Articles / Garden Design / Garden Design: How to Start

5 min read | by Ben Walcott, Updated April 2, 2019



A garden is a personal expression and should be what pleases you and works well for the family. Whether you are starting with a new space or redoing an existing garden, the principle is the same. You need to determine what it is that you need in the garden space and what sort of garden you want. The following list are some of the things you should consider:

  • 1.  Low maintenance garden
  • 2.  Place for children to play, recreational areas
  • 3.  Space for a vegetable/fruit garden
  • 4.  Formal design with rooms and a tidy look
  • 5.  Natural looking garden that flows from one area to another
  • 6.  Water feature, birdbath
  • 7.  Area(s) for showing off artwork/sculpture
  • 8.  Bird attracting garden
  • 9.  Private areas that screen you from your neighbours
  • 10. BBQ/entertainment area for outdoor eating etc
  • 11. Garden to show off certain special/favourite plants
  • 12. Vistas that use your garden and some “borrowed” landscape in the distance
  • 13. Work area for mulch piles, compost piles etc


Even in a small space, it is possible to have a number of the above features but it takes planning and thought. Take your time to think about the space in light of the above list.

(extract from: Australian Plants for Canberra region gardens)