Garden Design / Landscaping Ideas
Whether you’re a gardening guru or a newbie looking at a clean slate, there is always room for yet another idea, or a change up if you’re bold with old designs. Here are some tips to get you started.
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and if you don’t have a yard, you’ve still got container options. One really great tip is to start small. If you dive in with a huge plot to plan, plant and maintain, you can easily become overwhelmed. I’ve seen so many gardens that started with the right intentions but have turned into renovation nightmares. When choosing plants, especially trees, consider their mature size, not just the size they’re at when you buy. Don’t overplant. Give them room to grow and fill in.
There are gorgeous garden options no matter where you live, and many zones have a variety of options to choose from. Plan your garden, incorporating spaces to sit and enjoy your hard work. The best seating area will be just outside your back door. Make it inviting with great seating and shade to make it comfortable in the hottest part of the day or first thing in the morning.
You may have read about “colour rules” for your garden, but if you find something you love, go ahead and plant it; just do a little research to be sure it’s going to be a good fit, long term. Size matters. Consider foliage colour as well as bloom colours. Many perennials have fairly short blooming periods and then you are left with the foliage which may not be all that attractive.
Garden Centres vs Big Box Stores
You might be tempted to shop at the nearest big box store where they advertise the cheapest rates for garden plants. Remember, you get what you pay for. Your local garden centres carry what they know will survive in your climate. Big box stores carry what sells. Case in point, my girlfriend who decided she wanted to include roses in her garden and headed out to drop $500 in the nearest box store. Yes they were beautiful and yes they lasted all of about a month. If she’d gone to a local garden centre, she would likely have spent far less, been armed with a host of roses, the knowledge of how to care for them and roses that would actually survive the season and many more seasons to come.
Perennials vs Annuals
A perennial is a plant that will come back year after year, generally with little maintenance. Examples are daisies, lilies, foxglove, hostas, peonies, etc. An annual is a one shot deal – the plant blooms, dies, and won’t reappear. Some annuals will need dead-heading to keep them blooming; geraniums for example. Petunias, begonias, impatiens, coleus for example are consistent bloomers right until frost. Consider annuals for shots of colour in well placed containers. They will also supplement your “backbone” perennials in spaces that you won’t often want to change.
Whatever type of garden you plant, enjoy the process. Gardening will get you outside and improve your health in a host of different ways. Whether you are doing the work; weeding, digging, watering and hauling compost, or simply enjoying the benefits of the most welcome space in your home, enjoy. Take the advice of your horticultural trades professionals. Explore your options!