Planning Your Summer Garden – Start Here

Planning your summer garden may sound like a chore. However, you could have your entire garden planned and planted in a single weekend. The key to success is having a thoughtful plan for your outdoor space.

Here are the steps you need to get your summer garden planned, planted, and growing by the end of this weekend.

1. Map Your Garden

You don’t need to be a skilled draughtsman to map your garden. All you need is a piece of graph paper and a pencil. You can also download a garden planning app to your smartphone or tablet. If you are tempted to skip this step, don’t. The key to successful garden planning is in the sketch. Draw out your garden space, using a measuring tape for accuracy. Indicate areas of shade and sun, and include any containers you will be using.

2. Select Your Garden Theme

This is where the fun begins. If you have collected images of gardens you admire, go back and look at them. Determine what you want your garden theme to be. Urban gardens typically make good use of containers to decorate small spaces. Wildlife-friendly gardens are designed to attract bees, butterflies, and birds. Cottage gardens are blooming with an abundance of flowers in every corner. Formal gardens tend to be symmetrical and elegant in their simplicity. Make note of the textures, mood, colours, and specific plants you want in your summer garden. Begin to fill in your garden planning sketch with the specific details that will bring your vision to life.

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3. Prepare Your Soil

planning your summer garden

Part of garden planning is soil preparation. Test your soil’s drainage by digging a one foot hole and then filling it with water. If the water drains quickly, your soil may be too dry. When soil drains within 10 -15 minutes, your drainage should be adequate for most plants. If your soil takes a long time to drain, it may be overly moist. Wet soil can be amended with sand to make it looser and drier, and clay can add moisture and firmness to dry soil. Mix in organic material such as compost, manure, or leaves.

If you will be planting in containers, be sure they have are able to drain water adequately. Fill containers with potting compost.

4. Purchase and Arrange Plants

Take your garden plan to your local nursery or garden centre and purchase your plants. When you bring them home, arrange them all prior to planting. Vary colours, shapes, textures and heights for more interest in individual areas. Use one plant to unify different areas of your garden. A hardy plant like Geranium Rozanne® that can tolerate varying light and water conditions is ideal for this task. Rozanne’s ability to get along with her neighbours in any condition makes her the perfect plant to bring unity between your light loving and shade loving plants. Make any last minute arrangements, and then you can start planting.


Garden planning takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. By making a thoughtful plan, you can get your entire garden up and running in a single weekend. Sketch and soil prep on day one, then purchase, arrange and plant on day two. By Sunday evening you could be relaxing in your summer garden space with Rozanne and her friends!