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Southern Inspirations Garden Design

A family-run business since 1997

Southern Inspirations
Easy Garden Drawing
Good garden drawing practice will form you garden design backbone. The designer will use it to communicate the garden design to the professional landscaper. This page teaches you the basics of garden drawing. A good drawing will be worth a thousand words. Get it right and the design will shine!

Basic Drawing Instruments

Your standard drawing instruments include:

  • Paper
  • Set square
  • Colour pencils
  • Compass
  • Pencil 2H
  • Scale Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Drawing board
These instruments are the absolute minimum you will need. If you do not have all of the instruments, you may have to improvise. Various stencils can be used to create texture in your final drawing.

Garden Drawing Symbols

Every garden designer develops there own set of symbols. This becomes there own ‘trademark’. Symbols are required to represent various plant types, e.g. a fine textured evergreen tree, conifer, etc. Choose your own set of symbols for use when you design gardens.

Garden Drawing Symbols
Garden Drawing Symbols


Scale is one of the most important requirements for garden drawing. Always draw to scale. If you neglect scale in your design it will not adhere to the garden design principles. A common scale for a medium garden is 1:100. This will mean that 1cm on your drawing represents 100cm (or 1 m) in the garden. For a smaller garden a scale of 1:50 is also very popular.

When drawing, choose the correct scale on your scale ruler. If you do not own a scale ruler, choose a simple scale like 1:100. Write down the scale chosen on your drawing. This will sop any confusion later.

The Layout

Lay your drawings out to properly fit on to the page. Leave a margin around it for comments or writing. Determine the overall garden site overall size, and then measure the size of the paper. Use your calculator to find a good scale.  

The Dimensions

Write your overall dimensions on the outside of your drawing. Also write in any critical dimensions that will make the positioning of hard landscape items easy. Dimensions are important to calculate the amount of material needed to be purchased for paving, gravel paths, etc.  


Garden drawings are usually done in plan, i.e. the drawing as you would see it from above. This will give an overall layout of your garden. Here all things can be shown in relation to their position on the ground. Dimensions can also easily be measured on the drawing, scaled up and used for your final setting out of the garden.

Garden Drawing Plan

Side elevations are also useful for gardens that have different levels. The different heights can then be easily recognised. Side elevations are extremely useful for hard landscaping, for example positioning of terraces.

Garden Elevation Plan

An axonometric drawing is used to portray a 3 dimensional image of the garden. This elevation can be very illustrative, but difficult it is to use in the actual landscaping of the garden. The technical aspects will not be discussed as this drawing will be of very little use for your first few garden designs.

Axonometric Garden Plan


Using color in a garden drawing makes it interesting, and creates a feel for the garden design theme.

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