Here are some suggested steps on how to design a garden:
Gardeners may have varied interests, mobility levels, and horticultural know-how.
Listing down specific wants (e.g., a space to grow edible plants) and needs (e.g., a wheelchair-accessible path) will help with site selection and the final design.
Gardens need sunlight, and ideally should be in an area with full sun to maximise what can be grown. Areas with partial sun can also work, but will have less planting choices. Areas in full shade should be avoided entirely as plants will not be able to grow.
Sites will need to be accessible to gardeners, and should ideally be near major walkways and existing pathways. These pathways should also be wheelchair- or trolley- accessible to make it easier to get to and from the garden.
The site will need at least one water point. Water points can usually be found near existing facilities like void decks, but if one is not available, communities will have to work with the landowner to build one.
Landowners must be in agreement with Community Groups on the designated site and garden size.
Communities can work with their grassroots, organisations or educational institutions to find out who their landowners are, or use OneMap.
Using the list from step 1, communities can now look at how other gardens have been designed to achieve the desired look, feel and functionality of their own garden.
Visiting other Community Gardens and asking the Community Gardeners about their own garden design journey is a great place to start.
There are also public parks and gardens that the public can visit to get more inspiration. Some popular gardens are:
HortPark, with a Nature Playgarden, multiple edible gardens and ornamental show gardens;
The Singapore Botanic Gardens, which features extensive and unique themed gardens including an ethnobotany garden, a ginger garden, and the National Orchid Garden.
Hardscapes are structures that help keep a garden functional. Learning about different kinds of hardscapes is important in helping you choose appropriate materials and structure types, and also helps you to budget space for your garden accordingly.
Once all the major amenities have been placed, pathways can be drawn to link them all up. Larger, primary pathways should lead between the entrance and major amenities, while smaller, secondary pathways can be used to access the rest of the garden.