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How do I start?

Find out how it works and learn more about how to plant.

My region isn’t on the list of locations. Can I participate?

The Pollinator Pathmaker tool selects plants from Plant Palettes, lists of plants that we have specially curated. The Plant Palettes currently include plants temperate to Atlantic European gardens (places with climate like the UK’s) and Continental European gardens (places with hot summers and cold winters like Germany, but not its alpine regions). When you create a garden, you’ll see the regions covered by these Plant Palettes in the drop-down menu. Local conditions vary, of course, so check plant suitability before you buy.

Find out how we plan to add more regions through the commissioning of international Edition. 

Can I create a garden larger than 15m?

The website has a garden size limit of 15m x 15m. On some mobile phones, you may be limited to 10m x 10m due to processing power. If you want to make a 15m garden, try a different device or a laptop or desktop computer. For gardens larger than 15m, read more about commissioning an Edition.

Why do I need to enter my garden conditions?

Not all plants flourish everywhere. If you don’t know the conditions of your garden, or don’t have one, try a common combination: Soil: loam, Acidity: neutral, Light: partial, Exposure: sheltered. We haven’t included some categories found in plant guides (such as aspect or soil moisture), so check each plant using online gardening resources before you buy. Read more about how to plant.

What is my soil type?

Run the soil through your hands. Clay soils tend to be compact and sticky to the touch when wet, and can be rolled into a ball. Sandy soils are the opposite: lighter, with an open structure and gritty. Loam is somewhere in between. Chalky soils are made of chalk or limestone. If it froths when you add some to a jar of vinegar, then it’s lime rich.

What is my soil pH?

DIY testing kits are available from garden centres, and are relatively cheap and easy to use. You could also ask gardeners in your area! Or look at what’s growing: pine trees, heather, and rhododendrons love acid soil. Are there hydrangeas? Blue flowers mean acidic soil; pink indicates alkaline.

What are my light and exposure conditions?

Some plants need lots of sun; others prefer shade. Others will grow anywhere! If your garden is sunny and shady, pick the dominant condition and check each plant on your list and substitute if necessary.

Is your garden exposed (windy) or sheltered? Can you sit out in it comfortably on a breezy day? If not, your plants will probably agree with you.

Error message!

With some combinations of garden size and conditions, you may get an error message saying that there aren’t enough plants in the database to match your selection. Some categories such as “shady” do have fewer plants, while some uncommon combinations of soil type and pH may also mean that there are less plants to choose from. Play with the settings and try again.

Why can't I see the grasses used in my digital garden?

You may find ‘matrix’ grasses added to your plant list, but they don’t currently appear in the visualization.

Why am I getting low numbers of plant species?

On some mobile phones, the maximum number of plant species used is limited due to processing power. Try on another device and see what results you get.

Can I see the digital garden I created again?

Each planting design has an unique URL, found in your Planting Instructions PDF. Type this into your browser to revisit your garden. You can also see the URL using the ‘share’ icon in the top right of the garden visualisation window.

How can I see and save the plant list for my garden?

Click the link that’s visible once you’ve made a garden to see your Planting instructions, which includes your plant list, plant quantities, and a planting plan. You’ll need to use the Google Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop to save or print these.

Can I find out more about the plants in my planting design?

Go to the Plant Finder to see basic information about each plant used in your design.

How do I plant my garden and care for it?

Read our overview on how to plant.

I don’t have a garden or my garden is a window box! How can I join in?

You can make a digital garden or read about how to scale down your design for smaller spaces.

I have gardening questions for you!

We can’t answer your gardening questions, so we suggest looking online for resources and communities for gardening guides and plant information.

Is it free to create a planting design?

It’s free to use the website to create a garden planting design up to 15m x 15m and then to download the unique Planting Instructions PDF to help you to realise your garden (click the button that’s visible once you’ve made a garden), subject to accepting the Terms and Conditions. These describe what you can and cannot do with your DIY Edition scheme. For example you can only plant a garden based on the DIY Edition planting instructions for private purposes. Planting is at your own cost and risk.

Do I own my DIY Edition?

You do not own the copyright in the DIY Edition planting design you download but you can reproduce it for personal purposes and share it with others under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial NoDerivatives licence.

I want to plant a DIY Edition for non-commercial use; does this cover a school or a community space?

We’d love this, but since schools or community groups are in most cases expected to pay for certain services (such as for example, TV licences) your use won’t be regarded as non-commercial. For this reason, please fill in our short application form to describe your project and we will consider your request.

Can I create a garden for commercial use?

No. The DIY Edition planting designs are for non-commercial use only. We consider applications to use our DIY Editions free of charge by schools and community groups (via this short application form) but expect you to contact us to commission a Pollinator Pathmaker Editions for public display. Commercial use – for example, by a garden designer for private clients – is not permitted. Read our Terms and Conditions for more information.