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Design Tips for the Novice Gardener

by Sarah Clark, All About Lawns Columnist

Beautiful gardens don't fashion themselves on their own. They grow out of thoughtful planning and good design. Here are a few tips on how to come up with a garden design that suites your style and budget.
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Gardening tip #1

Choose a garden design that reflects your personal style. Wild gardens with lots of bushy, overgrown plants might suit you better than a classical garden with geometric borders and delicate-looking beds of color-coordinated pansies.

Gardening tip #2

Consider the style of your home. If you have a small house, you probably don't want to overwhelm it with a towering trellis of bougainvillea. If your house is modest in size, choose a garden design that will complement it without making it appear smaller than it is. Likewise, don't invest in elaborate fountains or gardens if they don't fit the architecture of your home. You can still be creative--you don't need a classically-designed home to have a Louis XIV garden--but make sure the garden design complements your home.

Gardening tip #3

Get a sense of your budget. Landscape designers, gardeners, and many plants can add a considerable financial cost to your garden (though many would argue it's money well spent). To stay within your means, make sure you have a budget in place before you begin laying the foundation of your new garden.

Gardening tip #4

Pay close attention to garden designs that you like. Whether you're thumbing through Architectural Digest or just taking a stroll in your neighborhood or local park, notice what elements of a garden you like and why. Is it the juxtaposition of color or the abundance of a particular type of plant? Read garden magazines and watch shows for ideas on which features to incorporate in your garden.

With these design tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a garden that suits your style, complements the exterior of your home, and meets your budget requirements.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in the Washington metro area.

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