Principles of Garden Design

This month we were delighted to welcome Jacquie Felix-Mitchell to talk to us about Garden Design. Jacqui has her own garden design business in Devon under the name Oasis Garden Design. Jacquie talked to us about the key principles for a great garden design…


You can achieve unity by repeating key characteristics in your planting for example, height, size, texture, colour and shape. This will help all parts of the garden to look like they belong together.

Scale & Proportion

Think about the size of plants and other features in your garden. Large features can create a cozy or cramped space. Only using small plants can make a space feel exposed and perhaps uncomfortable.

Proportion is about the size of features in relation to each other. Mixing big and small can help to create balance and cohesion.

Space & Mass

These affect how comfortable you feel in the garden. It could too large and empty, like a football pitch. A lot of mass from building, trees and walls means the space feels cramped but if used carefully it can create a sense of safety, comfort and privacy.

Symmetry & Asymmetry

Making your garden design symmetrical is common for aesthetically pleasing spaces. However, asymmetry can be used to create a more relaxed and free-form garden.

Space & Enclosure

By surrounding a garden with a barrier such as a wall, fence or hedge you can create enclosure which is great for a sense of refuge and calm.


Water can be used to add light, reflection, movement and sound to a garden. It will also attract wildlife.

What does a garden designer do?

By hiring a garden designer you can make use of all these services to help you with your space…

  • Consultations on existing gardens
  • Design new gardens
  • Discuss your wants and needs
  • Site surveys
  • Draw plans for part or all of the garden
  • Planting plans
  • Work with hard landscapers
  • Project management
  • Ongoing advice

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