Gardening for Life!

Developing a Garden Layout

Developing a Garden Layout

1. Start online. For ideas of what has worked for other gardens in the city, we suggest you check out the galleries of Calgary's existing community gardens in our handy database.

For collaboration online use the 30 day free version of the KGI Garden Planner: The Best Way to Plan Your Kitchen Garden. This is a tool from Kitchen Garden International.

2. Visit Existing Gardens. Once you've identified a few gardens that appeal to your team, go on a field trip to see some of the gardens in person.

3. Conduct a site visit. Walk through the proposed garden site to see and assess features such as slope, drainage, placement of trees, shade, sun, accessibility challenges, water options and other unique features. Remember to bring a camera and take pictures!

4.Take lots of photos during your site visit. The photos don't have to be professional - just a personal camera will do the trick. You'll find these photos invaluable. You and the team will refer back to them often when you sit down to draw up the layout. They'll also make a great addition your garden's blog or web pages.

5. Scour your network for experts. Ask around to see if any nearby residents or members of your garden team have connections to landscape experts who would volunteer to help develop the garden layout drawing and plan. This could include family or neighbors with gardening expertise, landscape architects, horticulture or environmetal design students, master gardeners or professional landscapers.

6. Connect with us at the Community Garden Resource Network. If you're unable to locate a local a resident with sufficient garden design experience, contact the Community Garden Resource Network of the Calgary Horticultural Society.

7. Prepare for your meeting. Once you've found a gardening expert willing to lend their expertise, be respectful of their time. Before meeting with your landscaping advisor, review our meeting preparation worksheet and gardening considerations.

8.  Plan Your Garden in Phases.  Choose what you can afford to do in the first year.  Plan the development of the garden in parts that are completed over several gardening seasons as  the garden team locates funding and support.

9Cost out each part of your garden plan.