Creating a new garden or renovating an existing one can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it isn't easy to know where to start. The basic steps are:
- Think about the garden type you like: cottage, succulent, native plant, wildflower, meadow, tropical, edible, wildlife-friendly and so on (you may want more than one).
- Decide what features you want: play area for children, patio, vegetable beds, fountain, perennial borders, dog run, hummingbird plants, enclosure for trash cans, hedge for privacy, energy and water-saving design, and so on. List them all to start with and prune the list later.
- Decide where these features could be located: make sketches of your property, indicating any existing features that need to remain, and bubble in various arrangements until you get one or two you like.
- Decide on your budget: this will help determine how many of the desired features you can actually afford and whether you can hire professional help for some of them.
- Then go on to consider the details of paving types, shade structures, plant selection, and so on, and how to incorporate the principles of good design.
The following publications can help you make design decisions:
- The Well-Designed Garden (Courier article)
- The Sustainable Garden (Courier article)
- The Waterwise Garden (Courier article)
- Sustainable Gardening Methods (Garden Club publication)
- Easy Water-Wise Gardening (Sunset magazine publication)
- Don't Gravelscape LA (LA Times)
- The Artifice of Artificial Turf (TreePeople blog)
- Landscape Plants for California Gardens (Bob Perry, FASLA)
- Native Plants for Wildlife (Garden Club publication — list)
- Getting Wild(life) in the Garden! (Garden Club presentation — plant photos)
- Claremont Native Plants (Garden Club publication)
- Plan Your Garden Project
- Six Elements of a California Friendly® Landscape