In addition to planning with a long-term perspective, considering your garden commitment, listening to your site and identifying your inspiration, take time to determine your purpose.

Imagine what your ideal garden will look like from your window. Understand the problems you need to solve and the goals you hope to achieve; be able to articulate your reasons for wanting a garden. Are you seeking privacy from neighboring homes or a more beautiful spot in which to relax or entertain guests? Will this design meet your needs in the future and make the most of your space? Answering questions like these ahead of time will help to determine the best design choices for your unique situation.

Believe it or not, the back yard shown here used to be a barren, flat, highly-visible corner lot. The photo below shows the transformation by Hanselman Landscape into a private family oasis with plenty of room for entertaining and play. (Hey! It even boasts a jumping rock for the kids and their friends!)

Joyfully shared by Betty Hanselman
– Gardener’s (purpose-driven) wife