Garden guru shares tips on how to design a garden well
Drawing on a flip board, he sketched out his ideas as he explained the principles of good garden design.
“Good garden design is based on proportion,” he said.
He spoke of creating “rooms” in the garden so that onlookers are not overwhelmed but see discreet bite-sized gardens they can appreciate.
McLaggan said that using the proportions of the building and extending these to the garden would also give better proportions in a garden.
He suggested that if there is a window in the centre of a wall then the dimensions of the window, including its height from floor-level, its width and height to the top, can be transposed onto the garden and used to block-out a simple garden plan.
“Balance the various rooms you create. Symmetry is key,” said McLaggan.
He also suggested that gardeners should embrace the climate and know the times of the year when plants spring into life or become dormant.
“Use local material and plants, ones that are adapted to the local conditions. Soil is the most important thing,” he said.
Somewhat similar to the suggestions given in the “farming God’s way” initiative, McLaggan suggested the no-till method.
“Allow the compost to lie on top of the soil,” he said, pointing out that digging spoils the highways that roots, worms, moles and other creatures have already developed. So, it is important to understand the local conditions before planting.”
He also spoke of biodynamics.
“Don’t worry about indigenous and exotic plants, just plant what works and is appropriate for your garden,” he said.
At the end of his very informative talk, McLaggan spoke of the moon cycle, saying it was more important than the sun as, when the moon was full, gravity caused the water in the plants to rise.
“Solstices and equinoxes are very important when planting your garden,” he said.