Designing the perfect yard can be a great exercise in creativity. Plotting out where every last plant and decoration is going to go makes establishing the cost of the design as well as help avoid mistakes when the garden is actually planted and the decorations set up. However, the first step is mapping out the borders of the yard as it currently is so that the planning can be as accurate as possible. It can take a few minutes to draw the garden to scale, but it is an important first step in the design of your future garden.
You will need a pencil, a piece of paper, and a ruler. The first step is to take measurements of all of the borders, as well as the two biggest diagonals. For a standard rectangular yard these will be the lines formed by going from corner to the one opposite it; for other yards it is only important to have two diagonals. These will be used to check the map later on. All of these measurements need to be precise as possible. It is advised that the corners be drawn as the walls forming them are measured.
You willl need to settle on the scale to be used. A good scale is roughly 1:50; for metric users this translates to one centimeter on the map to fifty centimeters on the yard, and for imperial users it is 1/4″ for every foot. You should convert each of your measurements to the new measurement. For metric users it is as easy as converting the measurements to centimeters and then dividing by 50. Imperial users merely need divide the measure in feet by four; that is the number of inches that border will be on the page. You need to convert all of the measurements taken in this manner, including the diagonals.
You then need to draw the yard as defined by its borders. Starting at one corner, put the ruler at the point where the two walls intersect and measure out the length of the converted measure. Draw to that point and place the corner there. Continue until the map is complete. At that point measure the two diagonals; they should be reasonably accurate. If they are not you need to check the conversions to make sure that the math was done right and then that the lines were drawn at the right length. Once the mistake is corrected you should have a scale drawing of your yard.
The ideal is to copy the drawing into some sort of design software, and there are plenty of programs that will help you design your yard. You can also use the drawing as a template for different designs. As the drawing is reasonably accurate you can use it to design your yard and the reverse the conversion for the measurements of the bounded areas, ad use them to determine how many plants and and seeds you will need, as well as how much space you will need for decorations. This should help you make the yard precisely as you desire, making it the perfect yard.