures. So this is my garden. It's obviously fall. I mean, it looks pretty nothing unusual there, but it's nothing special. I mean, you can go online and see a million pictures like this. There's nothing to really attract you to this garden, but there's also nothing special in the picture. These are nice plants, but they're not that spectacular. Here's another picture, my garden. Again, the plants aren't anything spectacular. But now we have this white pathway going through it lined with these nice limestone rocks. And that is enough to make a garden much more interesting than the previous picture. Now on the left side there you have a tall Miscanthus grass, which is spectacular in the fall. So it does add something to that part of the garden. Structures in the garden I think a really important. So here's a couple arbors that I have. They add height to the garden. They add a different look than just plants. Again, the key is something special. Here's a little statue I bought a few years ago. It's supposed to be Mother Nature. I kinda think face looks very manly, but I didn't make the statue. Now interestingly, it, it sits in this part of the garden because it actually hides my wellhead, which is kinda ugly and now it looks kind of nice. If you look in this garden, you need kind of glance through it. Your eye immediately goes to it. And that's what makes this bed special. It can be a piece of art and it can be very simple things. It doesn't have to be an unusual piece of art or painting or something like that. Here's a little garden on the side of a walkway. But rather than put the rock in the bed which everybody does, this rock is sitting in the bed and half in the walkway. It's actually sticking out. And the two bushes decided had been clipped to look kinda roundish just like another rock. So with some very common evergreens and Iraq, that's kind of pretty but it's, you know, it's not super-special. You suddenly have something very interesting that you won't find on a lot of gardens. And that makes this little spots special. And then you can always put something really entrusting in there. One thing about a garden is that doesn't have to be serious. Now if I'm decorating my house, I'm going to be a little more careful with colors and design and so on. I mean, I wanted to look like a nice house. But in my garden I can go crazy and put in whatever I want. Here's a good example. Lots of us have sheds and everybody gets a shed that looks pretty much like this. Why do we do that? Why don't you get a shed that looks like this. Now you've got a really special Shad and especial special guard. Now this one came off the internet, but this one is very similar design and this one is in Mrs. saga in a very, very small backyard. In fact, the shed takes up a third of this backyard. This couple just loves this kinda design draw bridge that works. It has a little moat. It's got little chair inside, makes us garden so spectacular and colors. The garden is a place where you can use lots of weird colors, make them bright. Too many times we see things like benches and so on that are brown. Ok, let's paint them up. Let's use color. Always looks good in a guard. Here's something idea didn't my Garden a couple years ago, I have this fern golly and I thought, well, wouldn't it be neat if I had life running around? And so I went out and got myself but doesn't pink flamingos. And they live in there. And this time a year, of course, the firms aren't up yet, so they're kinda sticking out. But once the firms grow at mostly hide, now it becomes a surprise when someone's looking at the garden. Now to be honest, not everyone likes this. My wife actually hates it, but I think it's a fun little thing to do. In fact, my goal this summer is to find some small ones and I wanna make a little nest and have a couple of babies in there with mom and dad standing around them. Let's have some fun in the garden and make it entrusting. Alright, focal points of all the design ideas. I think focal points are probably the most important. Focal points are a way to draw the eye where you wanted to go. So if you think about standing in the middle of a garden, where'd you want your visitor to look? That's where you put a focal point. Let's have a look at some of these. So this is my backyard. There's a pathway that runs up this way, comes up here, crosses the bridge, comes down the other side and comes out down here. And then I had an open house and all of the people came to this point right here and just stood there and looked up at the hill. Almost. Nobody went up the hill and yet the path is pretty clear here. It was a bit of a surprise to me. The following year I had another open house, the same hill but I made one change. Keep your eye on this part of the hill. I did this. I put up a batch. Everybody came to the bottom here, seen the badge, and went up the hill. Everybody went and sat down on that bench and sat there enjoying the garden until the next group came up and then they felt obligated to get off the bench and come down. And then the other group sat up there. That bench made such a huge difference in this guard. Now this focal point isn't that special to look at? But you do see it from most of my garden, but the bench is enough to draw the people up. Alright, so that was a success, sort of the problem with this bench. It looks completely out of place. And I'm going to talk a little bit about scale later on the program. But the benches out of scale, it's too small for pretty big hill. This tree over here, by the way, as a 200-year old sugar maple. It's a pretty big tree. And that gives you an idea how dinky the bench, Yes. So I had to put something up there to draw people up. I needed a focal point up there, but the bench wasn't doing it. So this is what I have now, a little Japanese tea house and this is surprise up there, which I won't tell you about. But almost everyone that comes to the garden will go up that hill to see the teahouse. So it draws people in there. You see it from the front of the property and it becomes the major focal point of the guard. There's the view from the top of the hill. And let's have a look at this garden. So it's a pretty average looking garden. The lawns, nice red flowers. But what if we put a focal point in this guard, and how does that change? It makes a huge difference. Now we have something at the end of the garden at not only draws people's eye, but you also have a destination. It's inviting. If you come to this one, you probably you'll stand and look at it. But if you come to this one, you will probably go over and sit down and enjoy the guard. And so that's great use of a focal point in a very, very small garden. We're back to my garden, this my 40-foot arbor. And I decided that at the end of the arbor I needed something really special. And I actually bought this piece of stone. I don't like buying stones that lots of my own, but this is a particular nice piece of a granted. You see that the end of this tunnel, and everybody goes to the end and they go over and they touch this stone. In fact, I haven't planted around the front of it because everybody wants to go right up and touch it. In the middle of summer. This looks a little more interesting in the focal point becomes less important because it's full of calamitous. And so you've got this beautiful view as you walk down to the end. The Curia Park is in Mrs. saga and as far as I know, this is the only Japanese garden in Ontario. If I'm wrong, let me know because I love Japanese style gardens, but this one's accessible, it's open, is free and this is part of the garden. What do we see here? Well, I mean, so k, If you look in the background, you can see the high rises from Mrs. saga and they're hidden pretty well by some pretty standard evergreens. Waters quite nice. There's nothing really special about this picture until we put in a focal point. And this Vocalpoint does a couple things. Again, it draws our eye over there, but it also tells us that this is a Japanese guard. And so that one piece of artwork there is defining the style of this guard. So how do you place a focal point? Where should it go in the garden? Well, here's another focal point. It's a bridge, but it's been painted white so it sticks out. So ask yourself, where do you want people's eye to go? And the other secret thing is that a lot of times the feet follow the eyes. So if I'm looking at something, there's a good chance I'm going to go over there. You see this in someone's backyard? I mean, I don't know if you can help yourself, but you gotta go and find that bridge, that seaward goals. This focal point is very obvious. We have a nice walkway here, and I put it at the end of the walkway. So of course you're going to walk towards it. Not only that, but it's sitting right on the walkway there so you can go right up to it and touch it. So it's drawing the person through the garden. Here's a very traditional garden, very traditional focal points. So we're standing where the cameras and we see the first focal point and it draws us in and we walk towards it. When we get here, we see the next one which is down here. And we walk there. When we get there, there's another one. It's a bench, so you can use your focal points to move your guests through the guard. They walk up to the first one. When they get there, where do you want them to go next to you wanted to go straight, left, right. Put a focal point wherever you want them to go. Now, focal points aren't always something you have to go to. This is one of my pieces of artwork and I put it right in the middle of a bad and it's very clear when you see the bed itself that you can't walk towards it. I've I've just raised a camera up so you don't see all the shrubbery in front of it. This is a do not touch statue, but again, it's a focal point. So you're walking along the garden and suddenly you see this out of the corner. I, it's kind of hidden a bit between the shrubs and this thing just kinda sticks out. Something else that I think is very important is elevations. People with flat gardens, you want hills. People with Hills want flat gardens because Hills are kind of a pain to work on. But if you can get a garden with some elevations, take it if you don't have elevations, puts him in because it adds so much more interest. Here's a fairly simple garden. It's a nice PR Goa, nice chairs. You can see that there's a step up to get into it. So that's one set of elevations. And over here on the far right, there's three steps down. So the far right corner is a lower elevation area by adding these slight differences and we're only talking, you know, six inches difference. We make the whole garden so much more interesting. So if you have a flat garden and I know most people have, find some way to raise it up. Here's one possibility, make a raised bed at the back. Now I suspect this was probably done the opposite way that they had this raised bed and they actually dug it out to put in the patio. But that elevation adds a whole lot of interests to this garden. In garden design is something called views. He has a fantastic view. So you're inside the house. What do you see when you look out your window? Many of us go out into the garden and then start our design process standing in the garden. But the reality is that we spend most of the time in the house all winter long or in house looking out, even in the summertime when the bugs are too bad, we sit inside the house and look out. So the place to start, your garden design is inside the house. Go to all the windows, look out, try and decide what you want to see, who I see nice things from your main windows. And this is a perfect example. This is my house. So we have some fairly big windows at the back. By the way, when I moved into this house, there were no Gardens whatsoever. All you did was look out here on lawn. So we got rid of the lawn pretty quick. So on the left here we've got the tea house down the middle here we've got a long waterfall with several ponds coming down to a final pond at the bottom. And both of those have been designed to be very visible from inside the house because we spent a lot of time in this room. This is our TV room. And then we've got these cute little chairs. Nice thing about the chairs Is, and we actually pick the chairs For this reason too, is they don't hide the view of the garden. You see right past them. Whereas if we got normal chairs here, they're, the backs would be much higher and they would hide the view. Now of use can be very simple. So here we have a hedge. It could be just shrubs, sick, could be a cedar hedge. Cut a little hole into it, make a little viewing window so that you see something on the other side. Here's a little archway. Now it would be very easy to have this archway and just leave the lawn on the other side and it wouldn't be okay, but it would be awfully boring by putting a bench, there was some flowers. We suddenly have something that's really interesting. And as the person is walking along and they see this opening and the hedge, they looked through. And here's this beautiful view. Here's another one. So you're walking along the pathway and you suddenly have this view. We have this vase sitting in the middle. You've got a tree on the left side which kind of frames it. You've got another pod and grass on the right side. You've got another frame there, and you have this picture in the middle. So what you wanna do is walk around your garden and stop at places you think your visitors will stop and look around. Do you have a nice view? If not, maybe you should create one there. So here's this very simple garden. That Bench really draws me into it. I mean, I think most people are going to walk over to that bench and sit down, especially with the flower is behind there. Now the question is, once I'm there and I'm looking back this way to the camera. What am I going to see? There's no point putting a bench somewhere and not giving the personal view once a sit onto that badge. So benches and chairs should be placed so that you always have something interesting to look at. Here's a concept that comes from Japanese gardens, very nice-looking garden. But if you look really closely right here, you actually see the fence. The back of this property is right here. And yet this garden looks huge. We have this big evergreen back here, another nice bush here. And this is called a boar or view. What is in the neighbor's yard that you can use to enhance your picture. Sometimes there's some nice stuff there. Maybe a fruit tree, maybe a nice maple tree, and sometimes that is ugly and you don't want to borrow. So have a look past your property and decide which of these views pass the property do you want to keep and which do you want to hide? A lot of people who would just plant stuff and then they Hey, I just put a big tree in front of the nicest borrowed view of my yard that's talking about scale. Scale is really hard to define and I haven't really come up with a good definition. But when the scale is right, you will know it. It just looks right. When it's wrong. You'll also know it because it just looks wrong. So let me give you a couple of examples. So again, this is my garden. I wanted to build this little bridge over a DRY river bed. And I had to figure out how big do I make the bridge to make it look like it fits in this garden? How much curvature Do I make on there? To be quite honest with you, I just guessed and it came out really good. The size is right for this size of bed, the curvatures interesting. The only problem with it is that when you walk on it, if you're coming down the other side is almost too steep and you feel like you're going to fall off. So although aesthetically it looks really great. Functionally, it's not the safest bridge to walk on. Now right behind the bridge is this tall grass here, tall Miscanthus. And by the end of the summer this thing as a seven feet tall. And if you look around at all the other plants are much smaller and this thing is huge. And you could make the argument that it's actually out of place. The bed is too small for a plant that is that large. The reading that's still there is that Miscanthus are warm growing grasses, so they don't start growing until June, July. So for most of the year it's not that big. It only gets this big late in the summer and I just think is fantastic when it's that big. So I put up with it even though it's not really in scale to the rest of the garden. Here's Ann Arbor I built. Once it was done, I knew I'd done it wrong. And that's really how I figured out Scale. I usually do it wrong a couple times. The vertical posts or four by fours. And the pieces across the top are two-by-fours. And they're just too small for this size of arbor. I should have went with six by six posts and two by six tops. A little more wood, a little healthier. And in this space, it would have looked so much better. This is another Arbour at the other end of the garden. And here I did use bigger wood and it looks so much better. It just seems to fit the space. And that's how, you know, scale fences. Everybody loves to have a fence around their property and I get that. But why do we have them so ugly? I mean, this is just terrible looking, very functional, very cheap, easy to install these for the builders, but it's ugly. This isn't a whole lot better. And I see so many gardens where you see these fences, all the gardens on the same street Have the same fence. Remember, you want your garden to stand out and look special. Well, if you all have the same fence, you're not going to get to a special point. So here's a garden that looks a whole lot better with stuff growing in front of it. The problem here is that a lot of these plants in here, grasses, at least the taller ones are at the back. And as I said, Warren grew and grasses don't really grow until late in the summer. So for a good part of the year and all winter long, you're going to look at the fence. So although this is an okay solution, it's really not the best solution. How about this? Stick this in the middle of your fence. Now you've got something interesting and you've got some the neighbors will talk about and you have a special garden and there's a nice fence to it has a couple of things going for itself. One is this painted blue, so we've got more color, but it also has lots of plants that kinda hide the fence. And you can use these outdoor or sorry, these potted plants or you can use shrubbery. There's lots of ways to hide fences. Here's a chain link fence, easy to hide. We want something funky in your garden. Make defense more interesting. Covered up with nice flowers. Here. You hardly notice that this is an ugly fence because you've got such a nice plant in front of a false perspective. So who thinks this is a tall giant? Well, nobody does because we know that there is no such thing as tall giants. But it illustrates the point of perspective. We have a tall building at the back and we have a picture that looks as if we have a huge human holding it up and we want to bring false perspective indoor gardens. So here's a pathway, the end that's closest to the camera is wider than the part at the opposite end. By making this pathway slowly get narrower and narrower, we have the impression that this yard is very deep. Here's another great example, harder to put it in your garden. But it looks like these steps are a long way off. But in fact, if you look at the paving stones, you see how they go up like this. But they've actually done is angled this part. And over here, they've angled it up this way. And as they go back, each one of these is smaller and smaller and smaller. It looks as if this is a huge structure, but in fact it's actually a pretty small structure. Now you can do things in your garden fairly easily. Let's say you have two planters like tests. Most people are gonna get the same size pots put in the same size evergreens. And that's okay. But if you have to lined up like this and you take the one that's closest to your visitor and make it a bit bigger. So you big a bigger pot here, and a smaller pot here, bigger evergreen here, and a smaller evergreen here. It will make your yard looks so much deeper. This is another example where you can trim the evergreens to give you that look of depth. So how do you make small yard field bigger? I've mentioned several things already, but here's a couple other tricks put in false doors. Now I know this one's on a brick wall and it hasn't been cleaned up very well. But you can do the same thing on your standard wood fence, put it in a gate. It won't go anywhere. It doesn't even have to open. It just needs to look like a gate and people will thank your property is much bigger than it really is. Here's a fake window. So we've got this window. And we put a mirror inside. Now you think there's something on the other side which makes this garden seems so much bigger. And you've got mystery on the other side of this window. And yet it's actually put onto a solid wall. Could be a shed, could be one of those would fences. This adds depth to the garden and makes it more interesting. Side gardens, they're all tiny little things. And so what people do is they put in tiny plants. And when you put in tiny plants into a tiny garden, you end up with a garden that looks tiny. You have to put in big stuff and you have to go high. This isn't very wide here, but it's very interesting. It's got different types of floors, different pathways, but it goes up, gives you lots of things to look at. And now you have a space that actually looks much bigger than it really is. This is one of the perfect ways to enlarge your garden. Have a pathway that seems to go on forever. If you're standing here and looking at this, you're looking along this pathway. You don't know where the end of this garden is. The back fence is all covered in greenery. You can't see it. This could go on forever by putting this kind of a pathway n and by putting in more vertical things like shrubs or, or wooden structures. So you can't actually see the whole garden at once. You give the viewer the impression that this is a really large space. Create a little garden like this that's tucked away behind a bunch of bushes. So when I started my garden here, the first thing I did is I went out and started collecting pictures of gardens that I liked or things that I like. And then when it came time to actually finish the garden, to put things in, I look at that picture file and I look at that picture file all the time and I'm looking for ideas. Here's a picture. Now it's an okay backyard. But I really like here is the fact that they've put this deck right on the ground. And I could maybe use that in part of my garden. I also like these vertical trees here. See you. They have an ugly fence too, but they have put a few trees and evergreens in here, and that looks really nice. So what you do with this picture file is you take out ideas. You don't copy the whole picture, but you try to find something in here that you like and then you use it. Not quite sure where I'd use this, but I think this is really kinda neat. Here's a little garden and rather than putting up a fence, which would be very traditional, or an evergreen hedge, very traditional. They have this unique structure which I've never seen before. Some big posts, some metal cross pieces. I don't really care for these wires going up and down. But my guess is these are calamitous in us will grow up here like crazy. So these will look great Later in summer when they're covered in flowers. So you've got a trellis here. That's much more interesting than the thing is, most people use much more than usual. So I love that, but maybe the rest of the garden I wouldn't use. Here's a picture. Ok. We use patio stones. Those are pretty common. This has a dry river bed running across it, which you don't see very often. But then they made this simple, simple bridge, just some boards. But notice that the boards are cut into different shapes. Each one's a little different width, each one's a little different length there, not quite cut straight, so they're low, crooked. And suddenly you have this very interesting little structure in the garden that's really easy to build. Some would cut it up a little bit. Light on the ground in you're done. No concrete, no nails, no nothing. You've got yourself an interesting bridge. So I look at these pictures and what is in this picture I really like, and I might just steal this one piece and put it somewhere in my garden. And smaller, ugly fences. I'm not sure what they're really doing here. We've got a pathway going to the back corner, and this doesn't really look like a gate. So I'm a little confused here. If this had been built like a gate where you actually had a handle and some hinges, even if it never opened, this would be great because then I think, Oh, this guy's got a huge back here and I want to go see those, HIS other garden and yet is a dead end. So that's a good idea. I might use that. And one more little idea. Do something quirky in the garden. Doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be expensive. Here's a little statue and the little mirror. And you can put this just about in any garden and add interest. And when the person walks along here, get a little chuckle out of it. And then I'll enjoy the garden so much more. 3. Creating a Complete Design Drawing: I hope you're enjoying this course. I designed this course to give you a lots of different ideas of what you can do in the garden. And you can go and implement just one of those ideas. Go into Garden and change a fans, change a bad, put a bench here at an extra focal point, and your garden will be better for that. But if you want a really special garden, it's important to design the whole garden as a single process. You want all of these elements working together to give you something really special to do that you have to go through a design process. And I have a separate course here that you can take that will take you through that process. It's called landscape design. That's the course you want to take if you want to design a whole garden, I take you through the whole process is I design a garden. We evaluate what you have. We document that. We then figure what the wants and needs are. And then we slowly go through step-by-step to create a new garden design on paper. Once you've got the whole garden design, then you can go and implement it. And that will produce a much better garden than doing it piecemeal. But there's certainly nothing wrong with just doing one area at a time. Have a look at my other course, landscape design. 4. Landscape Design Ideas: One of the best ways to improve your garden design is to learn from others. And This episode of landscape design ideas, we're going to visit the Toronto Botanical Garden and see what ideas we can steal to use in our own gardens. I'm not a big fan of hedges. There are a bit too boring for me and they take a lot of pruning work to keep them looking good. But compare the traditional design to this one, which I really like. There are four different kinds of plants here. You box would Barbary and a tall Hawthorne at the back. By combining plans, you introduce various leaf shapes and colors. The fall coloration of the barbarians, particularly nice next to the greens. But they have done one other special thing. They've combined different widths and heights rather than the normal boring straight hedge. You now have an interesting colorful arrangement that still works as a hedge. Used this basic idea and make something spectacular for your garden. Can you imagine these four plants each prune to a different shape and height, sitting in the middle of your lawn. That would make a real piece of plant art. You are probably familiar with the high viscous called Rose of Sharon, a very popular shrub that look something like this. It's a nice shrub and bloom, but nothing special the rest of the year. Now look at what the Toronto botanical garden has done with it. Several plants are grown close together and each one is pruned into a standard with a single trunk. This is a new planting, so I'm not sure what their future plans are, but I suspect they will keep these proved to be quite short, creating a field of lollipops. How can you use this idea in your garden? Pruning them into short standards. They can be placed into a perennial bed and not look at a place. You can also grow them in a large planter or placed them in the middle of around bed and prune it into a single trunk tree. Rose of Sharon and many other types of shrubs do not have to be a Bush. The common Rose of Sharon is pink and its seeds around quite a bit and it's quite an invasive. It is far better to use one of the new cultivars that are sterile because they never make seeds. Diana and Aphrodite are both good choices. I took this picture in one of the natural settings. This is more rewarding than a design idea. This looks like a field of Japanese butter burners. They are a fantastic plan and they have the largest leaves of anything you can grow in a cold zone, but they are very invasive, spreading two feet in every direction each year. Here's the one in my garden. I grow it in a very large tree pot with a bottom cut out. This prevents it from running away, and it does surprisingly well like this. Give it lots of shade and water and it will become the star in your garden. I believe all of the plants and gardens are males, so seating is not an issue. Art is very important in a garden and it would be great if everyone could afford large pieces like this one. The problem is that they are expensive and heavy to move. So what can you do? Use smaller pieces of art and raise them up as they've done here. They're using a simple tree trunk as a base, which works nice in the garden setting and it's fairly easy to get from Ann Arbor arrest. This is one in my garden that hasn't even taller pedestal and a sculpture that has only about 18 inches tall. I added a black granite shelf to make it even more prominent and to bring out the light color of the sculpture. What do you do with a dark, very shady corner of the garden that doesn't have much interest. You can add some flowering plants, but most shade plants don't provide a lot of color. Another option is a very little light colored piece of art. Unlike flowers, it is there all year long. And as a punch to the garden, tried to use light colored art in shade and dark colored art. And sudden, when picking pink colors for inside the home, most people pick muted colors and that's okay. But in the garden you want to go bright and colorful. This bright red stands out and makes a real focal point. Don't be shy in the garden. Go bold. A large statue doesn't hurt either, although it's price is a bit out of reach for most gardeners. But notice that the red bench is still the most prominent thing in the garden and everyone can afford a bright red or blue bench. Gardeners with flat property dream of having hills. And those with hills on flat ground. But different ground levels in the garden add so much to your design. Many years ago that Toronto Botanical Garden added this slope wall. It is made from metal, stones and soil. They then added many different kinds of system and hens and checks. Over the years, the hardier types have won out. It is now covered mostly with two types of CDO. Most of our gardens are too small for something as large as this, but we can still use the idea. You could make a small version and set it in front of a shed wall or against the fans. You can even make an artificial hill with a crevice rock garden. A seat embed works well and requires little water or maintenance once it's established. If these projects are still too large for you, try a very small version of the vertical C2DM wall like this one, it would look great against the fence. Start by planting several different types of CDO over time. Some will do better than others. You can either fight this and keep the thugs from taking over or just let nature do her thing. Over time. Some will disappear and others will fill in the spaces. In the end, you will be left with the hardiest types, which makes gardening easier. In this video, I have tried to show you how to use other people's design ideas to improve your own garden. You don't have to go to a botanical garden to do this. 5. Garden Design Styles: Today I'd like to discuss garden styles. We're going to go through a series of different types of styles and try and understand what makes one style different from another. Now let's have a look at some garden styles. This is a formal style. The things to note in this garden is the symmetry. There are clear lines cutting through the center of this property from where the cameras standing right to the front door, there's another line crossing it in the middle, going through that statue that's in the middle of the picture. If you have a look at the house, it's very symmetrical. The left side of the house and the right side of the house are identical. The same number of windows, the same shape, doors, the same spacing between doors, even in front of the house. A put for different kinds of urn equally spaced to mimic the symmetry of the house. The other thing that gives us a way as a formal garden is a box would have edges. These are very traditional. This idea of a low hedge forming a type of shape and then repeating this shape is classic and formal gardens. Now if we look at the perimeter of this garden, the left side's different than the right side, but I suspect that's because the right side and left side are represent the neighbors gardens and they've decided on using different style. Now at first glance, this might not look like a formal garden, but it still has that line of symmetry. If you draw a line through the middle of this garden, you start seeing that symmetry. Everything on the left side and the right side mimic each other. Although there's curves here, the curves on both sides of the garden are the same. The types of flowers that are used in both sides of the same. And again, we have the box would hedging. This is an enclosed garden which maintains that symmetrical shape of a rectangle. We see some white statues there, which are very traditional and you can pretty much bet that same statues are located in the right side of the garden outside of the picture. This is also formal garden. You can clearly see the rectangular shape of the garden. There's Box woods there. There's symmetry line runs right down the center of the picture from the camera to the pavilion at the end, if you look off to the left, you see a couple of trees trimmed and around balls. You see the same thing on the right. It's a little less formal because some of the plantings are less formal. The ones at the front of the picture kinda loose. So although the shape is formal, the plantings are little less form. Even the plantings in the center of the picture, the gray perennials and the rich rubs there a little looser there, not trimmed quite as neat as some formal gardens. Now many pictures or formal gardens represent very large gardens. And you might think, well that's not appropriate for me because I have a small garden, but that's not really true. Here's a very small front courtyard and it's very formal. You can see the box would hedging each box would head area has a tree inside the trees are all the same. You have two benches, not just one, so you have a symmetrical line running between them. The bricks form or rectangular patio. If you look at the shrubs in front of the window, you can see that the left and right Trevor is a little different. In the front here we have one rabbit holding and the flowers. And though there is a few aspects of this that are a little less formal, it still has a very formal look. Here's a garden where they've taken the formal idea of a garden and made it a little less formal. You can see the repetition of shapes, cones, the box would edging. But rather than making just straight lines, they've added some curves to it to give it a little more interests. So when we're talking about garden styles, there isn't just one, right style. There's a range of styles, but all of these give the impression of being formal because the lines are clean, the hedges are all well trimmed. There's a repetition of shape. And of course you've got that green box would there. But here's a formal garden with almost no green box wood. They've taken the rectangular shapes and outlined a pattern with a rectangular pathway going around the center. They've taken each of the beds and divided those into rectangles. So you have repetition of the shape. And then they've gone and filled them with very colorful annual. So at first glance, this certainly doesn't look like a very formal garden, but it really is a game. We have the repetition of shapes, we have the repetition of color, but it's perhaps a little less formal than some of the other gardens we've looked at. And I really like this picture. This is a formal garden that has no straight lines. You'll notice the box would hedging, It's divided into four quadrants. Each of the quadrants has the same kind of planting. So you have repetition. Inside that circle is another circle, and inside that we have circular balls. And if you look really closely at those, that's not just a random pile of balls. In fact, it forms a square and each side of that square has three balls. This is one way where you can take the idea of formal garden and turn it into something that doesn't really look very formal. And why I really like this picture, it's a very, very unique garden. And that's the thing that makes garden special when you're designing your garden and do something different that nobody else is doing. So this is a modern garden. We have very clean lines. We have a limited palette. We have some Brown's, here's some greens and some graze, the white being just a very light gray. The planting is very minimal. Most of the garden is with hard scape. So we've decks. We have gravel on the garden, and we have gray stone for a pathway. Modern gardens give the impression of being very clean, somewhat formal because of all the straight lines. But you also get that minimalistic feel. You'd never find these over planted. Here's another modern garden. You'll notice those straight lines. It has wide steps, lots of white. The furniture is very modern-looking, but they've done some interesting things in this garden. If you look at the back wall, this could have been a wall that goes straight across, but instead they put that little jagged and it doesn't really seem to be a purpose for that except add interest to the Garden. The other thing they've done in that back wall is added those opening, so slits then that adds such a nice touch to that wall. The wood fence seems a bit out of place here, but even there they've done something special. Most fences would be built with slats going vertically. In this case, they've turned them and made them horizontal, creating a much more interesting garden right up in front. But you see a little bit, just has three plants in it, but that adds enough color to break up that expanse of white. Another very modern garden, lot of straight lines, a lot of repetition is shapes. The shape here is a rectangle. The wall at the back or small rectangles, the patio floor, our rectangle, even the two brick walls and the right and left side or rectangle. And then we have these lines which are very modern looking. One of the things that you get out of a modern garden is low maintenance. They generally have very few plants. The plants they do have are generally low maintenance. The plants are mostly green. They don't flower a lot. This modern garden has a bit more planting, but again, they've kept it very simple. A few clipped bushes alone demo, and that's it. This garden will always look neat, partly because of the straight lines and partly because of the plants that have been chosen. They pretty much look the same all of the time. Now that's both a plus and a minus. I liked monitoring gardens. But if you're a gardener and you like to get your hands in the dirt and play with the plants. This is kind of a pouring garden. As a gardener, I like this one much better. This is what we call an English Cottage garden. The garden itself is full of plants. They're all jumbled together. Lots of things are flower. There's lots of activity going on. As a result, it does tend to look a little messier, but from a garden is perspective, it's a whole lot more fun. This design looks at best when the garden is put next to a house that also has that informal Kata. Gee, look, Here's a different garden, same kind of style. Lots of flowers, lots of interest. And you can see the house in the background complements the garden. Now we could call this an English Cottage garden, or we might just call us an English garden bed. In either case, the secret to making this work is a lot of plants and a lot of flowers. This is a very traditional English garden. You have very wide planting beds and there's nothing that looks as great as a 15 foot wide garden bed chock full of perennials, annuals and flowering things. Even though the beds here look very informal. The garden does have some formality to it. You'll notice the pathway runs straight down to the entrance to the garden. The backs of these beds have high hedges and their trimmed in a fairly formal shape. Now these hedges do a couple of things. They set off the colors of the flowers, but they also form walls. So this area of the garden is separated from the other areas. You also have this long going up the middle to the entrance of the garden. And then the middle is place some sort of statue. And you can just make out pathways going left and right, so forming a cross. The other thing that's generally done is that the left and right sides of these beds mimic each other. And if you follow the plant's going down, you'll see the same one on both sides. This isn't a very strict formal planting. The planting, sir, kinda loose, but you see that repetition in color and types of plants. Now let's have a look at Japanese gardens. People outside of Asia talk about japanese gardens as if there's one Japanese style a garden. But that's not true. They're actually about seven standard styles. And there's certainly variations of those standards. As westerners have certain symbols in our minds that tell us that this is a Japanese garden. This Japanese lantern is one of them. The minute we see this in a garden, we conclude that this must be a Japanese garden because it has this symbol in it. To the right and behind the lantern you'll also see a bit of a fence made with bamboo that's tied to vertical posts. This again, is a very traditional way of making a fence and a Japanese guard. Now here's a very traditional Japanese garden. It's a courtyard. It has some water, has lots of stone. The plantings are fairly simple. You will rarely find a lot of color or flowers in the garden, although they do have flowering plants that flower for brief periods of time, but the focus is on greenery, and many of those plants are highly trimmed into a specific shape. One of the things that these gardens do is they give the viewer a sense of calm. If you compare this to the English Cottage garden, where there's a riot of color and things happening everywhere. It's an exciting place to be. This garden is a very calm place to be. It's a great place to just sit and think. And the design of this garden is done on purpose to meet that requirement. At first glance, this might not look like a Japanese garden, but on the lower left you can see a bit of a fence there which gives you that indication. Not a lot of flowering things going on. Again, we have the pond and this walkways very traditional. The stones are a bit harder to walk on than standard very flat stones. And they do that on purpose. They want you to slow down and enjoy the garden. So those stones are picked to be a literally irregular on purpose. While we're looking at this garden, I want to point out another design secret. You'll notice that the pathway curves around to the right and we can't see where n. This adds a mystery to the garden. When you put something like this into a small garden, back garden will appear to be much larger than it really is. And here's a little secret, that destination doesn't actually have to exist. It could just be a fence at your property line. But from here it looks like there's much more to this guard. A very traditional Japanese style is the Wandering guard. It typically consists of a fairly large pawn in the center and pathways walking around the outside of the pond in a fairly irregular way. The pathways continually change the view that you get. So plantings will hide the pond at certain points and then I'll become visible. You'll see things across the other side of the pond. The ideas that the whole garden is a journey. And as you're going through this journey, you get different views all of the time. Now this picture shows a very large garden, but the same idea can be done in quite a small space. Think of the pathways in your garden as being a wandering journey through the garden. And you want each place that you might stop on that pathway to look different. Now when you first look at this picture, you might say, well, this is just the garden somewhere. It's not necessarily a Japanese garden, but there are some elements here that make it an oriental type garden. The Japanese maple are very prominent in those gardens. Lots of rocky30, the pond and the bridge itself. So when you're adding structures like bridges and pathways, decide whether you want those to have an oriental flair to them and then design them accordingly. Soon as you see this picture, that wall gives us a way that Japanese garden, so very traditional to have a small garden that's enclosed in high walls. They're almost always painted a yellow or white color. Those walls have a bit of a roof on top. Inside we get some fairly simple plantings. Lots of rocks, mosses, ferns, very little in the way of flowers. Here's a garden that I really like. It's not really a Japanese garden, although it contains a lot of the elements of a Japanese garden. Right here we have some very large rocks and a small evergreen that's clipped, nice and short, and further that we have some grey pebbles. This is very similar to a Japanese Sand garden that really consists of sand, which in this case are pebbles, some really beautiful rocks, and some very minimal planting. The pathway is made up of irregular stones and is very common in a Japanese garden. If you follow that pathway, it suddenly changes into a very large rock and then continues on the other side to the right of that pathway at the back of the picture, you again have one of these sand gardens. A rock surrounded by probably something like time. The trees had been highly trimmed, so all the lower branches have been removed. The planting is pretty simple, and yet it's not a very traditional Japanese design. But it does give the feeling of a Japanese garden. That's simple, well-designed, calm feeling. The other garden style it has become very popular, is a shade garden. And this is a great looking garden. These large stones create this beautiful pathway going through the trees. Most plants don't bloom very well in a shade garden. So a lot of the planting depends on the shape of the plants, but this one is a bit of an exception. This is actually a trillion Garden. Many of the plants here are different species of trillions and of course they bloom really nicely in the spring. I really like this shade garden. It has a very simple pathway going up to a bench. That bench is a destination in this garden. It draws you into it and makes you walk to the bench. We then want to sit down and enjoy the garden. Well, you have a fairly informal planting. This garden is all about shades of green. By limiting most of the flowers begin a very calm environment. You see that tree trunks coming up, so you'd have some vertical interests. The firms give you a structure that's very different than most other leaf structure. So you have lots of variation and leaf shape, but you have a limited color palette. Visit great looking shaped garden. I love the big rocks. The planting is fairly simple, but you see lots of different leaf shape here. We have the roundly for the begonias and the pointed leaves of the fern, you also get a lot of color variation, even though there's very little flowering here. The other thing that makes us special is the mosques that are covering all of the soil. This is a garden we visited on Vancouver Island and moves to the garden is actually in full sun. But this early part goes through a shady area and I really fell in love with this. The trees here are magnolias, so they're not very tall, but they've been pruned so that all of the lower branches are very visible and the leaves on the plants create a canopy over the area. So it's quite shady in here. And yet the trees themselves add so much interests to the garden. So this is a lovely shade garden. It has a lot of interests with plants. It's a little more open, so you do get more flowering plants which add color. The problem with designing this kind of garden is that unless you have those mature trees, you really can't have this garden anytime soon. So although a lot of garden is visualize a garden that looks like this, it's quite difficult to actually create. The reason that I'm including this picture's not because I think this is a fantastic looking garden, but it does illustrate an important point. If you want a shade garden and you have no trees right now, which is a problem and a lot of new guard. You can create a shade garden fairly easily by selecting the right kind of plants. The tree in the middle with the red leaves and the one on the right with the whitish bark, I think are both Japanese maple. They grow fairly quickly. And if you purchase these as say, ten foot trees, they will give you a decent canopy fairly quickly. There are other trees like the redbud, which grow quite quickly. And you can go from a fairly small seedling to a tree like this in ten years. The way to create a garden like this, if you have no trees, is to lay out the pathways for your final shade garden. Grow plants, I like son, those trees in place. And then over the years that garden will become shady or in shade here. And eventually you'll have the shade garden that you really want. This is uninteresting garden. This garden seems to have some formality to it. This round pond in the middle with pathways running off at right angles to each other, adding some formal design to it. The design of the archways makes this a very rustic looking guard. This is a great design, if you like, a very informal garden which is low maintenance. Another garden style, it has become very popular in recent years is the meadow garden. They're absolutely right when they're flowering like this or like this. Now these gardens seem very simple and the concept seems simple. Plant a bunch of plants. Let them kind of take care of themselves and you'll have a metal garden. Well, it turns out that in maintaining these metal garden is actually very difficult in no time at all, weeds take over and you lose that great look to the garden. There's actually a fair amount of maintenance that goes into one of these gardens. And most people who've tried it have not been happy with their results. Maybe enjoy these in the wild where they exist on their own. Here's a very informal garden. Some might even call it messy. This will archway add some interests and the pathway is very unique in this garden. I'm not sure this is really a style of garden. I wanted to include it because it is unique. Every planting in this garden is an ornamental grass. And ornamental grasses can produce such a beautiful display. Particularly in the latter half of the summer and fall. We might call this the grass die. Here's a very informal garden. The plants here take care of themselves. So very low maintenance, but there's little quirky house adds so much interest in this garden. 6. Sun Map: Sun mapping your garden will help you buy the right plant and place it in the right location. Plants grow best if you give them the right amount of sun. And the only way to do that is to know how much sun each of your garden spaces has. In this video, I'll show you a very easy way to get this information and I'll show you how to develop your own personalized son map. You just bought a new plant that likes to be in shade and you're walking around your garden looking for a place to plant it. Obviously you're looking for a shady spot, but if it's very cloudy, you can't tell which part of the garden is shady. It's all a shady today. Even if the sun comes out, How can you tell the difference between shade and part shade? You can't, unless you stand there all pay. Many gardeners plant in spring or fall when trees don't have their leaves, it's very hard to identify a shady spot of that time of year. As a new gardener or an experienced gardener and a new location, it is very helpful to have a son map of the garden. Then when you are looking for a place to plant your new special purchase, you won't make a mistake. Have a look at this plant label on virtually all labels, the best information you get for the light requirements, sun or shade or part shade, part son. Nobody tries to fine tune this to give you a more exact number of hours because that is just too difficult and it's not that critical. Plants are not that fussy. And other factors like water can be more important than light. What is the difference between part shade and part son? Some people tried to define these more precisely, but it really isn't necessary high consider them to be the same thing. And so does this label. Sun is defined as being at least six hours of direct sun with no shadows. Part shade is four to six hours of direct sun. Shade is anything less than four hours of direct sun. To make a son map, you need to assign one of these categories to each of your gardens. Let's get started. Take a piece of paper and make a sketch of your property. Graph paper is easiest to use, but any sheet of paper will work. It is helpful to get things in scale, but that is not necessary. What is important is that you identify each existing garden area as well as any future potential gardens. It is a good idea to include the house, shed, patio, fences, and any other major structure because these will help you identify the location of gardens. Here's a simple map I made. Once you're happy with it, make five copies of the map. The best time of year for making a son map depends on where you live. There's almost no change in Shadows during the year. When you live close to the equator, the sun rises and sets in the same spot all year long, and therefore the shadows are always the same. As you move away from the equator, the point at which the sun rises is different throughout the year to location at midday also changes. In my garden, The sun is almost overhead at noon in summer, but it is much near the horizon and winter, these changes throughout the year means that the location of shadows change with the seasons. If you are near the equator, you can measure shadows at any time of year, provided deciduous trees still have their leaves. For areas that see a lot of seasonal change, its best to make the measurements in summer. Pick a day that is sunny with limited cloud cover. Go in the garden and take note of where the sun hits the ground directly and where you have a shadow as shadow line is the separation between these two areas. Take one of your maps and draw in all the shadow lines, then shade in the shadow areas. This is my map for nine o'clock in the morning. Repeat this four times during the day using a different map each time you do it, doing it at nine in the morning, noon, 36 Ni afternoon works well, but these times don't have to be exact. And it's okay if you need to use several days to get this done. Some people record values every hour, but that's overkill. You don't need that kind of accuracy to know where to put plants. Now is time to prepare the final son map. Take the fifth copy of your map and place the other four maps around it. You're going to use the information on the four hour early maps, summarize it, and then use it to create the fifth one. This is a lot easier than it sounds. Pick a point in a garden and check all four maps to see if they are sunny or shady. If at least three maps showed us sunny, mark the spot as Sonny on the fifth map. If at least three map showed a shady market, shady areas that are neither sunny or shady are marked as part shade. See I told you it would be easy. You can use colored pencils to color code things or just use a letter designation, whatever works for you. Now repeat this process for other areas in the garden, focusing mostly on the garden beds. When you're finished, your whole garden will show one or three designations, sun shade or part shade. Here's the finished map I created. Yet don't have to be any more accurate than this. Next time you're walking around the garden trying to decide where to put a plant, uses the sun map to determine the perfect location. I keep a copy my tool shed right next to the shovel, so it's always handy. You can use this map all year long. So now when you're planting and spring and the tree is still don't have any leaves. You'll know exactly what spots or shading. 7. Design Garden Bed: In this video, I'm going to walk you through the process I use to design a bed for my garden. I'm redesigning an existing bed, but the process I use is the same for both new and existing beds. I've removed most of the old plants. There's one seated on the right side that I may keep and the plants on the left side still need to be removed. The first thing I do with a new garden project is to develop a list of goals. What is it that I want to accomplish? Once I understand my goals, other decisions becomes so much easier. This bed is on a steep hill, making maintenance very difficult, and my garden is growing too big. It is six acres in size and over an acre of actual beds. I want this new bad to be altro low maintenance. It is visible from much of the garden. And whenever I have visitors, they always go up the hill to see the Japanese tea house at the top. So this bed needs to have year-long interests. Visitors approaching the hill, stopped at the bottom of the hill and look up at the teahouse. So the bed needs to look good from a distance. The previous design was quite good for this. There was always color in this bed. It contain large patches of plants, flowered well and were quite visible at a distance. As visitors go up the hill, the pathway goes right past this bed and they get a very close up view. So this bed also needs to be interesting up-close. Tall plants won't work here because that would block the view of the teahouse, which is the major focal point of the garden. Plants need to be under three feet tall. And I think they'll look even better if they're shorter than that. After setting goals, I next assess the site. This is on a very steep hill and mulch tends to wash off and heavy rains, it would be better if the ground was completely covered with plants. So I don't need to mall. It is a pi shape and fairly small, ranging in depth from six feet on the left side to a few inches on the right. The soil is very sandy and dry. I could amend the soil and add lots of compost, but that is difficult on such a slope and it's not my style of gardening. I select plants for the soil nature has given me, rather than try to change the soil to meet the needs of the plants. So I'll just live with the sandy soil. The bed can be watered with a hose. But given the location of my water taps, watering is difficult. Once plants are established, they almost never get watered. The bed is in full sun and gets absolutely no shade. Given these conditions, I'll have be very selective about the plants. The next step in design is the think about style. Since this bed is in the middle of an existing garden and due to its small size, it needs to have the same style as the rest of the garden, which is a natural, informal look. This style is also the best for low maintenance. The original Garden was designed to give the feeling of a climb up the side of a mountain. And so the plants need to look very natural. The sun, sandy soil and mountain feeling suggests the rock garden. I have several other rock gardens already. This one is a raised bed that is home to many miniature plants. And I just love this garden, but it requires more maintenance than any other garden I have. So this design has rejected because it does not meet my goals. Here's another rock garden that contains larger plants. Still a lot of work, but less work than the previous one. The main problem here is that there is too much space between plants, which results in weeds. I could use this design and plant things closer together. This perennial bed is also nice, but due to its narrow width, it has a limited number of plans and they don't provide a year-long interests. This is a daily collection. It to suffers from a lack of trust for a good part of the season, but the addition of the vertical rock artwork compensates for this. It is also at the edge of the garden and visitors only goal there when it is in bloom. So it works for this location. This garden is 0 maintenance, but placing it in the middle of a hill would not work since it only looks good for a month in summer. So I am starting to see the finished garden in my head, a kind of rock garden, but one that contains only larger plants that can grow together to completely cover the soil. I could also add a few more rocks to provide variety and yearlong interests. And they would also help to keep the soil from eroding. I'm seeing a few specimen plants sprinkled through the bed with ground covers filling the space between them. The ground covers would provide color, Homer distance and the specimen plants would add the interest up close. It is now time for plants. Normally when I create a new garden, I don't pick plants for it, except in a very general way. I love growing unknown plants. So I tend to go out, buy stuff planted, and see how it does. Over time I make changes, pull some things out, add some new plants, move things around until I like to look at the bet. This is not the best idea if you want a perfect looking garden, but it is ideal if you're a plant collector like me, for this bed, I want to do it differently. Trying a bunch of new things is more work and I want to avoid that. Instead, I'm going to use plants that I already have and know that way I can be sure to reduce the maintenance and have a good looking garden right away. As time to wander on the garden and pick the perfect plants. I loved the dark purple red planned in the middle here. It is a Barbary called Concord, and it stays fairly short and can be pruned even shorter if need be, and makes it a big splash in a sea of green and it's colorful all year long. I have some cutting started and I might plant three in a very tight group in time. They would be pruned to look like one larger plant. And Barbara is just laugh at Sun and dry. I really like using evergreens and this type of garden. They look good all year long, are available in various shades of yellow to green to blue. And if you pick the right ones, they're tough as nails. This hugging Juniper is a good example. It can be kept low with pruning or allowed to grow a bit taller and you can even prune it into an upright shape. The only reason for not using this plan is that I already have it in several locations in the garden, but maybe I just need one more. This logrolling person carrier called density spread nicely, but can be easily contained. It forms a solid ground cover with no weeds underneath. I have it in another part of the garden growing up a rock and it does not mind being dry. And a bonus is the long flowering season. This is Daphne Lawrence Crocker. He grows quite slow, warming. You never green ball that flowers and spring and sporadically in late summer. I don't know how well it will do in very sandy soil, but it can take the Sun and likes good drainage and it's probably worth a try. It is hard to find a nursery, so I might have to propagate it from cuttings. Miniature evergreens are great plants that more people should grow. You can select a plant to grow to almost any size you want. My smallest one grows about a quarter inch a year. If that this one has a couple of inches a year, it would be a good addition. And then in ten years when it gets too big, I'll just replace it. The plants I've mentioned would make a good start. Fill in the remaining spaces with some diathesis and slower growing ceded to give variety and some flower power. Once these plants are established, they should require no maintenance. I will have to take out some excess growth from the ground covers like the CD-ROM diathesis and pursue carrier. Maybe 15 minutes of work once a year. The bed will never need watering, doesn't need be malls and should require virtually no weeding after a year or two once plants fill in. The design process I've used here is the same one I use for all my personal garden. If I was working on someone else's garden, I would do the same thing, but spend more time understanding the goals. They form the basis of all design decisions. Unfortunately, a lot of gardner skip this step and want to get right into plants. Plants come last in the design process. You need to make the hard decisions before you do the fun stuff, the plants. If you follow this rule, it will result in a better design. It's time for me to sign off and go do some planting. Have a great day in the garden. 8. Garden Design With Snow: It's Christmas morning and we just had this lovely fall as snow. It's been raining for last couple of days, so we didn't think we'd have a white Christmas. But here it is and it's glorious. I just had to make a video for you guys. In this video, I wanted to show you how to use snow to help you design your garden. There's not a lot of gardening you can do this time a year. But one thing I do like to do is design new beds. I get to sit at my easy chair, take out a piece of paper and a pencil and just draw away, draw different designs and put ideas on the paper. Do some googling for pictures and pick out something really nice for a new bed I want to create next year. The space behind me is one of the last areas as still has grass. It's sitting over my weeping bad and so leaving grass there's actually a pretty good idea. But I'm thinking of maybe putting a garden there. What shape should I use? What is going to look best? One of the things that's really hard to do on a piece of paper, particularly when you're sitting inside. Is this how the scale works with the rest of the garden? How does the new bed design fit into the rest of the area? Now a lot of people suggests taking out a hose and bending the hose around and looking at it that way. And you can do that in summer and that works okay too. But I wanna garden in a winter, I can't wait for spring. So let's do some design now. Well, here's a little trick I learned that works really well in the winter time. I'm going to go design my garden right out in the garden. Now I've just walked around the area and outline where I think I want my new bed, though it can very clearly see how it fits into the rest of the garden. There's still grass over here, and I want that nice and wide from my lawn more. So that's still there. So that works. There's a pathway I've got way. It's easy to get to sitting in the middle and it kinda uses up this space that's kinda AMP right now. But the nice thing is I can see exactly where it is. And if I don't like it, I can just erase it and try a slightly different pattern. Let's make this side a little bigger and see what that would look like. I think that's even better. Now you can only erase it so many times. Then you've got away for a new snowstorm. But it actually works really great. And the really important thing is that you see it in scale with the rest of the garden. That's so hard to do on a piece of paper. Now let's go on a tour of the rest of the garden and see what's snow can tell us about the design of our garden. Before we go outside, I'd like to do something that a lot of people forget to do when they're designing a guard. Let's have a look at the Garden from inside the house. We spend most of our time inside looking out. We don't really spend that much time in the garden, especially in areas that have long winters. So it's really important that you design your garden to look good from your Windows. Here's what I see when I'm having breakfast or really liked out. And it looks good all year long. Here's the view from my living room. When I designed my garden, a lot of the design in the backyard was done so that I will have a good view from the house, the tea house, and a top of the hill was positioned there on purpose. It looks good in the garden, but it also looks good, uninteresting from inside the house. Go to your main windows and look out. What do you see? Do you see a great garden? Or do you have a view that's kind of boring? Well, the great thing about a boring view is that now you can go out and design something different and make it better. Think about your garden design from inside the house each time you make a change. Now let's go to the garden and see what we can find. This is the Hale in my backyard. As you can see, there's lots of interesting things there. I have some shrubs, I have some evergreens, I have some perennials that are still standing up. I've some grasses. The garden looks good in winter. And what that tells me is that if it's interesting in winter, it will also be interesting the rest of the year. There's always something to see now in summary, look quite different and I'll be very green with lots of lush leaves and flowers. But even when those aren't there, I have some basic bones in this garden that will make it look interesting. One of the benefits of looking at your garden and the winter is that you eliminate a lot of distractions. All those colorful flowers are gone, the green leaves are gone. Those things look really pretty. And a lot of times when we look at a garden, we see those and we conclude, hey, this current looks pretty good. And that's probably true, maybe in June as a great looking garden. But what does it look like in March? But October, when you're designing your garden, you really want 12 months of interests. Now is a great time to see what you've really got. I was standing on the back patio looking out at this garden and something struck me when I look at this picture. It's fairly interesting. I have some golden rod that's still standing up. I've got a couple of logs with roots sitting on the ground and you can still see them through the snow or at least a little bit. There's quite a few rocks here. It's still uninteresting garden. And now let me pan the picture to the right by about 20 feet. We're not going very far. Now. What we have is almost nothing. Now this garden is full of snow drops in the spring and it looks really nice. And that's followed with some other Spring flowering bulbs. But to be honest, I've noticed that this garden is really not that special looking. Even in the middle of summer. There's just not enough going on in here. And in winter this problem is much easier to see. I really need to do something with this garden to make it more interesting. All your long hard scape is really important in the garden and it's the main bones that you have, those solid things that set off the green leaves of plants really well. This isn't my shade garden. I was putting in this flagstone pathway and you can see three arms to this pathway. But when I got to this central spot, I thought I have to do something different to make it a little more interests. So rather than use flagstone to go all the way around, I decided to use bricks and create a completely different design. The flagstone is very informal, gives you that soft shade garden lock. The bricks are laid in a very formal pattern. They contrast with the flag still, that contrast makes this spots so much more interesting. This is the kind of design that almost everybody can use. I'm sure you have a pathway somewhere and you probably use the same material from the start to the end of that pathway. Why not shake things up a little bit? And halfway along that changed the pathway, changed the material you're using, the shape of that material, make it wider, make it narrower, do something to make that garden more interesting. If you think back about the gardens you've seen in the past, you probably have recollection of some really great gardens. Ask yourself what made them special? In almost every case, those special gardens become memorable because they have something in them that's different than the average garden. As long as your design follows what everybody else in the neighborhood is doing, it will not be special. This is a view at the end of the garden. And I wanted to put something fairly large here because I wanted to draw people to this part of the garden. So I decided to put in a 40 foot Arbor. Now it serves several purposes. It is not only a destination for my visitors, but it also houses my chromatids collection and both sides of this arbors now full of calamitous and also give me a way to display some of my art. And we'll have a look at that in a few minutes. This is near the front of the house, right beside the gradual, and it's the pathway that takes you to the back of the house and into my shade garden. This is always kind of a boring entrance. When people came to my house, they never took this pathway because it didn't really look like it went anywhere. There wasn't anything exciting there. So I built this entrance gate, and now it's so much more interesting. And when I have a large group of people come in my garden from going around the other side of the house and half goal this side. Because now there's something interesting here. This is a pretty simple Arbor. Now it does a couple things. Again, it's a great place to grow. And in fact, a left side of this arbors now housing three different climatic. They're smaller plants and not too aggressive. So I can have three in the same spot, the other side as one very aggressive calamitous. And I've now added it was stereo, which will grow up and cover the roof of this Arbour. The front part of the Arbour, the bottom right corner of this picture is grass is kinda boring to the left of this arbor in the wintertime, it's also kinda boring. What you're looking at here is part of my rock garden and all of these plants are a couple inches tall. So when the wintertime, once it snows, you don't see anything SAP snow. By putting a structure in the middle of this boring area, the garden suddenly becomes interesting. 12 months of the year. I love art in the garden and I think it's so important for people to have this. So my garden has quite a few pieces now. This is a stone carving from Africa. It's about three feet tall, has a really nice shape to it. Unfortunately, the stone is kind of a gray color. On this day, it was very cloudy, so even the snow kind of looks grey and all of the plants are either gray or brown. So it doesn't really stand out. When you're selecting art, pick something you really like, but at the same time, try to pick something with some color. We want to introduce color into the garden all year long because plants and flowers won't do that for us. The other thing I've noticed is that this statue is a little small, so the plants around it are also 34 feet tall and the middle of summer it kinda gets hidden. Now that's a good thing and a bad thing. I don't like the fact that this statue is hidden because a lot of visitors don't see it. But on the other hand, by hiding it a little bit, those that do see it get a nice surprise. So sometimes it's good to partially hide that art so that you don't see it right away when you enter that garden. This is at the front of the house. I went out and bought one of these large flower pots who was a dark grey color. It's made from fiberglass so it can stay out all winter long. The shape is great, but it's kind of a boring color. It would do nothing. And this spot, if I'd love to, the color was, so what I did was I painted it up and I really should make a video to show you how to do this. This is actually really easy to paint. This you need no painting skills at all. Here's a new piece I got last year. It's a metal sculpture. I was kinda hoping it would keep the wild turkeys onto the garden, but it doesn't seem to be scaring anybody. Have a look at this sculpture, See how the snow lays on it. If you're picking between a couple of different pieces of art, try to pick one that looks good in winter, which means that it has some flat surfaces where the snow concept that is so much more interesting in winter when you really need something in the garden. Back to the 40-foot Arbor. When I built this, I specifically designed some windows into it. So here's a picture that's hanging in the arbor and both in the left and right side, I have to say grow up. And you can see the picture between the calamitous. Now the chromatids look really great for about three weeks in the summer when they're blooming and the rest of the year they're sort of okay, but they're not really great. But if you look at this piece of art, it's here 12 months of the year. It's always adding color to the garden. This is a few feet away from the last picture. Another new piece of art is this bird that I bought. Behind the bird, you'll see a bench. Now we don't usually think of benches as being pieces of art, but in some ways they are, their structures that are different than the shrubs and perennials that are in our garden. And so they stick out. There's something interesting to see. The other benefit of a benches that it's a great destination place. When people see benches in the garden, they tend to head to them. And so you can use the bench to direct people through the garden the way you want him to go and when it's covered in snow is kinda pretty lucky. Now if we zoom in some more and have a look at the background, you'll see this shadow. Now I could have built this shed and painted a brown color, try to hide it, make it blend into the woods. I decided that this garden needs as much color as it can get. So I painted it blue, it sticks out in the garden, but it adds color at the same time. And to add just a little bit more color, I have a couple more paintings that I put on the outside. I get this sculpture last year when I first seen it, I thought, well, it's not that special, kinda in trusting. Now that I have it in place, I'm really starting to love this thing. It's about four feet in diameter, made out of metal. It's pretty simple, big circle with little circles inside painted yellow. So why does this work? Well, it does a couple things. One is it's partially hidden behind some trees, so the viewer doesn't always seed. It kinda depends on which direction they're walking through my shade garden. But from the main path, there's also a small path that goes up right beside this sculpture. So the sculptures, I actually drawing people into the wooded area. But the real reason it works is the shape and the color. All of the shapes beside the sculpture are straight line, tree trunks, branches and so on. So you have this contrast between round and linear. And that works well to make this really stand out. And of course, making it a bright yellow doesn't hurt either. Don't be afraid of using color in the garden. Let's talk a little bit about evergreens. Now during the summer, these things are kind of boring as lots of other things around that are so much more entrusting, particularly flowering plant. But in early spring, whenever green start to grow, that new growth can be a very bright color. But were these things really shine is the off season, early spring, late fall, and particularly in winter, they had some real structure to the garden. Most of the backyard gardens at IC could be improved quite a bit by adding some evergreens. Here's a couple, Blue Spruce. They're slow-growing. The girl both four inches a year, I think they're called Montgomery. They were on sale one day, so I bought several of them and I had to extras and I thought, well, I'll just put them into this part of the garden. Now there's one rule of garden design. Never put two things of something to gather. Now sometimes you can break that rule, but most of the time it doesn't work. So here I have two evergreens. Shapes are the same, the colors the same. Now that there are larger, more prominent in the landscape, they really don't look that good together. One of these guys has to go and it's probably going to be the one in the front because it's starting to overgrown the pathway. Here's another collection of evergreens. Each one's a little different in shape. Each one has a little different color and it just makes a great picture. And there they're all year long when you're in my garden and you're looking in this direction, you can actually see a road in the distance. So these evergreens are starting to hide the traffic going along that road. So they also serve a purpose and that's really why a planet them. And they come in different colors. This is a really nice yellow one. It's a false Cyprus, easy to grow in my garden. You can trim it, shape it the way you want. I've started rooting cuttings from the US and they actually wrote quite easily. But this yellow color is so nice compared to all the green That's usually in this garden. The nuke contents IS this a great plan? And it's quite common, lots of people buy it. But still even though it's common, it's a great architectural plan. Can you guess what kinda shrub this is? It is an evergreen. Well, this is a you now use usually grow as large bushes, but you can trim and any shape you want. And a few years ago I started shaping us and clipping it into a palm. Palm shape is called Cloud pruning, instead of a boring green, big shrub, i now is shrub that has a lot of architectural structure and so much more interests. Here's a little bridge using a Japanese style design. There's upon on the left and upon on the right. Lots of people cross this to get a better look at the pons and it looks great in the winter. All right, let's look at some perennials and other types of plants that look good and winter. Now most things don't look that great and winter they're brown. A lot of things get knocked to the ground, so you don't even see them once it snows. But there are some plants that still look good in winter, and you can select the right kind of plants for a good winter garden. You might recognize this as a Yucca plan. It's Yucca filament Tulsa. It's not the greatest shaped plant. I mean, I don't really like this floppy design, but it does have three things going for it. One is, It's really easy to grow and never needs water. Fact that grows better if it's dry too. It's evergreen in my zone five garden, it's green like this, all winter long. There are not many plants that do that in my climate. And the third thing is that it has one of the most spectacular flower spikes you'll ever see. Now if you don't like the shape of this plant, how about this one? This is also a Yucca. It's Yucca gloss, aka, the shape of the leaves is different or much stiffer. They're much smaller. It flowers About the same way. Lice to be dry, takes no effort to care for it. It is a bit slower growing and it's green in the winter. What more can you ask for? Some plants will hold onto their seed pods and they become very uninteresting and winter, this is a redbud just covered in seed pods. And I can usually harvest the seeds in spring because they'll still be on the plant. Many types of shrubs will make berries that lasts the good part of the winter. At some point, the birds will come and eat these, but at least you have a good display part of the winter. Even something as simple as a clump of lattice looks great with snow on it. The calamitous tend to hold on to some other leaves and so they catch the snow. You might not know what this is. This is actually a witch hazel hemo male IS Virginia Anna, except this is a name cultivar. The straight species blooms in October, November. Most of the name cultivars will bloom in February, March. So these are the buds on the plant ready to burst open as soon as there's any kinda warmth. And you can't forget the grasses. Ornamental grasses are made for winter time. Don't cut them down and fall, leave them all to stand up. In the winter, the ones was stiffer stemmed will last longer. The ones was soft stems tend to get knocked down by heavy snow, but still grasses and a winter, a great, this is the American beech. One of the neat things about this tree is that it holds onto its leaves, and these are usually still on the plant in the spring. So now it add some color to an otherwise boring garden. Now our native Beach is a pretty large tree, but there are a number of cultivars around that will grow much slower, give one of those that try. Now here's something that's kind of a boring shrunk its aspiring via. They're actually really good shrubs, but they're boring because everybody's got them. You don't have to do anything to this shrub, just let it grow every three or four years. If it gets too big, just hack it back. You can shape it if you want, but you don't have to. This is a no maintenance shrub. And look at it in winter. It actually is one of the better looking shrubs. Here's a perennial system. These flower really late in the fall. And if you get the right kind, the stems are pretty stiff on them and they will stand up all winter long. Walk through your garden and see which perennials are still looking good at this time of year and which are not then in spring when you're thinking about changing some of your perennials, maybe get rid of the ones that don't look so good all year long. But this CDMA modem joy is a great plan. I was looking at a shrub border, has five or six different shrubs. They're all nice plants. But this time the year none of them were really standing out except this one. This is actually one of the smaller growing magnolias, has lots of branches that are quite thin, so they hold onto the snow well, and this just makes such a nice display after a snowfall. One of the things that's important in garden design is to think about the views from various points in your garden. Gooda, the spot where most visitors end up and have a look around. What do you see? Do you see a nice view? If you do, maybe you can plant things to enhance their view. Maybe you can change the pathway or put a piece of art somewhere so people see that view allele easier. Design is all about getting the viewer's eye going in the direction we want it to go. So here's a picture I took last year. It's got a nice little bridge that crosses my waterfall, a little bench for people to sit down. This is a shady garden. So on a hot July day, this a great spot to sit. We've got some sugar maple is on the left and another one on the right. And if you look very carefully in the distance, you can sorta make out my Japanese tea house. The problem here is that I have a lot of shrubby things growing behind the bench. Most of these are in fact European buckthorn, which I'm still battling on this property. They're preventing the viewer from actually seeing the teahouse. So they're destroying what could be a really good view. The sugar maple is on the left also have some more branches. And those branches are also in the way of the view, especially if you take a few steps further and you're standing on the bridge. Here's a picture I took this year after cleaning out the area, goes back, thorns are gone. Now I can see through to the view really nicely. Now in this picture, I haven't taken out some of the branches yet on the sugar maple. That's a job for this winter. I'm going to open this up so that it's even easier to see the teahouse. It's important to stand at the important parts in your garden and have a look around and decide what is the best view. And then do something to direct the eye of the visitor towards that view. So I hope I've given you some ideas that will help you improve the design of your garden. I think garden design is not a one-step job that you do once and then you live with the garden. Garden design is all about changing it constantly improving it. As plants mature, the garden changes. And you wanted to adjust the design to take advantage of those changes. And of course, the other thing is if you're a true gardener, you're kinda stuck inside this time a year and you want to get your hands dirty, you want to start getting into the garden. And there's not much you can do out there except design. And I find a garden with snow on it. A great time to get into garden and do some of this design work. Have fun this winter, get yourself ready for spring, and you'll have a better garden next year. 9. Toronto Scultures: No. And this is important. Okay. Great. 10. Free eBook - 24 1/2 Garden Design Ideas: I've got a free book for you. If you go to garden and go to the book's menu. I can download this book for free. It's a PDF books so you don't need a reader. It's called 24.5 garden design ideas. And what I do in this book is I walk around the neighborhood and I picked sort of two areas. One is a new neighborhood and the other one is an old neighborhood. So that I kinda cover a wide range of properties. And I critique people's front yards. I literally stand in front of their house and take pictures and critique it. And I tried to figure out what is it about this design that's good, what is bad about it? And I go through a number of these, and I also show you how to do this yourself. Now that's your home a lot and you're trying to get outside, do some walking is a great exercise. And you'll learn a whole lot by looking at other people's gardens. Because I think we can be more critical looking at other people's gardens than our own. And we can see mistakes easier and we can see things we really like. And maybe we'll bring those back to our own homes. The one time I was walking around the neighborhood and someone called the police on me and the police showed up and wondered why I was taking pictures of people's front yards. So you have to be little careful. But it's perfectly legal as long as you stay on the sidewalk.