Planning Next Years Garden Part 2

You've started planning your next garden in terms of needs and desires, your budget, and amount of time you have to devote, and created a preliminary garden design. What comes next?

- Analyzing Your Garden Sites -

Once you have an idea of how you are going to use your garden, consider it as it is during the different seasons. What plants are indigenous? What times or the day does each area get sunlight and for how long? How much shade do your gardening spots receive over the course of each season? How does your soil measure up in terms of content, texture, aeration, pH? Are there tree roots, wet areas, or other issues that may need to be worked with or around? Consider your planting ideas 'recipes'; which combinations of plants will work best with your particular garden spot conditions.

- Plant Selection -

Though plant selection should actually be fine-tuned towards the later stages of your planning, it definitely helps you to avoid breaking the bank and prevents disappointment down the road. What should you consider when selecting your plants, shrubs, and trees?

  • Bear in mind your goals and desires for your garden. What are its primary functions and most used times or seasons?
  • Remember to time your blooms and harvests, especially if you are designing gardens for a vacation home.
  • Besides avoiding hazards such as low-lying thorns and poisonous seeds and plants, if small children will be frequent visitors, choose plants with captivating scents, colors, and textures.
  • Write a list of your favorite plants, then group them by color, texture, shape, and bloom times/durations. Also, think about what your foliage will look like in the off-season, too - even some with late season color and winter contrast - so you can enjoy your garden all year long.
  • On that note, consider adding some shrubs, small trees, and larger plants that will look nice year-round. Pine, fir, and evergreen maintain their lush green color through the seasons. Burning bush is beautiful in the fall. Though most garden plans will have spots thatl have few of these larger items, plan for their placement and growth now as they are more permanent are harder to relocate once they have taken root.
  • If you have other hobbies during the warmer months, choose plants that require less pruning and deadheading. Same goes for Fall - if you are busier during the autumn months, choose plants for your landscape design that will offer fall color but require less upkeep. Plants like mums and asters entail more fall maintenance.
  • Now, you can work with your specific needs and plant recipes. Keep in mind that, for some reason, odd numbers of grouped plants tend to look better than even numbered groupings. Consider how much space you have to cultivate, your garden spots' special conditions, and what plants will thrive best in combination with each other and groupings, graph them one last time - and go shopping.

Other Gardening Considerations

Few of us have all day to play outside cultivating the 'perfect' garden year-round or a vast amount of disposable income to be able to buy every plant we'd like to see thriving. Yet, a bit of planning goes a long way in the natural world. Figure out how much free time you have and want to devote to your gardening each season, especially if you are planting at a vacation home.

If you are on a tight budget, perhaps plan your garden's evolution in stages and/or to maximize its beauty and function during each stage. For every garden hurdle - from your initial desire to have a garden spot to enjoying its success, we have solutions. We can help you with your landscaping ideas, plant selection for your climate zone and your specific sites, garden and landscape maintenance, and planning next year's garden. Contact us today for assistance with your every gardening need.



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