Garden Map

Last weekend I measured and mapped our front yard. It took forever, but I really needed to do it. My planting up to this point has been almost completely random, so my gardens are chaotic eclectic. I want to do some rearranging. First, I stood outside and tried to plan all the changes in my head. I stared and stared at the yard, but the longer I stared the more confused I felt. I needed a map to work with.

So, I measured and sketched everything out to scale, right down to the last tree.

garden map plan

Then I drew it all out in Illustrator. Now I can scoot plants around and figure out the placement before digging a bunch of holes in the wrong places.

(Click the map to zoom in.)

garden map

Have you done this before? Did it help? Do you have any garden planning tips to share? I get so overwhelmed trying to consider all the factors I need to take into account—when a plant will bloom, whether or not it is evergreen, size of the plant when it reaches maturity, light requirements, etc…


  1. John

    We have paths around the garden beds. Once the paths were sketched out (on a large map like yours) the garden bed locations were easier to plan.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Good idea, I definitely need to do that. I’m finding all sorts of garden path ideas over on Pinterest!

  2. emily

    i totally do need to do this for my garden. i’m at the sit and stare part of the process…but definitely need a better plan before my garden starts to look like i let my kids decide where to plant things…oh, wait that’s what i do. ha!

  3. kristin

    I’ve been sitting and staring for 2 years now! I finally made some garden bed progress last year, but I want to kick it up a notch this year (i.e. rocks!). I should really do this so I can sort everything out in my mind.

  4. Elli

    Oh my gosh, sitting and staring is so true. I keep feeling like the neighbors will think I’m a space cadet, but I need to visualize!

    My map method (not quite done yet) is to grab a satellite view from Google and trace the outlines into photoshop/illustrator/what-have-you. I’m hoping this will keep me from fussing about with scale!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That’s a great idea. I tried that myself, but we have so many trees I couldn’t see anything but leaves from above, haha.

  5. Patti

    I actually have done this before, but old school, pre-digital days. I wanted things blooming in my flower beds spring, summer and fall, so I mapped plantings on 3 sheets of tracing paper, overlaying one per season. That way I knew the garden would look good for color, height, etc., each season — worked great but would be even better these days with Illustrator! :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Genius! I need to do that with a layer for each season in Illustrator to show when different plants will be blooming!

  6. Kelly J. R.

    I map out my vegetable garden every year in Illustrator. Such an easy way to move things around, rotate crops, companion plant, etc. I just posted this year’s garden plan on my blog a few days ago.

  7. Jen

    I did it in Illustrator and it made planning much easier. Here in the desert, rock is a big part of the plan so we designed for lava rock and “butter” rock (just posted about it if you’re interested). Totally going to steal Patti’s idea for the next house.

    Pinterest is great, but be sure to check out Houzz as well. Some brilliant ideas from professional designers and landscapers throughout. Plus, you can save photos in your own “notebooks”.

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