The scenarios above happen to the vast majority of people, so you’re by no means alone.
Most people give up at this point, and who can blame them. Clearly you are more determined than most people or you wouldn’t be here now, reading this.
The good news is there is a solution, and one that can be pretty simple. It is somewhat counterintuitive, and very rarely written about (because it’s not commercially viable), which is why most people don’t know about it.
Before we discuss the simple secret that makes all the difference to success or failure with your garden, I have a question for you.
It could be all of the above. Trouble is none of those things are what creates a truly great garden.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
Plants, features or anything else you might imagine will not make your garden stunning. It does not matter how much money you spend either.
Again, you read that correctly. Money isn’t the answer either.
Apparently, according to an HSBC report, the average person (whatever that is) spends £3,904 on their garden. In reality though, I know people spend a great deal more than that. But…
Precisely. Very few people have a really stunning garden. Even gardens that have been professionally landscaped don’t always look that great.
In a word, design.
Unless you plan your garden properly, it will never look good. No matter how many plants and features you buy or how much time or money you throw at it.
The reason is because what really makes a beautiful garden is how you organise the space within it – creating the right framework for all the pretty things like plants to be displayed in. Plants and features are the finishing touch, they are not the starting point.
If you get the shape right first (I don’t mean the overall shape of your garden but the shapes you create within each area) then add the plants and features in the right places, that’s when the magic happens.
Think of plants and features like actors on a stage. In order to be fabulous, the actors and actresses need a storyline. Can you imagine a stage full of actors just turning up and being expected to perform to please an audience? One might be able to improvise a new story out of thin air but a whole group with no script, no direction, no idea what to do? I think even the most accomplished actors would struggle with that.
A garden is like any good production, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make it work. Good actors are like good plant choices. You notice them rather than the production team that put the whole thing together and made it all work.
So you absolutely do need a design, a plan of some description (a strong storyline). What you don’t necessarily need however, is a designer.
This is something you can do yourself, if you follow the right formula. You can write your own script. And, no, it doesn’t have to be anything as complicated as you might have seen in garden design books.
I know exactly how frustrating some garden design books can be. I also know how difficult it can be to learn design from academic style courses. Learning materials that leave you wanting to bash your head against the nearest wall are not conducive to creating a stunning garden!
I should probably properly introduce myself. I’m Rachel Mathews and I’m a professional, international garden designer. In the last 20+ years I’ve designed every size, shape, style and budget of garden you can imagine. I’ve also seen hundreds of gardens that have had a lot of time, money and effort put into them and still the owners are dissatisfied with the results (which is why they’ve called me in).
I suspect it comes down to the ‘naturally talented curse’. People that can naturally do things easily, often aren’t able to clearly express how they do them to others.
I am not that person.
I struggled to learn how to design gardens. Even though I was technically qualified to be a garden designer, I’d managed to pass all the theory at college. When it came to actually doing it professionally, if I’m honest, I didn’t really know how to do it in those early days.
Like you though, I’m pretty determined once I decide I’m going to do something. So despite the fact I couldn’t visualise how a finished design would look (a big problem for most people) I was determined this was going to be my career.
Every now and then, in those early days, a design would just come together, sometimes in a matter of minutes. This actually added to my frustration because I didn’t know why I could do a design in 10 minutes one day and spend weeks trying endless different ideas the next time round.
So, I studied what I was doing differently when the designs went well. Turns out there’s a very specific order you need to do things in. A formula, if you like. A simple one at that.
It’s this design formula that I teach in the online garden design course I run here called the Great Garden Formula.
The first thing I get people, like you, who follow the formula laid out in the course, is to forget about plants, for the time being at least. Yes, that can, and does sometimes upset the plant obsessed folks but once they realise the key to designing a garden isn’t starting with plants, they get fantastic results.
It is counterintuitive to not think about plants first, but it is the best way if you want good results. You have to have the story written before you can possibly know which actors will be most suited for the role.
We touched on this earlier. Good design is all about how you shape the space. THE most important shapes to focus on are the main areas of empty space; the parts you walk on like the patio, deck and lawn etc.
Yes, seriously, just getting your lawn the correct shape for you garden type makes an enormous difference.
Re-shaping a lawn is not expensive to do. It’s important you pick the right shape though. That all comes down to the overall shape of your garden. If you have a long, narrow garden, you need to choose a shape and position it in a way that will accentuate the width not the length so you don’t inadvertently make it look narrower.
You can see why this way of doing things isn’t often written about. People love plants and features, they like stuff. It isn’t sexy to write about shaping your lawn and patio correctly when there’s all those lovely plants crying out to be noticed!
Garden centres and garden authors know this. It’s their job to supply things people want. Garden books wouldn’t sell nearly so well if they didn’t focus heavily on plants. Let’s face it, a garden isn’t a garden without plants. So, it does make a lot of sense that everyone focuses on the pretty bits. Only to a point though. If you want a truly stunning garden, it has to be designed and designed well.
It’s at this point a lot of people will call in a landscape team. Trouble is, most landscapers are not trained designers. They might well be able to build you a fantastic wall, patio and pond but unless those things are in the right place, they will never look right, no matter how well built they are.
Good design works together as one whole entity. If you add things here and there without taking into account the impact on the rest of the garden the results are never good! Trust me on that one, I’ve seen it over and over again in hundreds of gardens.
No one would ever dream of calling in a builder in to build them a house without a plan to follow. The chances of getting the flow and room sizes right isn’t something anyone would leave to chance.
Yet, it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G how many people do just that when it comes to landscaping! Just because there isn’t a roof, doesn’t mean your garden layout shouldn’t be as carefully planned as your home, if you want good results.
Beautiful gardens do NOT happen by accident. If you’re very lucky a corner of a garden might come together nicely by accident, but not the whole garden.
So I urge you to focus on design first and foremost. If you’ve already bought a lot of plants and features, it’s ok. You may have to shuffle things around a little bit, but all is definitely not lost. You really can improve your garden dramatically with the right shape lawn as the picture below shows.
The shape and way the materials work with one another is what has really made the big difference to the garden in the second picture; the plants are only the icing on the cake. If we’d just changed the plants and not adjusted the shape of the lawn and patio, the garden wouldn’t look much better than in the first picture.
I’ve taught the design formula that took me years to create and refine to many people around the world. I’m blown away by how much people have enjoyed doing the course and learning the right way to design their own garden. Several people have loved it so much that they’ve decided to change careers and become professional garden designers.
The Great Garden Formula incorporates simple but advanced teaching methods which means there isn’t a load of hard to understand academic or designer speak. The course is in plain English and takes you step-by-step through the design process. If you do need some extra clarification on anything I’m on hand to answer your questions in the member’s area.
Every garden is different. Some are long and narrow, others are wide, small, large, square, the list goes on. This is what can make designing your garden difficult. Long, narrow gardens for instance need to be made to look wider and with points of interest throughout in order to look really good.
Over the years I discovered that each type of garden has a set of things that needs to be done in order to achieve a successful design. Certain design shapes are effective for different types of garden.
For example, in the garden plan featured below you’ll see the shapes used have made this small garden look much bigger. The trick is to use the right shapes for your garden and requirements.
I passionately believe that the ‘average’ garden can and should be so much more than average, which is why in 2009 I went on a teacher training course so that I could effectively teach my design formula to others.
The formula I’ve created makes it easy for anyone to transform any type of garden.
I’ve developed this course to enable even a complete beginner to design their garden successfully. So, if you’re looking to transform your garden, the Great Garden Formula will guide you through the process step-by-step. You’ll be able to…
In this first module we look at the foundation of creating a beautiful garden. The 7 most important design principles (one of which creates 60% of the results) – understanding these is the vital first step to your dream garden. You will learn how each principle works and how to use them in conjunction with one another, which is critical to successfully transforming any garden.
Once you know what the principles of garden design are, it’s now time to discover some niffty tricks professional designers use. Here’s where you’ll learn some simple but highly effective ‘Ninja’ tricks that help make professional designers look so talented!
In this module you’ll learn how everything in the previous two modules applies to different size and shape gardens. Long narrow gardens, wide gardens, L-shaped, awkward shapes, large gardens, small gardens all have different requirements. By the end of this module, no matter what size or shape of garden you have, you’ll know how to use its shape to your advantage.
Here’s where you discover the formula that took me years to develop, which creates really successful results time and time again. It brings together all of the principles and design tricks in a way that will speed up your garden planning process and get you the results you want quickly and easily.
Even if you don’t think you are a creative person, this guide will help you use your full potential. It can be easy to get creatively stuck when you first start. Over the years I’ve been stuck a lot (before I worked out the Great Garden Formula) and I have developed some very effective techniques that are guaranteed to free your creativity if you find yourself getting stuck.
If, like me, you’re not a natural artist or have trouble visualising, The Cheat’s Guide To Sketching and Visualising will be a life saver! I’ll show you all the cheeky tricks I use to produce perspective sketches which help with visualising the way the finished garden will look. You’ll also learn some tricks that don’t even require you to sketch! Sketches are very valuable when presenting your ideas to other people and the landscaper (shockingly, not all landscapers are good at reading plans!).
Before you start the design process it’s really important that you have an accurate scale plan to work from. A scale plan will enable you to know that your design will fit you garden and work as you expect. You’ll also be able to order the correct amount of materials to build the garden. Drawing a scale plan isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There’s a pdf guide to download along with 4 short video tutorials to guide you through the entire process step-by-step. There’s also a bonus video included that will show you how to make a simple drawing board.
After the design process, the next step is choosing the right plants. The good news is you don’t need as much knowledge as you think to be able to choose the right plants for your garden. By knowing a few basic things to look out for, you’ll know exactly which plants to grow where. Everyone will be impressed by your ‘Plant Whispering’ skills by the time you’ve read this. The knowledge contained is worth the price of the course alone with all the money you’ll save on not killing plants because they’ve been planted in the wrong place! [/content_box_75Percent]
There is the convenience of studying at home any time that suits you. Traditional college courses often start at $1,000 and don’t cover a lot of the practical, real world design methods that I teach in the Great Garden Formula Course.
I don’t buy any courses I do online unless they come with a guarantee, so I don’t expect you to either. If for ANY reason you are not completely satisfied, I will completely refund you in full for the course. And you can keep the bonus downloads that come with the course which are worth the price of the course alone.
Or if you prefer to pay in USD
Or if you prefer to pay in USD
This one time investment will give you the skill and confidence to make your garden beautiful. It makes a big difference knowing something will work rather than hoping. And because the course covers how to tackle gardens of all shapes and sizes, you’ll be able to design all your future gardens when you move house.
Please note the course’s main focus is on design not plants. There is a bonus guide on choosing the right plants. The course comes in an easy to download format.
If you were to hire me to come out and design your garden the cost would be over four times the cost of the course. So, it’s exceptional value because you will have a new skill that you can use every time you move house and have a new garden to develop.
There is no waiting to enrol, you have instant access to download the course in full, right from the get go. You can download onto your iPad or Android tablet as well as your computer.
There is no risk to you because of the money back guarantee. If this course isn’t for you for whatever reason you can have your money back. Simple. So try it today, now. Click on the big happy orange button below and you’ll get instant access to download the course material.
Or if you prefer to pay in USD
Or if you prefer to pay in USD
Oh and one last thing – the amount you will save yourself on not buying the wrong things for your garden will easily pay for this course over and over again.
Or if you prefer to pay in USD
Or if you prefer to pay in USD