Designing Your Garden – What Makes a Good Garden?

Garden design is a very personal thing and is often an expression of your personality. What I like you, you may not and vise versa. Some people like neat and tidy gardens where there are no surprises, others love the thrill of windy paths, lots of different plant material and not knowing what is around the corner. There are three main styles of gardens formal, semi formal and informal. They can then be divided into many types of gardens and that depends on what you would like. Garden design can be intimately tidied to the style of your house as in example of the grand french chateaux where the geometric patterns of the garden mimic the geometric construction of the house or it can have no connection to your house at all.

Some people are lucky and have this innate gift of knowing how to design space, making it a pleasing place to be in. Others don’t have this gene and find it very difficult to visualise how the space will work. To create a good design it is important you understand that design is about managing space and people moving around it. The core of good garden design centres round patterns and the space within these patterns. By using geometrical shapes, circles, triangles, rectangles etc. you can achieve a unified feel to your garden. So you need to think about ground patterns and movement around your garden. Where would you like people to go? Ground patterns can be achieved with the use of bricks, paving and plant material such as cut grass etc.

Formal gardens are symmetrical and geometrical and are strict in terms of repeating patterns and plant materials on either side. It is very controlled, plants are clipped, shaped, manipulated regularly and today is often suitable for small gardens like court yards. Urns, balustrades, stone, gravel paths, parterres, formal pools and framed views are all part of the formal garden. There are no surprises, you know what to expect.

Informal designs are asymmetrical and not as regimented. Plant material is allowed to spill over the structural elements such as walls, steps and paths. Plant material is allowed to self-seed and wander around the garden. Informal garden design is softer, full of surprises thus you don’t know what to expect.

And semi formal is the combination of the above two. Usually it is the built structures such as retaining walls, paths and steps that are formal and the informal element is the plant material which is allowed to spill over them, softening their hard outlines.

Within these three types, there are many different styles of gardens to choose from such as contemporary, Japanese, Mediterranean, cottage, courtyard, kitchen garden or secret garden.

Contemporary is a modern style that likes to reflect the surrounding but also use a wide range of plant material. Form and texture of foliage are as important as flowers. Hard landscaping is woven into geometrical shaped buildings; all of which flow into the wider landscape. Plants are used as focal points to highlight the architectural forms.

Cottage was a late nineteenth-century ideal to return to the simple cottages of the country. They were planted with hardy bulbs, flowers, fruit bushes and herbs and vegetables. They were geometric, colours were harmonised and luxurious as plants grew well as they were heavily manured regularly.

Mediterranean is not limited to one particular area but are defined according to hot summers and low rainfall. They encompass entertaining areas, shade, good views and dramatic shadows. Hot colourful plants are used and lots of lush green foliage plants to create a cool atmosphere. Plants need to be drought tolerant. Evergreen plants are popular because they cast shade on hot days. Walls are white washed to reflect the sun, pergolas built to create shade and use terracotta pots. There is often a water feature and water provides cooling vibes.

Japanese gardens encompasses religion and Japan’s cultural history. Japanese gardens are very symbolic often the symbols relate to nature. Plants are ‘tamed’ and there is an emphasis on evergreen trees and shrubs. They are very controlled and often minimalist. True Japanese gardens are contemplative a place of meditation and great calm.

Planning

If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start when designing your garden, I suggest you break it up into areas called rooms thus dividing one big space into several smaller spaces. For example: there is the front garden, the side garden and the back garden. Once you have decided where they begin and end you can then divide each of those areas up again. For example in the back garden you could have the entertaining area, the grass/children’s area, the utilities area (includes the compost heap and shed), the pool area and the vegetable/orchard area. Once you have defined the areas/rooms you can tackle one at a time, thus making a huge project into several smaller projects.

The Three Planning Stages

To create an interesting and exciting garden there are 3 sets of plans (may be four if you need an engineer’s structural plans) you need to devise:- Site Analysis Plan, Concept Plan and Planting Plan, usually all drawn to scale.

The First Steps

To design a garden that works there are several things you need to do before buying plants and planting them. If you follow these steps you are more likely to have a successful garden.

Site Analysis

It is important to make an inventory of the area you are designing. Things to include are:

Levels – steep/flat
Aspect – North/south
Sun/shade
Sun Summer/Winter
Shadows
Existing trees and buildings
Wind
Views – good and bad
Soil conditions
Entrances – Front/back doors
Power lines
Underground cables and pipes
Clothes line
Fences
Sheds and garages
Paved and unpaved areas
Patio/BBQ
Lighting
Drainage – runoff of storm watered

Once you have noted the above, it is time to draw up the space. You can draw it roughly (not to scale) but eventually you will have to draw it to scale. Start by measuring the area you are designing, draw it to scale ie. 1:100 and put all the above points onto your drawn plan. All these influences need to be drawn on paper, so that you can gauge any trends. For example there might be a paved path from the back door to the garage, but everyone takes a short cut across the lawn, creating a desire line. No – one uses the paved path. So perhaps pave the desire line and make it the official path.

The next step is the concept plan and this is the plan where you put down you ideas. It can be as wild and as adventurous as you like. Forget cost, enjoy your creativity. This is the stage where you put down your dreams of what you have always wanted. Later on, you hip pocket will decide for you whether you can have them. Anything is possible, so don’t be shy, dream away. Again this can be roughly drawn or to scale, it is up to you.

The third and final plan is the planting plan and it is preferable that it is drawn to scale as this allows you to know exactly how many plants you will need. It incorporates all the ideas you have decided upon and shows you how the finished garden is going to look. It is the road map which will guide you to building your new garden.

There may be a fourth plan if your site is steep or you are having major elements built, as you may need the advice of an engineer.

Points to Consider

Think about your soil conditions, is it heavy clay or light and sandy? What plants will grow in these conditions? Are some areas boggy and some always dry?

Sun conditions

The sun is higher in the sky during spring and summer and shadows are shorter. Whereas in winter, the sun is lower in the sky and casts longer shadows. So a plant might be in full sun in summer and complete shade in winter. Can it tolerate this? Also think about the conditions the plants require. Are they full sun plants like roses or shade loving plants like azaleas?

Wind

You also need to think about wind direction. Which way does the prevailing wind come from? Screens and hedges are one way of managing this problem but what problems are they going to cause? Making the block feel narrow, casting shadows etc? It is important to know because some plants don’t like wind and it is no good putting the BBQ/entertainment area in an uncomfortable spot.

Views

Views out your window or from your garden are very important. Some are intrusive while others are desired. If you wish to block out flats/neighbours etc. you may need to put in a higher fence or a hedging screen of some kind. Or you may want to design your garden to enhance the view of the mountain, ocean etc.

Utilities and Service Lines

You also need to be aware where your services and utilities are; things like clothesline, overhead power lines etc. If you damage the gas, telephone or electricity lines, you are liable to pay for their repair.

Principles of Garden Design

To create a well designed garden, it is important to put the right plant in the right position. This means considering the cultural requirements of the plant. For example putting a full sun plant such as rose into a shady position isn’t going to work, because the rose won’t be receiving the right amount of sunlight for it to grow. The idea of good garden design is to follow this philosophy, using the placement of plants to create mystery, tension and surprise by using tricks of the eye, colours and textures.

Tension, mystery and surprise make a garden interesting. One way to create these is to use hedges, low walls, screens, paths, steps to make individual ‘garden rooms’ with tension points that captures your attention on the way. For example a narrow oblong garden can be made more interesting if you can’t see the back fence – that there is a feature (plant or statue etc.) that obscures the fence. It also becomes more interesting if the path way is narrow then opens up into another room. A winding path adds mystery to the garden if you can’t see what is around the corner. Surprise comes when you go around the corner and discover a focal point.

A focal point is something like a seat/statue/water feature that leads your eye directly to it. For example – a pergola that has a statue at the end of it. The statue is the feature and is the reason why you look/walk to see it. Another example of a focal point is a pathway leading through a door that is open and shows a vista of the wider landscape.

The success of the focal point can depend on the how successfully the ground patterns lead you there. If the paving encourages you along this path thus creating some tension and mystery, you are more likely to follow the path to see what’s there because you have become inquisitive. Narrow paths encourage you to walk quickly and not to dilly dally along the way, where as wide paths say stroll, take you time, look at the surrounding vegetation. A gentle curve can be negotiated at speed, but a tight curve can’t be so people slow down as there is risk involved. Paving is used as a directional tool says don’t walk that way, but walk this way. Edging bricks say don’t step over this – this is a boundary. Paving can also be used to reflect the ground plane of the house or other shapes in the garden.

Long narrow gardens have a strong directional emphasis that needs to be broken up. Square plots are static. To solve these problems the space’s shape needs to be changed. A circular design distracts the eye from the straight lines of the boundary fence. You could also use a series of rectangles using the boundaries as part of the design.

Another method is to turn the garden onto a 45 degree angle. A long diagonal line will immediately create a feeling of space. The paving near the house could be done on an angle and high light the diagonal line of the entire garden.

Gardens with a dog-leg in them can utilise the bend by using tension, mystery and surprise to lead you around the corner to a focal point of some kind.

Unified space is created by controlling the movement around the garden. It is the way areas are linked together by paths, bridges, pergolas, steps and terraces that determine whether a garden is successful. Careless placing can ruin the flow of the garden. If you wish to direct someone’s attention to a particular point then there must be a clear reason in the design for following this pathway.

Ground levels are very important when designing a garden. If a slope is too steep to walk down safely, steps may be needed and if the entire block is on a slope, the whole area may need to be terraced. What material you use is also important. Steps should not be of slippery materials and gravel may wash away. The surfaces need to be flat otherwise they could be dangerous and people will not want to walk along them and instead they may create a desire lines.

Levels help to create interest and ‘rooms’ in a garden because you move from one place to another by steps/paths/etc. Allow your levels to gently flow into one another and keep them simple. Don’t over decorate them. A slope up from the house will appear foreshortened whereas a slope down from the house will appear larger.

Choosing Plant Materials

There are 3 types of gardens:- the plants man, the garden designer and the gardener’s (mix of the first two). The plants man gardens consist of lots of singular plantings, unconnected and often rare and difficult to source. The garden designer’s garden consists of plants that are tried and tested – they use plants that they know and how they perform. The gardener’s garden has learned that their favourite plants can be more effective if planted in a scheme.

When choosing plants you must consider what the conditions are of your garden. There is no point putting alkaline tolerant plants in acid soil or vise versa. It won’t work! You need to think about what your plants you have chosen require moist soils, dry soils, shade, sun, well drained, boggy soils. If you do your research correctly and place your plants in the right position, you are well on the way to a successful garden.

The height and spread of your plants also needs to be considered. Tall growing plants are placed at the back of the garden bed, graduating down to the low plants. Remember some plants send up flower spikes that may be much larger than the plant itself, so they need to be positioned according to their flower spike height. Some plants are bushy so don’t forget to leave sufficient room for them to spread. They may need annual pruning to keep them in check.

Colour

Another trick in the designing tool bag is using colour. Colour is the sensation of illumination which is light. The way colours inter-react with each other depends on their position in colour wheel. Manipulating colour is great fun and can create all sorts of illusions. Colours are divided into 2 groups primary red, yellow, blue and secondary green, violet, orange. Secondary colours are made of combining two primary such as mixing blue and yellow together to create green. You can make a space look cold or create distance by using pale and brown colours. You can also make a space looker bigger than it really is by using warm colours such as oranges, reds or yellows. If you want to make a space look closer to you, again use warm colours. As reds, oranges or yellow are very busy colours to the eye, it is a good idea to intersperse white flowers or grey foliage plants to calm the visual scene down. White and grey also intensify blue and pale colours.

One thing to remember about the Australia sun is that the best time to look at our gardens is in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong. Our hot sun tends to fade our flowers colours and the glare at mid-day tends to wash the colour out.

If you are feeling overwhelmed about designing your garden, divide your space up and take it slowly, completing one section at a time. Don’t start another part until you have finished the section you are working on and very soon you will have a beautiful garden. Remember gardens are ephemeral, it is a process that is for ever evolving. You never really finish.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4945933

Designs For the Perfect Garden Sheds

Gardens are not only for lawns and household play fields, but can also be perfect locations for storage sheds wherein one can just basically stock unused household stuffs in the shed. As part of the entire house exterior, it is only but proper that garden sheds will also look presentable and in-relative to the house’s design.

In order not to be a total complete eyesore, garden shed designs should be well-planned. Shed plans should be in harmony with the available space in the garden as well as the design befitting the house’s style. Furthermore, garden shed designs should serve its purpose to the owners in general.

The following are some basic tips on how to build your garden shed:

* Space. Before one make his/her own storage building plans, one has already the estimate of the space where the garden shed will be placed. Aside from the space available, decide also which part of the garden it will be located. Make sure that it will not be located somewhere near the main road so as to avoid blockage of the pathway in the future.

* Layout. On a piece of paper, have a layout of your garden shed designs. One needs not to be an architect or engineer for this matter; a basic design of the garden shed – such as how it looks like – will do since this will only serve as a guide to the carpenter or designer in building the shed. If one is really very intricate about it, he/she can hire a designer or architect to make the storage shed plan.

* Materials. In the storage building plans, also include the kind of materials which you like for your garden storage shed. Most of which are made out of wood as woods are deemed as perfect materials for a garden storage shed. Aside from the fact that woods are cheaper, it can also blend well in the environment of a garden wherein shades of green and earth colors fill the area. It is advisable, however, to put wood treatments in certain parts of the garden storage shed. This is to prevent pests or house bugs in getting into the woods.

If you cannot do it on your own, find someone who is learned and skillful in carpentry and designing storage sheds. Look for highly qualified individuals who can construct your garden storage shed. This does not only entail a sturdy garden storage shed output, but also a saving from time and materials used.

Basic Garden Shed Designs

Common garden shed designs today include the A-frame type and barn-style sheds. There are also many other styles such as pet barns, saltbox greenhouse, playhouses, cottages, pool cabanas, or a miniature version of your own house. Outdoor storage may be fitted with a porch and other accessories. When looking at garden shed designs, check what each manufacturer has to offer.

For a garage shed where you intend to park toy vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, and even cars, there are shed kits that come in various sizes available. In choosing, you would of course have to tally the number of vehicles in the household. Usually, garage sheds are also designed to house auto repair tools, parts, supplies, and cleaning equipment. Since garage sheds are valued for their interior quality, exterior designs are usually minimal and simplistic.

Outdoor garden shed designs for vehicles need to have strong foundation. You may choose from concrete, concrete block, pressure-treated lumber, brick, or plywood sheets to support the entire structure. The roof height must give adequate room for people to move in and out while the doors may be single, double, or roll-ups. Garden shed designs may include windows to encourage proper ventilation inside the shed. Another of the most popular garden shed designs are those for constructing potting or greenhouse sheds. Just like garage sheds, outdoor structures for plants need good ventilation because of sprays, fertilizers, insects, and soil. It is a good idea to erect a potting shed near a water source for better plumbing capabilities and maintenance. Greenhouse sheds may include a work bench, hooks for which to hang garden tools, and shelves.

If you are planning a shed to serve as a nursery for seedlings and young plants, as well as a greenhouse for orchids and foliage, you might want to look at larger garden shed designs. You can have the roof be made of either plastic or glass. The best flooring for a custom greenhouse is concrete. Hooks may also come in handy for baskets and ladders. Electricity is also a must for potting sheds as well as plumbing fixtures.

Depending on the type of outdoor shed you wish to have, you may opt for accessories to make garden shed designs even more interesting. Items such as skylights, cupolas, alarm systems, motion detectors, and storage units may be bought separately from shed kit manufacturers or your local home and garden store. You may have shelves installed or purchase storage containers to better organize items to be stored.

Garden sheds are very popular among neighbors throughout the nation. In fact the demand for garden sheds has spread fast from coast-to-coast. Today, there are many garden shed designs on the market to decide on; the problem is choosing which one to use.

Finding the right design is important; it may depend more on the landscaping of your backyard, the style of your home, what windows to use, what accessories to add, and the space available to build a garden shed than anything else.

Sheds are used for storing garden tools, lawn movers, gardening supplies, equipment, surplus items, outdoor projects, tillers, and even the children’s toys. There are many designs available with step-by-step instructions, videos, and even workshops to assist you in building a shed of your own.

Building a garden shed today is easy once you have chosen a design that meets the needs and desires you are seeking. With a solid design or blue print, you can build a durable shed that will last a lifetime. The key to building a great shed is in the planning. It will also be more cost efficient if you have a solid design that you know you will enjoy.

Many people go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, buy their timber, equipment and tools and start building without a plan in place. This may turn into a real catastrophe and end up costing them much more than they anticipated.

The goal is to first understand what kind of soil you are building on to make sure you have a solid foundation to work on. It is wise to check with the city ensure no city or county building ordinances are going to hinder your project.

Next, if you want to have electricity, water, and air-conditioning it is important that you build next to an access point that will allow you this luxury.

The foundation may be constructed of cement if you want a more permanent location but if you think you may move in the future, it is best to build a garden shed that will allow you the flexibility to move it later. With a pre-built shed you are limited to existing choices on design and functionality. However, they are pre-cut and simple to put together if you don’t have much knowledge in this field.

Common garden shed designs have domes and windows to improve the air quality and lighting. Today they have wider door entries as well to allow enough space for larger equipment items.

Garden sheds usually have shelves for storing pots. They also have pegs for hanging garden tools and yard tools. Sometimes they even include indoor potting benches. Drawers and bins where you can keep small hand tools, gloves and other small items are also commonly found in garden sheds.

When building your shed, do not rush as this can cause errors. Keep a concise plan and stick to it. Measure twice, cut once. Have a list of all the parts, tools, and equipment you will need to complete the project. Remember that your garden shed design can also be customized with decorations, accessories, and colors to change the mood and look of your shed. There is much to consider when building a shed but you can have the garden shed of your dreams with little time and effort.

Finally, if you don’t have the right equipment or experience, make sure you find a neighbor that can assist you that has experience in this field and one that may even have a nail gun, an air hose, an electric saw, and that’s good with a hammer.

Building your own shed will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that you built something you can be proud of and enjoy for years. Once you have planned ahead and you are ready to build, just get started and enjoy new garden shed designed just for you.

A garden shed is a great idea if you are looking to store extra items or tools. They can also be very useful because not only do you get extra storage space but you can keep all of the things you need to maintain your lawn and garden all in one convenient place. If you check around you will find that there are all kinds of shed designs available that are both easy to construct and budget friendly.

Here are some helpful tips to assist you in choosing which shed design is right for you. First decide if you want to purchase a pre-made shed or if you want to build your own. Pre-made sheds can be more expensive but then you don’t have the hassles of constructing your own. Although with a pre-made shed you are somewhat limited to the design and functionality. If you choose to construct you own shed, you get total control over both the design and the functionality.

The next thing to consider is, what you will store in the shed and what kind of function it will serve. Make sure you choose a garden shed design that provides you with the appropriate amount of storage pace you will need. So really think it through before making your choice.

Planning ahead is the best way to achieve success. Choosing a garden shed design that addresses all of your needs really comes down to the actual planning. Be prepared for any problems and challenges that can arise and things will go much smoother. Take your time and don’t rush through the project because this can cause mistakes and create more problems. Keep a concise plan and stick to it. A good rule of thumb is “measure twice, cut once”. Make sure that you have on hand, a list of all the parts, tools and equipment you will need to complete the project.

Garden shed designs typically incorporate wider doorways to make it easier to push larger equipment, like tillers and mowers in and out. Some designs have one wide door while others have two smaller doors that conveniently open together to make a larger doorway. Aside from wider doors, garden sheds quite often have cupolas and windows for better ventilation and light. The larger the windows the more light you have so you avoid the cost of adding electrical lighting. Garden sheds also usually have shelves for storing pots, garden accessories and other lawn and garden tools. Sometimes they even include indoor potting benches, drawers and bins to keep small hand tools, etc.

Just remember your garden shed design does not have to be plain or boring. There are many ways to customize the look of your shed. Color is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change the look and feel of your shed. Adding decorations and accessories is also a good way to spruce up your shed. Although there is a lot to consider when buying or building a garden shed, with a little time and effort you will soon have the garden shed of your dreams.

7 Tips to help you choose the right garden shed design.

1) Decide if you want to build your own shed yourself instead of buying a ready-built shed. Obviously a ready-built shed is faster, but it can cost more, and it limits you to someone else’s design. What’s great about using your own garden shed plan is that you have control.

2) Work out the volume of what you plan to store in your shed and what you want the space for. Don’t skimp on size; you’ll only regret it later. The secret to getting what you want is to choose a well-designed garden shed plan. But however good your plan is, expect challenges and problems. Then when they come you wont’ be.

3) Give yourself plenty of time to build your shed and don’t rush it. This way, you maker fewer mistakes.

4) Make a list of all of the tools, parts and equipment you need to complete your project. Measure twice, cut ONCE.

5) Remember, follow the shed instructions always. They’ve already gone to the trouble to troubleshoot all the problems and work out the design.

6) Many garden shed designs show wide doorways, either one large door, but usually two. This makes it great to move items such as mowers in and out. Apart from wide doors, many designs show cupolas and windows for better light and ventilation.

7) Garden sheds usually incorporate shelves for storing pots, garden and yard tools. You can even put in potting benches. Extras such as drawers and bins for storage of small hand tools, gloves, etc are really useful.

Garden shed designs don’t have to be boring or unimaginative. It’s easy to personalize the final look with a some paint and a few finishing touches. With a little elbow grease, you can build yourself a shed that compliments your home and yard, and enriches the value of your home.

Wooden Garden Shed Designs and Plans – Things to Consider in Building One

Ever feel like there’ simply shortage of space where you can properly store your gardening tools and equipment? Brace up, it may be high time for another addition to your yard. I’d suggest you get started looking over some wooden garden shed designs and plans.

If you have an inherent talent for building stuff and tinkering around with your hands, there’s no reason why you can’t build a garden shed yourself. But I do suggest you use wood as your material because it is a lot easier and cheaper to use wood. Not to mention, it would blend right in your yard with your garden.

If you go over different wooden garden shed designs, you’ll find that aside from the construction process, there’s a whole lot more that goes into building a shed. That’s what we’re going to discuss below:

Location

First thing you need to do is to find an ideal location for your shed. An ideal location would have to be somewhere where it’s not very obtrusive in your garden. Also, make sure that the area is not somewhere where the water drains. Muddy or wet grounds would make a bad choice for the location of your shed. The soil can easily shift, and once it does, the shed could easily disintegrate as well.

Additionally, make sure that the shed is not built on property lines or you may face some trouble with your neighbor in the future. Above a septic tank is also a bad choice. It would have not provide a solid ground for a shed.

Size and Budget

Another thing you need to consider is the size of the shed you’re going to build. How much space you have available in your yard as well as your specific need would have to be kept in mind in deciding on the specific size of your shed.

Additionally, once you’ve decided on the size of the shed, it is just as important to calculate how much you’re going to spend for the project. Paying a visit to your supplier and getting a quote would be a good idea. Of course, you will need a complete list of materials to do this.

Wooden Garden Shed Designs

Aside from functionality, you also have to consider aesthetic value in choosing the right wooden garden shed design. Something that would add character and blend perfectly in your yard would be the perfect shed design.

Obviously, you can only choose the perfect designs once you’ve gone over several shed designs. And that is something I strongly suggest you do. A garden shed after all does not only serve your purposes, it has to accentuate the beauty of your home as well.

So, if you’re in the process of going over wooden garden shed designs, I suggest you check out this really helpful resource here:

Projects for Woodworkers: Garden Shed Designs

Gardens can be filled with colorful flowers and trees or delicious fresh vegetables lovingly grown by you and your family. No matter the style of your garden, it requires tools and equipment to keep them growing and healthy. If you’ve been storing those things in your garage or under the back porch, if may be time for some kind of storage unit to be placed in the garden itself.

If you like to work on outdoor projects, deciding on a garden shed design that can take care of gardening tools and supplies while giving you a space to work can be a dream come true. A shed for your garden is not only a functional solution to a storage problem, but it is a fun project your can do yourself.

Before moving ahead with putting a garden shed on your property, first ask yourself a few questions:

Pre-made shed or build your own? Pre-made sheds are fast and easy, and saves a lot of time; but it is a lot more expensive. Also, you are limited to standard sizes and styles. When you build, you can choose the style, the size, special options and detailing that you want.

What will you be storing in your shed, and what do you plan to use it for other than storage? Choose a garden shed design that gives you enough room for everything you need to do.

What about a plan? Start with a set of blueprints and instructions, and move along step by step. Set out the tools and supplies you need before you start work. That way you will save time by having everything at your fingertips. Make sure you have all the materials, parts, tools and equipment you need before you start.

Doors are a very important element in garden shed design. Choose a wide or double door to allow large equipment, like mowers and tillers, to fit through it without a problem. Cupolas and windows provide ventilation and light. If the windows are large enough, you won’t have to add electricity to your shed – though you may want to anyway as it can come in handy. Add some shelving and hooks for yard tools and accessories. Lastly, putting in drawers or bins will give you additional storage for small hand tools and gardening gloves.

A garden shed should reflect the style of your home or garden. Customize it to take care of what you need. Paint it to match the house or leave the wood natural so it blends into the landscape. You are the boss. Though a lot of time and effort goes into building something from scratch, your garden shed can be one you will enjoy for years to come and well worth it.

Garden Shed Designs – Build Your Shed With Step-By-Step Instructions

Here’s what you must consider building your own shed:

1. Decide on the type of the shed
Free shed designs can either be made to be permanent or movable. If you think in the future that you might need to move this to another site or you wish to do a landscaping and you need to relocate it, settle for the mobile garden shed.

2. Know what size you need
Garden shed designs are similar to storage building plans; they have their own separate standard sizes. Standard sizes are your basis and determining factor on what size you really need. You can change the size according to your own preference and needs.

3. Decide on your flooring
A simple garden shed design can be a small structure that only needs simple flooring. If you opt to do something that is permanent, you still need to have a good and sturdy foundation but not as elaborate as a free storage shed plans concrete foundation.

4. Decide on your wall
Assemble your walls in a prefabricated style so you can easily attach this on the sides surrounding the floor going all the way up. Make sure that frames and attachments are complete and properly attached.

5. Determine your roof design
After the frames of the walls are attached, you can start attaching the roof. A garden shed normally consists of a simple flat roof slightly leaning to either side to avoid accumulating water during the rainy season.

6. Know your door size
Make sure you have the right door size. Others make the common mistake of building too small doors that prevent bigger tools and equipment from being stored inside.

7. Sealing it right
Do not forget to seal especially your roofing. This will prevent leakage during the rainy season. Your woodworking storage should be dry and clean inside to protect the things you store.

Building your own shed is easy. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be working like a pro. One of the best things you should consider when getting your own shed plan is its ability to be expanded.

Garden Shed Design – Wood Or Metal?

Are you thinking about getting a garden shed? There are a few things to consider first. First of all, wood or metal. The second thing is, do you buy or build it yourself? You can learn from my mistakes, keep reading and find out the best option for you.

When I first decided to get a new garden shed I made the mistake of ordering a ‘build it yourself’ premade metal shed. It took me about a day to construct and I knew right from the start it probably wasn’t going to be the shed I wanted.

after I had built it I tried to convince myself that it would do the job. The sliding metal doors made such a horrible noise when closing them and even though I had bolted the whole thing down to the ground it still didn’t feel very safe.

It wasn’t until a few days later I noticed that some of my tools and equipment were wet. As I looked up at the roof I realised it was damp. Condensation. The whole roof was covered with condensation which didn’t disappear until late afternoon by which time as soon as the sun had gone down it was already starting to come back.

I put up with it for a couple of months until I finally made the decision to pull it down and get a wooden shed. The original reason I didn’t get a wooden shed was because of the price. Metal sheds seem to be so much cheaper, I now know why.

Being a keen DIY person there was no way I was gonna buy one. I invested a little bit of money and downloaded a whole load of plans from the Internet. After choosing the right plans I took them to my local lumber yard where they gave me a quote from materials. It wasn’t much more than the original metal shed I had wasted my money on.

A few days later the shed was built and it is now my pride and joy. All my tools are safe and dry and I’ve got a load of room to spare. The best thing is people can’t believe that I made it myself. It’s great to show off my DIY skills!

In conclusion, forget about getting a metal shed. They’re just a waste of money. Nothing beats a good old-fashioned wooden shed and building it yourself is definitely the way to go.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6392824

Cornwall’s Gardens

The ‘Garden Capital of the World’ is often how Cornwall is thought of throughout the world. Cornwall enjoys the power of the Gulf Stream with its temperate climate of warm summers, mild and wet winters which in turn allows exotic and rare plants to thrive.

Where else can you find so many gardens with history dating back to the Iron Age? As long ago as the early 19th century Cornish gardeners were part of the Victorian plant hunters who collected exotic plants and seeds from all around the world.

That gives us what we have today: over 60 fabulous gardens to explore with lush vegetation and sub-tropical theatres of colour brimming with exciting, rare and beautiful plants. Cornwall’s gardens are found in our magnificent Castles, Manor Houses, grand Farm Estates, Mill Houses, sheltered valleys, high up on blustery moorland and nestled in woodland and seaside gardens which meet the turquoise hues of the water’s edge.

Cornwall’s gardens are so diverse as they vary in size from small and intimate to acres of rolling countryside. Some with enchanting lakes and a Victorian boathouse to water gardens with tree ferns, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. Others have walled gardens and manicured lawns to the newest of all two magnificent Biomes filled with magic from around the world.

All around Britain you will be hard-pressed not to find a ‘Veitch’ plant or one derived from their nurseries. The Veitch family sent many collectors all over the world to bring back seeds and plants. These included two Cornish brothers, William and Thomas Lobb. William Lobb died in San Francisco in 1864 but his brother Thomas lived in Devoran until his death in 1894.

In the East of Cornwall Mount Edgcumbe have The Earl’s Garden with ancient and rare trees including a 400-year-old lime. The Formal Gardens are found in the lower park and were created over 200 years ago in English, French and Italian styles. Cothele tells the story of the Tamar Valley and Antony was recently used as a backdrop for the film Alice in Wonderland. Also in the East is Ince Castle which overlooks the River Lynher. The garden enjoys woodlands filled with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, vibrant shrubs and formal gardens. Pentillie Castle’s gardens are only open on specific days and their orchard was replanted with old Tamar Valley varieties of apple and cherry.

The South is awash with fabulous gardens which proves how sheltered this coast is in Cornwall and many are overflowing with collections of Cornish rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. We can start with Hidden Valley Gardens, Near Par. These gardens won the Cornwall Tourism Silver award 2010 for small visitor attraction. Tregrehan is a large woodland garden and is home to the Carlyon family since 1565. The Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens, Near St. Austell is a 30-acre paradise with over 6000 labelled plants. Ray and Shirley Clemo travelled the world collecting seeds and plants for this garden and a pair of black swans have made it their home.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan at Pentewan have been voted Britain’s finest garden and has scooped the title in the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2011. Celebrating 21years since Heligan’s Lost Gardens were discovered, this beauty provides 200 acres to explore. Discover the Northern Garden, the Jungle, the Wider Estate and the Horsemoor Hide and Wildlife Project.

Next on our list would be Caerhays Castle Gardens which is situated in a valley above Porthluney Cove. A horticultural treasure covering 100 acres of woodland gardens and holder of the National Magnolia Collection. Lamorran at St. Mawes is a Mediterranean-style garden with sea views over Falmouth Bay. History says that it is the most Northerly Palm Garden in the world. From Lamorran you can see the lighthouse at St. Anthony’s Head. St. Just in Roseland has a 13th century church and is set in a sheltered sub-tropical riverside garden filled with magnolias, azaleas, bamboos and giant gunnera. Trelissick Garden at Feock was planted 200 years ago and has views down the Falmouth estuary. It has year-round plant colour, an orchard, woodland walks and an art and crafts gallery. In the autumn 300 varieties of apples will be on display in the Georgian stables. Enys Gardens at Penryn is one of Cornwall’s oldest gardens dating back to 1709. Penjerrick at Budock Water is unspoilt with historic and botanic interest; relax among tree ferns and hidden paths.

Moving on down the coast to Mawnan Smith is Trebah and Carwinion, these are gardens with great historic interest. Trebah is on the North bank of the Helford River and in this garden you can wander among giant tree ferns and palms. Carwinion has a renowned collection of bamboo and has 14 acres of tranquil gardens. Glendurgan lies in a sub-tropical valley running down to the Helford River. Have fun in the 180 year-old cherry laurel maze and wander through the garden and down to the hamlet of Durgan. Potager is a new organic garden and is close to Constantine, five miles from Falmouth.

Down the coast further to Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, Bonython Estate Gardens has an 18th century Walled Garden, a potager garden, an orchard of Cornish variety apple trees and woodlands. Bosahan at Manaccan is again close to the Helford River enjoying the Cornish microclimate and described as “the most Cornish of all Cornish gardens” in The Gardener magazine in 1909! Trevarno Gardens are the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of their estate with a magnificent 70 acres. Several interesting features include a Serptentine Yew Tunnel and the production of organic skincare products and soaps. Carleen Subtropical Gardens are open by appointment only and are home to collections from South America, Mexico, Central and South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Southern USA and the Mediterranean. The Hardy Exotics Garden Nursery at Whitecross, Near Penzance can create “Barbados in Birmingham” – “Mauritius in Manchester” and “Hawaii in Hertford”.

Now we come to the beautiful St. Michaels Mount, walk across the causeway at low tide or travel by boat at other times. These gardens are steep but thrive in the shelter of the granite cliffs and you will find exotics from Mexico, Canary Islands and South Africa. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a wonderful valley setting with St. Michaels Mount in the background. The National Trust owns Trengwainton and this historic garden is home to banana plants and enormous echiums. Finally in this part of Cornwall is Penberth which has 5 acres and is a natural valley garden incorporating sea views.

Now we move on to North Cornwall which is a more rugged coast fronting the Atlantic. Our first port of call is the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery in the beautiful Lanherne Valley at St. Mawgan. Just 1.5 acres but includes Water Gardens, Stroll Garden and a Zen Garden inspired by the East. Moving on up the Coast to Padstow we find Prideaux Place that has 40 acres of landscaped grounds and a deer park overlooking the Padstow estuary and the River Camel. Last but not least on this coast is Longcross Victorian Garden at Trelights, Port Isaac. This is 4 acres and gives a fine example of coastal gardening and hedging with views towards Port Isaac and Port Quin.

Cornwall has some more fine gardens that are a bit more inland than the others we have mentioned before but when you are in Cornwall you are never more than sixteen miles away from the coast at any time.

The 4 acres at Ken-Caro, Nr. Liskeard is another garden with a woodland walk, magnolias and rhododendrons, small but beautiful and set high above Bicton Manor Woods. Another one in the same area is Moyclare established in 1927 in 1 acre and arranged around the house. The broom “Moyclare Pink” and the astrantia “Moira Reid” originated in this garden. Pencarrow is a garden of 50 acres and this is where the Monkey Puzzle tree got its name. In this garden you can even walk on the grass! If you like one of the plants you will probably be able to buy a cutting from it. At Pinsla Garden, Cardinham there is something for everyone, an idyllic haven, and a hideaway full of secret paths with hazel arch and fantasy garden created by garden artists.

Moving on once again to the National Trust owned Lanhydrock, a garden for walkers and a historical garden that has a woodland of 1000 acres. Boconnoc at Lostwithiel bas a beautiful spring garden and has camellias and azaleas from the 1850 original planting. These gardens are only open for the Spring Flower Show and Sunday afternoons during May. Trewithin close to Grampound means ‘house of the trees’ and has 30 acres of woodland gardens and more than 200 acres of surrounding parkland. The horticulturalist George Johnstone, who inherited the house in 1904, cultivated many of the seeds that came from abroad thus ensuring the reputation that Trewithin has today. Trewithin is an unforgettable garden gem.

Next is the Eden Project close to St. Austell which is the newest of all our Cornish gardens. Created from a disused china clay pit in the year 2000 and the site opened on 17th March 2001. Two Biomes, one Tropical and the other Mediterranean are both constructed from a tubular steel space-frame clad in thermoplastic ETFE. At Eden you can travel around the world in a day!

At Bosvigo on the outskirts of Truro an awkward wing of the house was demolished and using stone from the house the walled garden was created. This left a 100-year-old Victorian Conservatory standing. All the plants that are for sale in this nursery are growing in the Gardens. Burncoose at Gwennap is a 30 acre woodland garden and has achieved gold medal displays at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. The Nursery stocks a wide range of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Back up the coast we find Trerice, three miles from Newquay, which is a 6 acre garden but there is still space to find seclusion at any time of the year. The National Trust has owned this garden since 1953.

Finally, we cross the water and arrive on the beautiful Isles of Scilly and then head for the Abbey Gardens on Tresco. This amazing sub-tropical garden is home to species of plants and trees from 80 countries ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa. The building of tall windbreaks ensures any inclement weather is forced up and over the walled enclosure. The terraces at the top are hotter and drier than the ones below which give more humidity. In 1990 hurricane force winds created dreadful damage to the shelter belts and the loss of many plants but the shelter belts and garden are now restored and looking ‘better than ever’. This is one that you should not miss.

Many Cornish gardens belong to the National Gardens Scheme who publishes The Yellow Book each year which is a guide or ‘bible’ to garden visiting. Most of these gardens are privately owned and only open on specific days.

Lots of our gardens have tremendous interest in the Autumn such as Ellis Gardens at Polyphant, Wave Cottage at Lerryn, Half Acre at Boscastle, Primrose Farm at Skinners Bottom and Kennall House at Ponsanooth. The Homestead close to Helston is 7.5 acres and has a Wildflower Wood with over 1000 trees and a further 800 trees for a shelter and wildlife habitat.

There are of course many more gardens in Cornwall, many of them small but beautiful and a lot of our gardens are Dog Friendly. So don’t leave part of the family at home, bring them along as well. It would be wise to check first with the garden you are intending to visit just to make sure that it is ‘dog friendly’. Some of our Cornish gardens are more accessible than others so again if part of your group is less agile check with the garden to make sure you will enjoy your visit.

For more information on our Cornish Gardens most of them have their own website which will give you opening days and times, how to get there, what facilities are available and ticket costs.

I was born into the Cornish farming world, my Dad was a farmer and his Dad before him. My early childhood was spent following my Mum around the farm doing all the chores that went with being a farmers wife. From milking our cows and collecting eggs, to making Cornish cream from the fresh milk, this was all part of my life. As was picking fruit, digging potatoes and cutting broccoli. At harvest time I would accompany Mum up to the thrashing machine to give the men their lunch and crib, which is what a mid morning snack is called in Cornwall!
At the age of 18 I married Chris a local Garage owner whom I am still married to today. During our married life I have been involved in a Sea Rescue Club and showing our German Shepherd Dogs at dog shows all over the country. As well as running our own Petrol Filling Station and Village Shop we also opened the Asalt & Battery, a fast food fish and chip takeaway where I spent many a “Happy” time preparing and frying fish and chips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6571219

Rearranging Your Garden

All the gardens reach a point where they need a little renovation. Renovation is a huge work. It requires a lot of new ideas, time, and knowledge. Most of the people want to rearrange their garden to be more beautiful and more comfortable. Some people want to install a pond or a swimming pool. “The best place to plan your yard is just sitting in it”, says A Dutch gardening expert W. Oudshoom. In this article we will give you a few useful tips and make your rearrangement easier.

First, take a look at a plan of your yard. This plan should incorporate the current look of the garden and the future look of the garden. In your scale plan you should leave some space for the notes, abrupt ideas, plants’ names, and a lot of more. Do not forget to note how the light shifts in your area. Light is dramatically important for the plants and the need of the light for individual plants differ considerably. Later, decide where do you want to build your garden buildings. These buildings can be built in a sunny or shady area.

Moreover, carefully select the plants for your garden. And remember that not every plant in your yard must be moved or removed. You definitely have some great and beautiful plants. Let them grow in your yard. Gardeners think of the plants and trees throughout the year. Do not forget to pick the plants which will grow well in your climate. If you are not sure that your selected plants will grow well in your climate, you can always ask nurseries, country agriculture extension agents, and other institutions. They will recommend you suitable plants by climate zone. Pick proper trees, bushes and fences in order to form the structure for your yard.

You should think about the vertical landscape. It is recommended to choose tall plants and flowing vines in the garden because these plants can hide the walls and fences. What is more, these plants create a great atmosphere. Include big trees, plants, and walls as a background in your yard’s plan. Outline the items you want to add on tracing paper and lay the sketch over main drawings to see how the items look together. If you decided to try gardening, you may think about an area in your garden with as much sun as possible, because fruits and vegetables will not grow in a heavy shade. Be sure to grow recommended varieties of vegetables for your area. You can ask for help at the local garden store for varieties available. Usually it is better to buy high quality seeds and plant them not too deep.

If you want to have more space for unused garden tools and other equipment, it is important to decide which garden building you need in your garden area. There are several options for garden buildings. You can build a log cabin, wooden gazebo, garden shed, wooden garage or other building. Keeping gardening tools somewhere in a corner of your garage is not bad, but a lot of people want something more than this. For example, a beautiful garden shed or a log cabin where the garden tools, mower and other equipment have their place.

Of course, most of the gardeners can do a lot of work without an expensive garden shed, but when the gardener’s garage is full of gardening tools, a great garden shed no longer seems a ridiculous idea. It is said that a garden shed for the gardener is like a kitchen for a cook.

If you want to have a small garden and grow vegetables for your family, you need a place to keep all your gardening tools and equipment. There are different garden buildings because everybody has different needs. There are a lot of advantages of owning a garden building. Some garden sheds are used as gardeners’ offices with the space for tools, and a desk for writing gardening notes.

Today, most of the log cabins or garden sheds are modern and not big enough to put the mower. Small garden sheds now are common items in the gardens. The demand for the garden sheds have increased dramatically these days. It does not matter how big your garden is, it has to meet all your needs. Garden sheds are sturdy, durable, and functional. Do not forget to plan your garden building with a lot shelves. These shelves will make some spare place to put all your things. Gardeners without their space can feel uncomfortable and can lose their passion to plant and grow vegetables.

There are a lot of types of yard buildings, but the garden shed is the most popular. Garden sheds are most popular because of the great look and curb appeal. Wooden buildings, such as a garden shed or log cabin, vary widely in their construction methods, complexity and the size. Their decorations of wooden building depends on the walls, the type of logs used, the overall look, but if you need just a place to put all your gardening tools, garden shed will definitely meet all your needs.

If you think about the renovation of your garden, it is highly recommended to talk to your family members because your garden is a place for the whole family to meet, relax, and spend their time together. Today, gardening is one of the most popular activities in the United States. A lot of people are turning to gardening as a mean of relaxing and supplying themselves with fresh vegetables. Do not miss your chance to make your yard more comfortable for you and your family members.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8455318