Before you begin planting, it is always a great idea to create a garden design using pencil and paper. Designing your garden ahead of time helps you utilize your space wisely, determine the necessary materials correctly, and apply an attractive design aesthetic.
When creating a design for a flower garden, try to group flowers in color coordinated clusters. Consult a color chart or to find out which colors go well together, and aim for variety and contrast in color without going overboard. Select wide beds and arrange in straight rows, filling each bed with a generous amount of flowers and "filler" plants so that each bed looks lush and not sparse. Try to locate taller plants to the back of your beds so that they don't overshadow the shorter plants. Finally, make sure to use symmetry in your garden, for example, by pairing beds, shrubs, and decorative items on either side of a pathway so that everything looks balanced. If you're interested in perennial garden design, take care to consult a gardening guide because perennials can have unusual light and moisture requirements. In addition, locate your perennials in separate beds from your seasonal plants because they will not look attractive in a mostly-empty bed during the winter.
You can use many of the same aesthetic tips noted above for your vegetable garden, but most people choose to emphasize functionality over aesthetics for the vegetable garden. So for example, place garden plants based on their water and sun requirements so that each plant gets exactly what it needs. Consider setting up plant stakes with labeled information about each crop type to make it easier to care for and harvest your vegetables. Surround your vegetable garden with a sturdy yet attractive fencing material to keep out wandering animals. Don't forget to leave dirt or stone pathways in between areas of your vegetable garden for easy access to each bed.
Aesthetics are critical in the case of rock gardens. Choose a range of different tonalities and contrasts and avoid a monotone look when selecting stone. In a traditional Japanese rock garden, large dark stones contrast with a ground of white or light-colored pebbles, but there are many other possibilities as well. Statues, water fountains, reflecting pools, and carefully trimmed bushes and plants are also great garden ideas for your rock garden.