Guide to measuring a square garden
It is important to ensure your garden measurements are as accurate as possible, this will help you to calculate the quantity of materials you will need when you come to do the job. You should always use a good quality measuring tape – one that goes out to 30m is usually ok for most gardens and you can buy one for quite cheap in most DIY stores. Long tapes let you take running measurements and do triangulations. It’s easiest if you have somebody help you but if you can’t, then a peg or a heavy stone that you can hook the end of your tape over will do just as well.
Regardless of the garden’s shape, you always start with the house and your house should sit square onto the plan. Draw a rough sketch of the shape of the house first, including all the little corners and doorways. Only draw the side of the house which is relevant to the garden you want to design – front or rear. You don’t have include it all unless there are side gardens. With your back to the house, take a measurement from the boundary, all the way across the house. This will give you the entire width of your plot at the entrance of the house as well as the position of any house features. It’s best to use metric measurements (cm). Nowadays, all building materials are given in metric so this will make it easier for you when you come to mark in features. Once you have done the width, do the same measurements for the length.
If your garden is square or rectangle, you can go ahead and copy your measurements onto a scaled drawing. A scale of 1:100 is good for most gardens. This means that for every 1 metre you measure, you would write that on your drawing as 1 centimetre. For example 200cm on your garden would equal 2cm on your drawing. Likewise 450cm on your plot would equal 4.5cm on your drawing. Simply divide your initial measurement by 100. If you have a small garden, you can use a smaller scale of 1:50. In that case, you would divide by 50. Make sure you note on your plan what the scale is.
Make a few copies of your scaled template drawing so that you can experiment with different ideas and compare the drawings.
But what happens if your garden isn’t square or rectangular? take a look at our guide below.