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Garden Design in Southern California


Garden Design similar to Interior Design, is setting a mood for a space.

Taking a select area and adding the elements that create curb appeal, the desired view from a certain position like a 3d interior rendering of say a kitchen or bathroom. Adding texture, height, and color to develop the perfect arrangement for the goals you have set.

We recently set out to create a new front yard garden design and just like our interior design work, we set out with a process in place to evaluate our space and select the right plants. And here is what we did.

First Step: Measure Your Space

Much like my interior design work, I measured to get to know the space. Measuring to get the layout on paper helps to set spacing later on in the process. Once it comes time to plant you can use the measurements to space your plants accordingly.

Second Step: Visit Local Nurseries

By visit local nurseries you can gather ideas, take photos of plants you like, and take take photos of tags for names. Knowing what your local nurseries carry can often be easier than going straight to your gardening book since some plants may be hard to find in stock. Local nurseries will carry plants that work well in your zone and you can always ask the staff about what your plants are and if the plants you like will work well for the location you want to put them.

Third Step: Research

Research the available plants you liked and took photos of. Look in a garden book or search online for the light hour requirements the area. Take into account that even in different zones light hours may vary: here in Southern California inland light hours are different that light hours needed at the beach. For example, tomato plants require full sun yet full sun inland will cause the tomatoes and the plants to burn so our plants that receive 3 hours of afternoon sun are thriving. Other elements to consider are your color palette, soil requirements, height of plants at full maturity, and meeting the goals I had set - for example, create more privacy.

Forth Step: Create a Design

Reviewing the measurements from earlier, start with a layout on graph paper. Take one area, like an edge on the yard may be a good place to start. Do you want straight lines of plants, curving paths, or groups of plants in certain sections. Like accessories in your house, layer your plant heights; place the tallest plants in the back with the lower plant heights in the front. If your doing groups put the tallest in the center: start with a tree, surround it with mid height bushes, then finish with a layer of flowers.

Happy Gardening!

*We hope you enjoyed this fun little guide we used to come up with our master plan for our front yard. Please note, this is meant as a diy guide and not representative of professional services or how professionals work.


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© 2019 McManaway Interior Design

Serving in Southern California and beyond | 909-214-4636 | c.mcmanaway@hotmail.com