Hi! My name is Allen Watts from Anything Grows, a store for gardeners in Stratford, Ontario. On behalf of expertvillage.com, I am pleased to speak to you about tips for new gardeners; specifically about garden design, designing a new garden and today about elements of a garden. The first two we will look at are the four, earth and air and next clip would be water and fire. Earth, a great place to start for any garden any where is to know what you are dealing with. Some plants will grow anywhere and some plants won't. So if plants are a concern and consideration of your garden design, then it is good to know what sort of soil you are dealing with. If you are in a new home, you are probably dealing with quite a thin layer of top soil and you don't know what the subsoil would be. You can have it tested, you can probably assume that it is just a construction grade of clay based soil. Not that great for beds. In that case, you would probably have to be amending quite a bit and it would be good to know what you are dealing with in terms of your expectation of your garden bed and your design before you begin because that can be costly when you do start to be digging out and amending on a very big scale. So check your soil first. Different areas of your yard can be different in different parts. If you are dealing with an old house, you may be lucky and have good base of soil that has built up over the years. Just natural compost, natural material, rotting, just tends to be the case where older homes do have a better planting beds, better soiled to deal with. Again if not, you can always amend or you can amend for specific plant conditions to a certain degree but a great place to begin is to know what type of soil you are dealing with and if you are lucky enough to have a nice loam, then it is much nicer for planting as well. Air is another consideration of whether you might be looking at a garden design that is in a windy sight. Those are considerations; for some plants won't do as well with winds or you may want a screen to prevent winds; to just sort of protect places or garden spaces. Air can also be something to use decoratively in the garden whether you might have a weather vane or Connecticut sculpture to use the air to your benefit, air movement. Also air movement within a garden space as well, you deal with other problems and it is good to know those in advance of other designing a garden space. If you have a lot shade trees and closed spaces, then you do get a different moisture level and can create some problems in terms of disease for certain plants. Then there are ways of alleviating that as well but looking at the air flow movement there is a good consideration to also consider.