How to plan an ornamental garden


Decorative garden, layout

The ornamental garden is beautiful in summer, when it shows a riot of greenery and lush flowering. And even in autumn it is beautiful in its own way.

But in winter, it exposes all the design flaws, sadly presenting what is not visible behind the green foliage — the lack of competent planning and unsuccessful selection of plants.

A garden that is beautiful in all seasons is created based on the main principles of planning.

VISUAL PERSPECTIVE this is the first principle of good planning.

Its essence lies in the fact that the garden is considered as a panoramic view that has no visible boundaries.

Create perspective in three ways.

Visual expansion of the boundaries of the site

The first — large-sized trees are trying to be located at the borders of the site. They are planted both in front of the fence and behind it.

At the same time, they try to select the trees so that the same trees grow in your garden as in the neighbors’ plot. Then the boundaries of the garden will be blurred.

How to disguise the fence of the site

Second way — to hide the fence behind green spaces. For example, to make the fence invisible, it is enough to plant tall shrubs or trees in front of it, and under the fence itself — creepers. Then you won’t have to be attached to the neighboring site.

Graduated planting creates perspective

Third method — graduated landings. This is when they choose the main viewpoint and, starting from it, land plants radially and in growth.

If you make a landing like this: close small, then medium, near the borders — high, the site will be perfectly visible, but visually reduced. Therefore, such a perspective is created for individual areas of the garden.

If everything is done the other way around: from larger to smaller, then an illusion will be created that the site is larger than it actually is. But there is also the other side of the coin — the fence. He treacherously betrays the real size. Therefore, together with this technique, one of the previous ones is used.

COMPOSITE LINES — next principles of garden planning. They define the geometry of the landscape and guide the visitor (or his gaze) along a given trajectory.

Such lines are garden paths, decorative walls, hedges, plantings with tall plants.

A well-composed composition is the basis of a garden that is beautiful in all seasons.

Proper track layout will help to make the garden interesting, turning moving around it into an exciting journey. It will be helpful for you to know that…

A wide straight path is shortened too elongated garden

… A wide and straight path visually shortens the garden, therefore it is used only in extended areas.

Turning the track hides the real size of the territory

… A winding path, on the contrary, lengthens the path and creates the illusion of a larger space than it actually is. On turns, it is desirable to place high elements that obscure the view of what is behind the turn.
Blooming bean arch

… A path built in a tunnel of climbing plants is an ideal option for transitioning between sections of the garden, decorated in different styles. It will be nice if you make side exits in a long green tunnel.
Rocky paths between paths

… Between the paths make transitions in the form of paths or stone islands on the lawn. This will greatly facilitate the maintenance of the landscape.

Hedges affect the perception of space even more than paths, because they create vertical barriers to the view. In garden design, they are assigned three functions.

A hedge around the site makes it cozier

The first function is to indicate the boundaries of a particular territory, whether it is the entire site or a small part of it.
hedge as a curb

Function two: to give the elements of the garden volume. For example, a low hedge planted along a path or framing a near-stem circle of a tree.
separating hedge

And finally, the third function: to create an atmosphere of intimacy in the garden. To do this, choose exceptionally high hedges (from 2 m and above).

hedge in winter

Winter will come and devastate the garden. But even with fallen leaves, the hedge will look great.
Green flower garden around the lawn

Conifers and flowers in one flower garden

Mixed planting at the bend of the path distracts the visitor’s attention, slows down the view of the garden, creates intrigue.

Garden in winter

Composition, selected from evergreens, trees with a beautiful skeleton and cereals will remain attractive even in the cold season, being one of the key decorations of the winter garden.


Properly selected proportions are one of the most important principles for planning an ornamental garden.

garden geometry

In a small area (up to 200 m2) do not plant large trees because the area will seem even smaller. Under the shade of their crowns, other plants will not be able to develop.
The height of the trees near the house

If trees are planted near the house, then in such a way that their maximum height in the future is higher than the house or one third lower than it.
There are certain techniques for combining plants that are important to know when planning an ornamental garden.

Harmony of plants in the garden

Plants of the same variety and the same size are planted in pairs only, when it is necessary to highlight some element of the garden (path, bench, steps, entrance gate).

The combination of plants in the garden

In other cases, paired elements are chosen so that they are of different sizes.

Three plants of the same species are arranged so that they form an irregular triangle.

How to plant flowers in the garden

An asymmetrical planting of identical plants looks more attractive than an ordered one. So you emphasize the beauty of flowers or leaves.

Art Nouveau garden

The exception is some types of ornamental grasses in a modernist style garden.

Alternating plants in the garden

If you choose two or three types of discreet plants and arrange them according to the principle of repeating alternation, you get a composition that brings harmony and peace to the garden. This is a great option for long areas along the fence, paths, streams, walls, hedges.

Contrast in the ornamental garden is of two types: color and geometric.

Contrasts in the garden

Green foliage is already a contrasting background for flowering plants. But to make the garden look harmonious, modern designers prefer to create monochrome compositions, choosing flowering plants of the same color.

Color combinations in the garden

Another “calm” combination is to combine pastel colors or combine a bright color together with white into one composition.

Now let’s turn to geometry.

garden geometry

Plants that are strongly stretched upwards in the garden represent vertical lines. Low hedges and creeping specimens form a horizontal. Properly formed shrubs and curtains are balls.

Thus, these plants are a «constructor». Proportionately arrange all the «details» and get a beautiful harmonious landscape.

Read more about garden architecture in this article.

Today in the garden fashion is not colorful flower beds, but reasonable minimalism. The concept of modern design looks like this: the main task of the garden is rest and relaxation of the body.

What flowers to plant in the garden

It must be admitted that the lawn, evergreens, unpretentious perennials and ornamental grasses can create no less luxurious composition than bright exotic flowers.

The main thing is to arrange them correctly: several species should form large uniform spots — arrays. Then the visitor’s eye will be focused on large elements and a good impression of the modest beauty of your garden plants will be deposited in their memory.

And for an “explosion of emotions”, it is recommended to allocate a small area near the house, it is easier to take care (in the sense of “do not forget”) for bright, but capricious letniki and exotics.


An ornamental garden should not be monotonous. Therefore, it alternates areas with a dense planting of plants and lawns.

Alternating zones in the garden

So a large area will look cozier, and a small one — more attractive.

Alternating zones in the garden


Find secluded nooks among the plantings where you can sit and admire the small open space framed by flowers or the water surface of the pond.

Garden layout

In a small area, large elements look defiant and unnatural. Therefore, gazebos are hidden under the canopy of trees, behind hedges, or simply braided with climbing plants, masking buildings.

Garden layout

Benches and benches for a short rest are preferably made from natural materials: wood or stone, possibly with minimal processing. Then they will organically fit into the landscape.

Garden layout

A comfortable garden chair is best placed in a frame of a shrub that will slightly hide it.

Garden layout

And on a large plot, a large architectural element is positioned so that it can be viewed from afar.

Garden layout

And it will not be bad at all if one of the garden paths leads you to a pond, gazebo or garden house…

What else to read on the site:

Planning a garden in a small area is not an easy task. After all, the designer faces several questions at once: ??? How to make space seem bigger ??? — how to plant trees without losing the feeling of space,

??? — what architectural elements to choose and how to…

…or what to plant in the garden. If you actively use the Internet, then you know that a lot of incredibly beautiful and simply charming plants grow in our nurseries. But most of them require a lot of attention and knowledge of cultivation.

Light at night is a comfortable movement around the yard and garden. It creates a cozy and romantic atmosphere in the recreation areas, and competent lighting of the garden will turn it into a fairy-tale kingdom. But light is, first of all, electricity, the consumption of which is limited by possibilities …

The ideal garden is a landscape that is easy to care for and beautiful in all seasons. That is why I personally consider a coniferous garden or a garden in the forest to be the best option for busy people (this is how lucky you are with the site). Judge for yourself: weeds are not terrible for trees and shrubs — young ones can be mulched …


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