Every worthy garden begins with a plan, a good design that will account for beauty as well as functionality. The first phase of garden planning is to measure your plot and sketch a scaled drawing that includes all existing structures like detached garages, swings, patios, decks and driveways. Factor trees that you plan to keep in the garden and landscape around. Next, note the amount of shade and sun your garden receives as plants will not survive in optimal solar climates. Now you are ready to get your hands dirty by assessing your soil conditions. Simple kits will allow you to test the pH and overall nutrition of your soil. With a careful look and touch of the soil, you will be able to discern whether the soil is the kind of rich dark to black earth that will retain moisture and house worms. Sandy or clay-like soil is not ideal for plant growth. If you'd rather not work with your soil, you can always order a batch of rich topsoil to incorporate into your garden.
Families have the added responsibility of considering how their children and pets will affect the conditions of the garden. A sufficient amount of grassy areas around the landscape can accommodate child play. Keep garden boundaries thick enough so as to deter children and pets from wandering in and clomping all over the newly planted vegetation.
Whatever your taste tendencies are, you should at least begin by placing in some hardy shrubs or trees that are zoned for your climate. The largest plants should be worked in first as it is much easier to add smaller specimens later. Be sure to avoid invasive plants that hinder the growth of other plant species and require a good deal of maintenance. Consider whether the smaller plants will transform into a culinary garden (with tomatoes, herbs and carrots) or a flower garden. Finishing touches to your garden can polish and formalize the space or keep it charmingly amateur.