Sections and Section Elevations


transverse-section-small A section is a scaled drawing of a cross-section through a garden, for example along the line A-B on the plan shown left.

A section shows only the information contained on the cut line.

A section elevation shows not only this information but also details behind the cut line, including plants, buildings and other elements.

The term ‘elevation’ may also be used to refer to any vertical view of a feature, group of plants or part of the garden, not necessarily along one line.

Sections can help the designer to visualise the garden and any slopes or dips. They are created in addition to the main plan and provide an alternative perspective that can give greater insight into the space and the new design.

To Draw a Section

1. Study the garden plan to decide where the section line should be drawn. The line chosen will ideally take in changes in level or vertical and overhead features.

2. Place a sheet of tracing paper over your garden layout plan. Ensure that the plan is positioned centrally below the tracing paper, and consider the layout of the sheet. You will need to leave room for a title block but you probably will not need an information panel on this plan.

3. Mark the beginning and end of the section line on your tracing paper. Is the scale large enough to show sufficient detail or does it need to be enlarged?

4. Now draw the section line in pencil across the plan. To do this, use a T-square or, if the section line is at an angle, a set square.

5. Beginning at one end of this line, work along it carefully, drawing vertical pencil lines to indicate places where levels change or there are vertical features.


6. Use measurements from your plan or original notes and a scale rule to mark the correct height of these features, drawing in horizontal lines to indicate the top and bottom of each feature.


7. Draw in and show detail of the foreground structures, including the outline form of any planting.


1. Fence 2. Terrace 3. Slope
4. Edge details of pool 5. – 6. Underwater profile 7. Edge details of pool
8. Tree – include spread of canopy and height from ground 9. Fence

8. To create a section elevation add vertical and overhead features beyond the cut line.

9. Once you have completed the section in pencil, remove the tracing paper from the original plan.

10. On a new sheet of tracing paper, trace over the section drawing using a graphic pen. Use a smaller pen size to indicate more distant features that do not fall exactly on the cut line. The thinner line will cause them to appear fainter.

11. Colour can be added to your section drawing to add extra life and interest.