Quick Start - Garden Designs

Planting Guidelines for Garden Planning

  1. Look for a space in your garden that you see daily and can care for easily, in terms of size, shape and location.

  2. Choose native, pollinator friendly plants. See choosing and sourcing plant information and nursery lists. For an Ardsley gardener's personal list of sources click here.

  3. Use a minimum of 3 different types of plants and plant them in clusters or drifts of 3-9 plants of each type, or try a native wildflower seed mix. The groupings help pollinators find the plants they need more easily.

  4. Use a bloom-chart to choose plants that will bloom at different times to keep your pollinator buffet open all growing season. Consider height, spread and bloom time to get a good variety in your pollinator buffet.

  5. Leave perennial plants in place when they die off fall or winter weather to help pollinators over-winter and offer seeds or berries for birds.


No need to reinvent the wheel! There are many free small garden designs available. Use them as is or modify them. Just click on the links.


Native Plants for the Small Yard: Easy Beautiful Home Gardens that Support Local Ecology. A great guide by Kate Brandes with many easy garden designs for small spaces

Template for an Island and Fountain planting

Four garden designs from a small rain garden to a small butterfly garden

A 3' by 6' Northeast garden quick start from the Pollinator Partnership

Butterfly Garden Plan from Better Homes & Gardens

Native Prairie Garden Plan from Better Homes and Gardens

Easy Care Butterfly Garden Plan from Better Homes and Gardens. Please note: Substitute Sweet Pepperbush (native) for Butterfly Bush, which can be invasive, in the plan.

Small Space Butterfly Garden from Better Homes and Gardens. Please note: Substitute Sweet Pepperbush (native) for Butterfly Bush, which can be invasive, in the plan.

Easy small garden planting guides on reference cards from the Pollinator Partnership

Garden designs from Wild Ones. Choose Boston, Toledo, Chattanooga, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis designs for plants that will work in Ardsley.