Garden Layout Plans
How to Draw Gardening Plans

how to draw garden layout plans

Drawing a Garden Layout

Learn how to draw quick, easy and accurate gardening plans.

Get your garden design off to the best start with a carefully laid out plan of current and future features. Make sure it fits!

Why do we draw a garden layout plan?

It is very important to draw an accurate layout plan when starting a garden design...

The layout plan allows us to think about and plan our creations in our garden much more easily...

We can:

  • more easily see which shapes and designs will work well
  • plan how much space we have and how much we need
  • try out different garden layouts and designs without commitment
  • visualise the design much more easily
  • experiment and get as creative as we like
  • come up with a well-thought-out and cohesive plan for what we want the garden to be like
  • make sure we've got everything we thought of on our planning a garden checklist - we don't want to forget something important!

You might still not have too much idea about how we're going to create the perfect garden from the measurements you've taken...

...but don't worry!

When you go through it simply, step-by-step, it all becomes straight forward - easy to follow, and to create your own perfect garden layout and design.

How to create your gardening layout plan

  1. Have you got your sketch plan and measurements? If not, click here...
  2. You will also need your garden needs and wants checklist and your garden observations checklist (an assessment of your current garden or plot).
  3. Decide on a scale for your plan.

    A scale just means that you draw your garden on your garden layout plan small, with exactly the same proportions as the large garden outside your home.

    A scale of 1:10 means 1 tiny measurement on your paper represents a length 10 times bigger, outside in the garden.

    So, 1cm on your gardening plan represents 10cm in your real life garden.

  4. A profesional garden designer will probably use a 'scale rule' to create their garden layout plan.

    This has the large real life measurements already scaled down and marked on the rule. If you have one of these, it's a great idea to use it.

  5. If you don't have a scale rule, all you need is a normal ruler, and/or some squared paper, or graph paper.
  6. On squared paper, make one square on the paper represent a particular measurement from real life...

    For example: 1 square could be 1ft, or 2ft, or 1m, whatever fits best for your size paper and your size of garden.

  7. If you don't have squared paper, you can make an inch on your page represent 2ft, or 5ft or 10ft in real life.
  8. The scale you choose will depend on the size of your paper, and the size of your garden...

    Note the longest length and width of the garden, and choose a scale that allows your gardening plans to fit nicely on the paper, and so that you can see it all clearly...

  9. You can tape several sheets of paper together if this makes it easier and clearer.
  10. For a small garden a scale of:
    • a quarter inch to 1ft, or...
    • 2cm to 1m, or...
    • 1:50...
    • ...are all good
  11. For larger gardens try:
    • an eighth of an inch to 1ft
    • 1cm to 1m
    • 1:100
  12. Once you've decided on a scale to fit your gardening plan onto your paper, you can start drawing...
  13. Add the basic outline first...

  14. basic outline garden layout

    Click here for a larger version
    (opens in a new window)

  15. Then, using the measurements you've taken on your inital sketch and measurements gardening plan, add in existing features that you want to keep, or that are important to your garden...
  16. Make sure you show windows and doors of the house on your garden layout plan.
  17. For any features (such as a tree), that you plotted by triangulation, you will need a pair of compasses, or arcs, to complete your gardening plan...

    Set your compasses to the measurement you took, and in light pencil make a small arc, close to the position you guess the tree is in.

    Do the same with the second measurement you took.

    Where the lines cross is the precise position of the tree or feature.

  18. triangulation method for garden layout drawings

  19. You can also plot out curved boundaries and lines in this way - creating the points you measured (in the triangulation method) with the arcs of the compasses...

    ...then drawing a smooth curve to join the dots...

  20. plotting curved boundaries on garden layout drawings

    Click here for a larger version
    (opens in a new window)

By using a combination of these garden design drawing techniques, you should be able to plot out your garden and its major features on paper.

Here's mine...

completing your garden layout plan - my plan

Click here for a larger version
(opens in a new window)
Please note that these plans were to scale as drawn on paper, and the electronic versions will not be to scale!

By now, you should have your basic garden layout plan on paper...

...and be all ready and raring to go, to develop your design for your new garden.

At this point, it is a really good idea to take photocopies of your basic layout gardening plans, so that you can develop lots of sketches, ideas and garden layouts without messing up the original.

Or, you can develop your idea further, by laying tracing paper on top of your master plan, and sketching your ideas on that.

Now is actually also a good time to stop for a moment, and look at some of the garden design elements and principles that will help you to create a really beautiful garden design that works...

When you are ready to continue with your drawings, and develop your garden layout plans, click here for 'How to Design a Garden - Good Design Principles'.

More information about Drawing Garden Layouts at Home

More about measuring and drawing sloping garden designs

More about adding plants - creating flower bed designs

Return to the main list of steps for designing your garden

Return from this Garden Layout Plans - How to Draw Gardening Plans page to the Home Page

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