How to plan a garden: Expert layout and planting advice

Wondering how to plan a garden? Creating an outdoor space that complements its surroundings and your home in the way you want it to is an exciting project. 

Whether it’s a space for activities like dining, relaxing, entertaining and playing, or you want it to include all your favorite flowers and plants, there are plenty of garden ideas to choose from. 

But there’s no doubt that planning a garden is a challenge, too. A garden changes through the seasons, and as it matures, so strategizing for year-round interest and for the future is vital, too.

This expert advice offers inspiration for every aspect of designing a plot, from garden decor ideas to planting tips, and more. 

How do I start designing my garden?

To begin your garden planning, think about both what you want to use the space for and how you would like it to look. 

Growing flowers, shrubs and trees, plus perhaps vegetables and fruit, could be almost the entire purpose of a garden or it could be just one of its uses.

Many gardens are used as social spaces for relaxing or eating with a crowd of extended family or friends on a regular basis. And with a wide range of outdoor dining ideas available these days, there’s something to suit every garden, no matter how big or small the space is. 

Clever sloping garden ideas are useful if your outdoor space

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the 10 best to grow in your backyard |

Sun-loving Mediterranean plants are tough and drought-tolerant yet beautiful. The natural planting scheme combines a tapestry of different colors and textures using perennial plants that like to bake in the sun. 

Colors tend to be from a muted palette of soft gray-greens and mauve-blues that creates a painterly effect, but bright splashes of color are welcome, too. 

Mediterranean plants like a sunny south-facing position if they’re going to thrive and they do well in poor soil, with many happy even to settle their roots straight into gravel, which, of course, makes them the perfect complement to your Mediterranean garden ideas.

The mild winters and hot dry summers of the Mediterranean lends itself to drifts of hardy and low-growing plants that like these conditions including lavender, herbs, succulents and grasses. So if your garden faces south and you have mild winters, these Mediterranean plants will suit your space.

Mediterranean plants

The planting most commonly associated with Mediterranean garden design are naturalistic and wild, inspired by the landscape of Provence but also feature more formal schemes in the style of colorful Andalusian courtyards with terracotta pots filled with bright blooms. 

Our pick of the best Mediterranean plants will suit whichever style of Mediterranean garden or flower bed ideas you end up choosing.

1. Nerium oleander (rose bay)

pink oleander plant

(Image credit: Hemjaa/GettyImages)

With clusters of pink, red or white flowers in summer on evergreen foliage, oleander is a highly

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How to keep slugs out of the garden and off your plants

Slugs can be a gardener’s worst nightmare. You spend months nurturing and caring for your garden and then a slug can come along and undo all your hard work in the space of an afternoon.

So how do you keep slugs out of your garden?

There are a variety of different methods, but you want something that isn’t going to harm you, your pets, wildlife or others around you.

Online lifestyle magazine, Homes and Gardens, believes they have they have a number of sustainable and safe solutions.

Watford Observer: There are number of sustainable ways to keep slugs out of the garden that won't impact you or others.There are number of sustainable ways to keep slugs out of the garden that won’t impact you or others. (Image: Getty Images)

The best ways to keep slugs out of your garden

According to Homes and Gardens, these are the best ways to keep slugs out of your garden:


Homes and Gardens said if you are looking for a “guaranteed” slug control method, then nematodes are a great option that will target the slug without harming any other wildlife. 

The online magazine explained: “Nematodes occur naturally in the soil and seek out and kill specific target pests.

“They attack the pest by entering its body and releasing a bacterium which quickly and effectively kills it.

“The nematodes then reproduce inside the dying pest and release a new generation of hungry nematodes, which disperse and search for further prey, protecting the area for up to six weeks. 

“Nematodes have the advantage of targeting slugs beneath the soil, where most of them dwell, rather than just those on the surface.”

Nematodes are readily available online including on places like Amazon.

Copper Tape

Using copper

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9 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Like a Modern Resort

Newport Beach designer Raili Clasen shares her go-to ideas for making your home feel like a vacation.

<p>David Land</p>

Want to bring the relaxing feel of a vacation home with you? We asked Newport Beach interior designer Raili Clasen to share her favorite tips for making your home feel like a modern resort. The former surf industry executive turned coastal designer is sharing her insights for blending indoor and outdoor living, dining alfresco, and adding thoughtful touches, like a poolside shower for a quick post-dip rinse. With her advice, your family and friends may be booking their next getaway at your house.

1. Get Away in Your Own Backyard

There’s nothing like a good meal to help transport you to another world. Clasen recommends creating a space in the yard (back, side, or front) that feels akin to the most magical getaway. “Under the patio, hang multiple paper lanterns or woven pendants and they’ll float in the breeze. Or place your table in the lushest part of your garden and string lights over the table and from the trees,” she says.

<p>Carmel Brantley</p>

2. Bring the Outdoors Inside

A surefire way to create a seamless link between indoors and out is with bi-fold windows and doors. Whether in a living room, dining room, kitchen, or bedroom, opening a wall of doors to a sprawling patio or garden will make your home feel bigger, brighter, and totally breezy. Another option is placing bi-fold windows in a kitchen that links to a backyard and placing an outdoor bar and stools under the window. This makes passing cocktails and popsicles from one location to another fun and easy while making the spaces feel connected.

Related: How to Decorate with Biophilic Design to Bring Nature Indoors

3. Plant a Picture-Perfect Garden

A narrow space between a

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Miamicore Is the Home Decor Trend Bringing the Heat This Summer

The coastal, maximalist design style will make you feel like you’re on a never ending vacation.

Annie Schlechter

Annie Schlechter

When you think of the ultimate girls’ trip, beach getaway destination, Miami is always one of the spots that comes to mind. Especially with summer upon us, it’s understandable to fantasize about the dive bars and boat days this seaside city is known for—but if a trip isn’t in the works (at least not yet), setting up a staycation inspired by the coastal city is easier than ever now that Miamicore is taking over as a home decor trend.

“Miamicore can be described as Golden Girls meets coastal style meets maximalist decor,” says Sheva Knopfler, decor expert, creative director, and co-founder at Lights.com. “Recently, there’s been an emphasis on decorating your home based on your personality and clothing style—we’ve seen vanilla girl aesthetic, coastal grandmother, Barbiecore, and more across TikTok and Instagram. Miamicore is another iteration of designing based on your overall aesthetic, breaking barriers through quirky designs and loud prints while staying cohesive.”

Carson Downing

Carson Downing

Related: coastal-cowgirl-decor-7376112″ data-ylk=”slk:Coastal Cowgirl Decor Is the Perfect Rustic Twist on Coastal Grandmother;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “Coastal Cowgirl Decor Is the Perfect Rustic Twist on Coastal Grandmother

This sophisticated yet breezy, Art Deco-meets-nautical aesthetic features botanical wallpaper, bright colors, funky shapes and lines, neon lights, and lacquered furniture. In reference to the coastal, maximalist look, Knopfler has seen a rise in popularity with natural materials like rattan and wicker, along with geometric shapes like mid-century bulbs and bold linear pieces.

In a TikTok posted by Ruggable, the brand describes Miamicore as “a nod to the ’70s and ’80s postmodern Miami decor style—a little bit kitschy and pastel” with plenty of shell accents and chevron.

To turn your space into

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