Gardening expert reveals a common mistake new gardeners make when planning a garden

Before you begin planting things in the ground or in containers, take note of her expert advice

garden with bright orange doors leading onto it
(Image credit: Future)

Planning a garden is a joyful process and one not to stress over too much. Having a big or small plot of land, or even a balcony in which to grow whatever plants you like is a wonderful thing. 

So as not to make life hard for ourselves, we should avoid making the common mistake of forgetting to consider the location of our garden when planning our garden design ideas. Can you see your plants from inside? How far away is your water source, and where is the light coming from for the most part of the day?

outdoor space with chair and pot plants

(Image credit: Future)

Starting a garden is all about location, according to Amy Enfield from Scotts Miracle Gro. 'While you're always looking for the sunnier parts of your yard to start your garden, placing your garden in a part of your yard, or house, where you'll see it regularly means you'll be much more likely to spend time in it,' says Amy.

From our own experience experimenting with container gardening ideas, we take better care of the plants in window boxes or in pots by our front door than those tucked away at the end of the garden. It's not quite 'out of sight, out of mind,' but we're just much more likely to spot if slugs and snails have got to our petunias if we're walking past them all the time, or can see them out of the living room window.

We think the same goes for any outdoor living space ideas. We might think we want a dining space or an outdoor sofa down at the bottom of the garden, but realistically, we'll spend more time in it if it's a few steps from the interior of our home.

outdoor sofa in a garden

(Image credit: Future)

The location of our garden and how much sun it gets go hand in hand. Amy says that many people misjudge sunlight when first learning to garden.

'Focus on where sunlight is most prominent through your yard/house before choosing a spot for your garden,' she suggests. 'If sunlight is limited, be sure to select plants that work well with the sunlight you do have.'

Likewise, you want to look for plants that will thrive in full sun if you have a sunny spot that gets lots of light. Don't worry if a plant isn't looking happy, as finding a solution is part of learning how to garden.

back garden with large tree

(Image credit: Future)

Last of all, Amy recommends planning your new garden near a reliable water source, if at all possible. This will avoid you having to lug heavy watering cans or drag your best garden hose around. 

So, as you begin planning, try starting out where you can see your garden from inside, and don't forget about the sun and where your nearest water source will be. Your future self will thank you!

Millie Hurst
Millie Hurst

Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.