Spring is finally here and with it comes our dreams and plans to get our hands dirty and make our outside world beautiful. Do you have a plan already or are you just going to buy and plant the next pretty bush you see at the garden center? What kind of garden will you have this year?
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I would love to have a beautiful garden with walking trails and beautiful plantings along the way. For someone else it may be a lush vegetable garden to share with their neighbors and for the joy of watching things grow. Whatever your reason for adding beauty to your landscape, the truth is it won’t happen overnight without some dreaming, research, and planning beforehand.
What kind of garden will you have this year?
Below are some great tips from contributing writer Cassie Rake and her thoughts on how to design your dream garden.
Designing Your Dream Garden
A well designed garden is a thing of beauty – functional and aesthetically pleasing in equal measures. But how exactly do you achieve that? What features should it have, and how do you know what plants will survive and thrive? Whether you’ve got an acre or a tiny yard, design is key – taking the time before hand to think about what you want and need your garden to be could save you a lot of time, money and heartache down the road.
What do you want your garden to be used for? Is it a quiet escape from the pressures of everyday life, or does it need to cope with the demands of active kids? Start with the end in mind, and make a list of everything you’d love to have – then you can prioritize and see what you can fit in where. Be creative and think outside the box, especially if you only have a small space to work with – no room for flower or vegetable beds? How about hanging baskets or a system of vertical beds along a wall? Want an herb garden? Use a window box along your kitchen window for easy access.
Once you’ve decided where you are going to plant, choosing what you want to plant is next. Think about the overall look you want to achieve – are you trying to recreate a cottage garden feel, something more Zen-like, or do you just want to go functional and grow fruits, vegetables and edible flowers? Once you’ve narrowed down the look, you need to think about what will grow well within the garden – something that likes full sun will likely wither and die in a shady corner; other plants will thrive in the shade, but don’t like full exposure.
A beautiful landscape requires planning, time and patience.
Consider too what kind of soil you have, whether it’s free draining, and what the pH level is – get a cheap test kit if you’re not sure. If you don’t know where to start then have a look around your neighborhood – plants which are indigenous to the area will usually thrive in the local climate, and will give you a good jumping off point.
What kind of beautiful garden do you dream about for your home?
Your outdoor space should be a reflection of who you are and what you believe in – maybe you are a Veteran who wants to bring a patriotic element to your garden by including an eagle sculpture or a red, white and blue floral display. If you are a nature lover then you might want to think about including bird feeders, insect hotels or bee boxes; a yoga devotee – maybe include a space where you can spread out your mat and take your daily practice outside. Remember, it’s all about what is right for you and your lifestyle.
Creating your dream garden is a labor of love -take the time to design a garden that has features you love, plants that will thrive and that is a reflection of you and your life. Give it time to grow, nurture it, and you’ll soon have made your dream garden a reality.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1