Plant Plans

Creating the perfect border

Table of Contents

Choices made when creating plant plans

When it comes to picking the perfect plants for your garden, it’s important to think about the type of plants and where they’ll be placed.

That’s where a comprehensive site analysis comes in handy!

We’ll take a look at the soil type, pH, rainfall, wind exposure, and sun and shade patterns of your garden to tailor the planting plan to site.

Planting Best Practice

Foxgloves amongst layers of lush planting - created using Vectorworks plant plans

Right plant, right place

We believe in the ‘right plant, right place’ approach to planting to ensure the health and longevity of your garden.

This is why we carefully analyze your site to determine the sunny, shady, exposed, or damp areas.

With this information, we can place the right types of plants in the best spots in your garden, helping them thrive for longer.


At Jon Norman Garden Design, we believe in sustainable gardening practices that are kind to nature.

For us, sustainability simply means ‘do no harm!’

That’s why we suggest:

  • Planting insect-friendly plants to encourage local wildlife,
  • Using natural solutions like companion planting or
  • Natural deterrents instead of harmful pesticides, and
  • Avoiding peat-based composts in favour of 
    • peat-free alternatives or
    • compost made from garden waste.

This can create a healthy, harmonious and pesticide-free outdoor space.

Sustainable planting

How we approach plant design

Trees And Shrubs

Trees and shrubs

When planning a planting scheme, we always start with the structural elements.

Trees and shrubs add the framework to the garden, creating the structure that keeps the garden looking good throughout the seasons.

Trees provide sculptural forms that add height, while shrubs add permanent bulk and winter interest to borders.

Leaf texture and shape

When combining plants, we focus on leaf texture and shape first.

The leaf form of the plant lasts far longer than its flowering period.

We consider how each plant’s overall shape contrasts with its neighbours and how their leaf shapes can be combined for long-lasting interest.”

Leaf texture
Beautiful set of plants in a rockery

Long lasting colour

Our aim is to provide you with planting schemes that have long flowering periods.  We, therefore, choose plants that are long-lasting, attract insects and are easy to grow.

Planting Mood Boards

We provide plant mood boards to help you visualise your new plant borders.

We consider the plant’s shape, leaf texture, and flower colour.

The plants are labelled for easy recognition.

Creating Plant Plans

The Vectorworks all-in-one plant tool

We have mentioned before that we like to use Vectorworks as our design tool of choice. 

It contains a professional plant placement tool which allows us to create our plant plans in 2D then visualise them in a 3D space.

Adding the plants to the design

Top plan of a plant in Vectorworks

The plant tool lets us specify a plant specimen and place it on the plan plans as a 2D symbol.

3D View of a plant in Vectorworks

When the view is flipped into 3D mode a realistic plant symbol appears.

As more items are added to the plant plans, the 3D view fills out and we can see how your borders will look after they’ve been planted up.

Plant plan and 3D view

Plant Data

All the plants within the Vectorworks program are held in a set of custom plant libraries which we have created specifically for our designs. Each plant in the library contains a 2D plant graphic, an associated 3D image plus data about the plant itself.

This includes information such as the plant’s height, width, preferred aspect and flowering period.

This information is used to create plant plans with annotated plant labels and reports.

Plant Reports

Plant ordering

Once we have created your plant plan, we can then use the Vectorworks system to create reports of the plants used in your design.

Some of these are used to create accurate plant orders from nurseries.

Plant Maintenance Schedules

The plant data is also used to create maintenance schedules. These give you detailed descriptions of each plant in your scheme and will tell you how to care for each plant with information such as:

  • the plant’s flowering period,
  • when to feed or mulch it,
  • how to prune it,
  • propagation methods and
  • which diseases to look out for.

Delivery of Plants

When the building phase is complete, the planting phase begins.

We will take delivery of any soft landscaping to ensure the quality of the plants is of a high standard.,

We will also set out the plants to be certain that our planting designs are adhered to correctly.

Talk to us about your dream garden project

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