Garden Week Part 1 – Designing Your Garden

Gardening Week Tips

The American Society of Landscape Architects conducted a 2013 survey that found the vast majority of landscaping architects predicted gardens would be the biggest trend in outdoor design. Of the 94% that said gardens would be high on homeowners’ interest lists, most thought the organic gardens with fruits and vegetables would be the most popular. Use the questions below to guide yourself through designing the perfect garden for your outdoor space.

How Will Your Garden be Used?

A vegetable garden that is meant to produce food is a world away from a creating a privacy garden around a reading nook. Before you start buying plants and breaking ground you need to carefully consider what purpose you want the garden to serve.

Do You Have a Color Scheme in Mind?

Color is often used in gardens to create a certain mood or look. Deciding on a color scheme first will make choosing and arranging your garden plants much easier.

Have You Platted It Out?

One way to ensure that you have room for all your garden elements without encroaching on walkways or making the area too crowded is to plat everything out. It’s like a blueprint for your exterior where you can note existing structures, areas of sunlight or shade and where you want to add to your garden.

Do You Have Pets or Children to Protect With Gates Or Railings?

This is important because these structures that can’t be compromised. You’ll want to watch out for creeping plants and ones that could hinder your ability to open and close doors as they grow.

Do You Want/Need Shade?

Shade makes the outdoors much more comfortable in the spring and summer, but it could be a necessity for the plants you add to your garden. When it comes to shade you can either strategically choose a shady location, or make your own shade by incorporating a pergola or canopy that covers the garden area.

Are There Water Elements to Work With/Around?

A pool, hot tub or pond can’t be relocated in most instances, so that means you’ll have to work around them. Instead of thinking of them as a hindrance consider how you can use them to create a garden design. Instead of going out horizontally you can plan to go vertical around the water feature. You can also bring your garden up on concrete or wood surfaces with planters since you can’t go in the ground. Bonus: water features like ponds keep moisture in the air around them so plants nearby are better hydrated.

How Large is the Deck or Exterior Structures?

This question has a bearing on the amount of yard space you have for planting in the ground. You’ll need to keep walkways clear and soil a good 3-6” from foundations whether they are concrete or wood. The size will also determine what kind of garden elements can be incorporated on or within your exterior structures.

No matter whether you want a veggie garden or one strictly for aesthetic purposes right now is the perfect time to get a garden underway before the hot summer sets in.

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