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Inspiration for Garden Design

If you are seeking design ideas for your garden, inspiration can be found from looking in the right books, visiting great gardens and noticing the shapes and patterns that can be seen all around you every day.

Design You GardenMany people make the mistake of buying a book of designs and expecting to find one the exact shape and size of their garden. Disappointment is sure to follow as no two gardens are the same. The trick is to take ideas, maybe from several different gardens, and fit them into your own plot. A particularly good book to get the creative juices flowing is Diarmuid Gavin's Design your Garden. Chapters take you through the design process in easy stages and amongst other things help the reader to work out what they want from their garden (dining space, play area, veg patch etc), what style of garden is preferred (formal, romantic, contemporary etc) and how to carry out the design.

One chapter illustrates how lines and shapes can be used and what spatial effect they have on a garden. It then goes on to give examples of how to use these within gardens of differing shape and size. The drawings are simple, giving the reader enough information so that the basic rules of good design can be transferred from the page to the garden with ease.

Visiting gardens is one of the best ways to get inspiration but often those belonging to larger homes seem to have nothing to offer the owners of 'normal' gardens because the scale is so different. But thought should be given to what the visitor does or doesn't like about the garden. The overall style of a garden can be used for inspiration and elements reduced to a more manageable size. Perhaps large formal perennial borders would not fit into a back garden but two or three plants that look good together could be used to great effect anywhere.

Finally, lines and shapes are all around us. If a pattern appeals to you, try and work out why. Look at patterns on material, wallpaper, book covers etc. Perhaps interlinking circles and rectangles on a rug work to great effect. Think about how this pattern could be used in a garden - they could be turned into a rectangular patio with circular lawn.

Inspiration can be found everywhere if the eyes and mind are open to the possibilities.

© Sharon Brown 15th January 2008

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