Here are some ideas about garden design based on my experiences over decades of continual and ongoing planting, unplanting and replanting.
2. You need patience unless you're going to spend big and buy mature plants. And even then, they'll take longer to settle in and it still takes time for a pleasing picture to evolve.
4. I see the garden as a picture and a picture needs a frame, like some kind of hedge around it. I use Pittosporum a lot. It's very common and some gardeners are quite snobbish and don't like it. But I think it's great. It's easy to grow, quite fast, can be shaped and doesn't need to be watered once it's established.
6. You're creating a picture, but it's a complicated three dimensional picture that ideally looks good from every angle. And ideally it looks good all the year round. Annuals and perennials disappear for a while, and you need to have something else to look at until they re-appear. Shrubs of different shapes and sizes create variety, as do different types of foliage. I like to use spiky evergreen grasses like Lomandras as fillers.
8. Use groupings of the same plants, often in 3s or 5s but not necessarily - there are no formulas that always work. Again, the challenge is about finding the balance between restful and boring.
|Markdale's Garden in Binda, NSW, designed by Edna Walling|
Photo by AYArktos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5
via Wikimedia Commons
When I feel like this I think how boring that would be. Like happy ever after in a fairy tale - that's the end of the story, nothing more can happen. Or like the Garden of Eden. I think Eve did what she did because she got bored. It was only after they got expelled that life got interesting.