When we are using our drawing on graph paper, I like to develop the garden around an axis. I looked up the term "axis" in my little desktop dictionary. An axis is a real or imaginary straight line around which parts are arranged in a symmetrical way. Our livable garden is arranged around an axis. I like to use the term "balanced" instead of "symmetrical". Balance is attained when the proportions of mass, texture and color are proportional on either side of the axis.
In drawing #1 we have the livable garden area of a typical suburban lot. The placement of the building was taken off of a plot plan or drawing. Notes were added to show the views. In drawing #2 we have the beginnings of ideas that the designer has been considering. The design is developing around the axis. Please note that there is a main axis and a couple of minor axis. In drawing #3 we see the addition of trees, shrubs and flowers around the axis. In drawing 4 you will see that things are happening around the axis and their intersections. Walks spring up, features are added. Drawing #5 is the final drawing. The axis will help when it comes to transitioning from a drawing to the actual grounds. It is much easier to measure walkways, borders and paths. Although there isn't one lot in Sunshine that conforms to the boundaries of our drawings, the philosophy is the same. Use the three areas and develop the garden around an axis.
In your private, livable garden area there are six things to consider. Do you have a feeling of spaciousness? Does the lawn area balance with the trees and shrubs, or is one overpowering?
Is your garden interesting? Is it inviting? The garden should make you wantto get out and walk around.
Is it livable? The garden should be a place to do things. Do you want to play outdoor games, sit back in a lounge chair or hurry back into the house?
Does it have imagination? The garden should reflect the family's personalities.
Can you circulate around the garden? This not only means paths, walks and driveways, but open areas as well.
Are the plants well chosen? Most people have an idea of the kind of plants they would like to have in their garden. Try to incorporate the ones listed in the planning questionnaire. The plants will add true beauty to the garden.