How to make a garden from scratch

We have always done articles on how to start a garden but we have never considered what we can do when we have a plot of land and we want to make a garden, of any kind, but we do not know how to start.

Making a garden from scratch is expensive, both financially and in terms of time and effort. The prices gardening are very broad in terms of what is sought. It is an endless sector and sometimes it is not easy to find a good value for money. There are professionals and materials that are very cheap, very expensive and very good value for money, but you have to know how to search.

This is like decorating a house. You have to start looking, take references in magazines, stores, thousands of websites , videos, ideas until you decide on certain things that can fit … It is amazing to do it yourself but it is expensive. Therefore we have two options:

  • Do it ourselves. A very satisfying personal project
  • Or hire the services of a decorator

The second option is always more expensive, although if you are an indisputably busy person, with little time to dedicate to the initial decoration of a house, a decorator can help you a lot. Know how to combine colors depending on the spaces and the light, price ranges in materials, furniture, etc. you don’t learn in two days and this professional group knows everything about it.


You have to cover all the specters of people who want to have a garden. Because everything is said, having a garden gives life, joy to the house, it is a great leisure space and puts you in direct contact with nature in a private space, but not everyone likes or maintains it and even less if they want to. consider having to make one from scratch! To taste the colors!


Professional gardeners know – in addition to cutting and pruning – how to plan spaces , how to generate the best routes to make paths , pavements, plan irrigation systems and types , sectorize irrigation based on plot size, water pressure and path of each sector …


It is evident that if I live in Madrid and I love tropical gardens, no matter how much I want to, or I make myself a programmed glass greenhouse, with automatic temperature and humidity control like the one in the Royal Botanical Garden, or I have it rather difficult. Knowing what kind of trees, shrubs and plants in general I can keep in a specific climate is essential to avoid getting frustrated from the start. Professionals will recommend us the perfect species and in this case, if I have no idea, I would go to professional gardeners in Madrid to advise me what to plant, where to plant it and in general how to configure the spaces.

Also, one can do a search exercise on the web, ask in forums, go to a nursery, neighbors, friends if one wants to venture to do it oneself.

Choosing the garden style is important. There are rustic styles , with informal airs, designs that are apparently carefree or careless. Others are modern Zen type with everything very delimited and smooth, clean textures, with white edges, interspersed lights … It is a world. And this style is mainly conditioned by the type of climate. The soil influences in general terms, but it is something that we can modify a lot if the plot is not very large. The climate is the first that conditions.

Clear examples are:

  • The english garden
  • Zen-like garden
  • Topiary Sculpture Garden (advanced).
  • Mediterranean garden or xerojardín.
  • Coastal garden.
  • Rockery garden.

English garden example



It is evident that we have to see how the space of our garden is configured. Observe different corners and spaces and start thinking about how we want those spaces. Are we going to make an arbor? A pergola? Do we want a barbecue?

Another very important thing is to see the orientation of our garden with respect to the sun. That largely determines the type of species we can plant. If we are going to need light areas of light of little size, or on the contrary, a small shade tree will be necessary. If the trees are shade trees, it is recommended that they be deciduous so that, when they grow, they do not prevent radiation from entering the house. Evergreen trees provide shade in winter and this is not efficient. The evergreen only for hedges on fences and lattices.


It is something very necessary. Sketch several well-measured spaces, routes, paths, establish the points of light and water , work on the different spaces based on orientation considerations and our idea of ​​a garden. It is an essential task. Here we will also begin to decide on materials, upholstery plants, grass in non-transit areas, etc.


Depending on the spaces, we must configure accesses from the house to the garden that do not break aesthetics, that are not uncomfortable and leave as much usable space as possible. From there we must choose the type of path based on our garden style. Modern paving, gravel delimited with logs, stones, wood …


There will be liveable areas of the garden and purely decorative areas where access is restricted by the presence of plants, flowerbeds, ground cover plants etc. If you have enough space you can make a lawn or meadow area but you will have to plan the waterings accordingly. You can also use artificial grass in case of not having the possibility of irrigation or that we are simply not willing to maintain it. The lawn mainly requires:

  • Recebos
  • Irrigation (if it is automatic by sprinkling it is less of a problem).
  • cut
  • Elimination of adventitious herbs. (Clover, dandelion …)

Working on a plan or sketch is essential in the entire creative process. Photo by Johannes Ortner


Irrigation is another headache if it is going to be needed. It depends a lot on the plot, water pressure. In addition, it is essential to sectorize well to program different frequencies, types and times of irrigation depending on the zones:

  • The lawn will be one or more areas (depending on the surface to be covered) that will have to be watered by sprinkling. You must choose the type of sprinkler or diffuser well , whether it is programmed or not. If you are going to do it manually, there are several options. If they are sprinklers or diffusers, you should see the spray radius and the minimum pressure you need to know how many sectors you should configure.
  • Plant areas, shrubs, flower beds etc. the best system is the drip or micro dripper . Water saving and simplicity. In addition, it is well placed and is hidden in leafy areas.


Making a nice garden also requires good lighting to enjoy summer nights . They have to be outdoor lighting systems and today the best technology is led. Exterior led strips, lanterns with light sensor, with manual switch-off or on, with solar panels … various lanterns …


Once the cabinet work on the plan is finished, you must delimit with ropes or whatever you have at hand the spaces in the plot and rectify things. It is not the same to see on the plane than to have it on the ground. A path that may seem narrow on the plane, then it may seem too much on the ground.

If you change, you will have to recalculate irrigation routes, lighting, m2 of flooring, etc. and re-plan. It is a job that is always done but you should not be lazy. It is so and it is part of the process. It is very rare that everything goes the first time.

The green walls with evergreen hedges give packaging and dress the boundaries of the plot


This point, even if it is the last, is no less important. Depending on the type of plot and what you have around you, you will want more or less privacy. If there are not many people or neighbors nearby and the landscape is beautiful, I prefer to sacrifice privacy for landscape. If you are more than not being looked at, then you should consider a fence with a hedge of a certain height to delimit. Here we have two basic options depending on the space:

  • Lattice with climbing plants. For small farms it is ideal since it does not take up space from the garden like a boxwood hedge, yours or similar. And some species can become very dense.
  • Garden hedges : If you have enough space, a thick hedge adds a lot of packaging to the garden. It is undoubted. It usually takes more work than climbing plants, especially the first years until you make it up. Then it will be necessary to make one or two cuts per year to keep it healthy, leafy and limiting its lateral and vertical growth depending on what we want.
  • If you have a wall: you can cover it with climbing plants. There are some that can climb the wall without the need for a tutor, but if you place a lattice to guide, you will have more varied options of climbers.

From here you only have to get down to work, whether you are going to do it yourself or hire someone to advise you. Once done you will enjoy it for sure. Go ahead!

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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