Written by David S.
When you first start to garden and sometimes long afterward, you find challenges about using what you grow. A garden should be full of what you love to eat or what your family or friends love to eat. Maybe that is salads and sides that enhance meals. Perhaps it is growing the perfect Mimosa for Sunday brunch? Perhaps it has nothing to do with food. Maybe it is all about growing the best selection of flowers that will fill the many vases around your home? Inside, we talk about garden design that fits your lifestyle.
Start with a List
Being by outlining goals that you want the garden to do for you. Those might include:
- Growing a range of flowers so that there are blooms all year long
- Developing a large vegetable garden so that I have more control over what I feed my family
- Growing a small orchard so that I have plenty of fresh fruit for my family and to share with others
- Having the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood
- Growing specialized foods that are hard to find at the market
Any or all of these goals produce beautiful gardens. The point is that the garden serves a purpose that uplifts your quality of living. Sometimes, we grow teaching gardens that help our children learn, respect nature, and connect with projects at school. An example might be a butterfly garden.
How to Move from Plan to Reality
Start with a list of garden goals. Why do you want a garden? What does the garden need to do for you? The process does not have to be complicated. It is a few statements – I want a garden that produces most of my food, or I want a yard full of flowers. That simple.
Look at the Space
For me, and this can change from person to person, I start with the area of land. I measure it so that I know how to place plants within that space. Plants, like people, need their own space. It is essential that they not be overcrowded so that they have plenty of soil for their roots and that they get the proper amount of sunshine. Crowding plants interferes with root growth and health and sometimes can cause shading, which dictates whether the plant thrives or not.
Make a Grow List
One of the most favorite parts of gardening for me is planning. I love to make lists of plants that I want to grow. I design my gardens based on these lists. Making a grow list can be as simple as listing a few vegetables or as involved as listing plants that thrive together. Your list should be all about your garden goals.
Research the Plants
What you need to know about the plants on your list is:
- How big do they grow or how much space do they need
- Which hardiness zones they require – Will they grow in your yard?
- When do they bloom or fruit?
- What care do they need? – soil types, fertilizers, watering requirements, etc.
- What is the best time of year to plant them?
All of this information helps you to place the plants (on paper) in your growing space. It also allows you to space plants so that your garden is always productive and attractive. Additionally, the time to plant info helps you develop chore lists based on the plant’s needs. Not every garden is finished in a week. Some take an entire year to put together due to when you plant the plants. Keep that in mind as you plan your garden. Make a little note about the timeline to finish the garden.
Gather the Supplies you Need
You want to make sure that you have what you need to create your garden. It goes beyond plants and includes soil amendments, containers, fertilizers, tools, and even garden art or trellises. As you make your list of plants, note beside them what type of things they need to thrive. Sandy soil, deep watering, vertical support, compost, etc. Doing so helps you amass quality products that help your garden to thrive.
This somewhat simple way to approach designing a garden is almost meditative once you get the hang of it. It allows me to produce beautiful gardens that fit my yard and my lifestyle.
If you have a garden in mind, stop by one of the Green Thumb Nursery locations and brows the plants and plant supplies. Be sure to chat up our garden experts and ask about special order products and plants. We work hard to help your garden adventures succeed.
Keep in mind that our products change every day. If you want a unique plant or product, call us, and we will check our inventory. You can shop us online, give us a call, or email us your garden-related questions. We are always happy to answer your questions.
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