Landscaping plans and ideas boggle my brain, so after finally getting my lawn in better shape as seen below, I switched my brain to the garden. Of course my garden already exists,as battlegrounds where weeds compete with my perennials. Now the garden even has a huge representation of grass, which makes it sound like a lovley balanced space. Truth be told, the front is a mess of weeds, grass and some mystery plants I once knew.
Truthfully the front garden has gone berserk…certainly not very inspiring. Of course since gardening is usually a joy for me, I have been motivated to take action. The first step is to get landscaping done at my house is not to create any more gardens but to plan out what each existing one is doing, other than being overgrown.
If you have a new house or an older one in need of refreshment…something to perk it up, then landscaping plans would be the first step. If you have a general idea of size and what your budget is, there are many routes you can take to get started. There are countless professional companies you can hire to sort out or plan your entire yard, or just the gardens. Searching your yellow pages by hand or via a computer search is a good place to start. In fact the listings below will put you in touch with countless resources at your finger tips.
The first site is amazing! It lists contractors, garden design plans, helpful hints and even plant resources and more. The second site also has a great deal of info to browse through!
Don’t forget there are a great deal in books found at your local bookstore or library. The cool thing about books is that you can carry them around and hold them up to see how things might look Currently this is the best option for those like myself, who are caught up in the costs…okay I am cheap, hiring myself seemed to be the best plan.
Speaking of books and planning, I just happen to find a great book I had forgotten, staring at me from the hall bookcase. Landscape Planning by Judith Adam, published by FIREFLY BOOKS is full of great information that applies to Canadian gardens, and pictures galore that go with it. I also am enjoying Judith’s sense of humour and her common sense approach to gardens and landscaping.
In the book she lists her ten elements of Landscaping Design.
Elements of Landscaping Design
1.Personal style – we know what we like
2.Planning by light, elements, soil. plants and location, self vs contractors etc
3. Lines of Definition-marking the perimeter of yards and gardens with curves and straight lines
4.Space Division – beds, patios, walkways, shrubs, grade changes and arbours just to name a few.
5.Scale and Balance – from the size of trees and plants to stonework and patios etc
6.Garden bones-prominent plants and structures for all seasons
7.Planting Style- what you prefer for example, Japanese, English country garden for overall or individual areas of the garden
8.Colour Choices-themes by colour and season that enhance and excite
9.Succession Planting-flowering tress, shrubs and perennials for all seasons including evergreens and features for winter interest
10.Architectural features-walkways, benches, trellis, gates, fences, bird baths, sculptures and more
For further information please visit my Ten basics of Landscape Design page on this site.
Now I have come to realize the limitations of what planning I had put in to the front flower bed. Right now it is overwhelmed and under loved! It makes sense when we are strapped for time we neglect many things including our poor plants! Keeping this in mind, whether your landscaping plans include hiring a professional or landscaping on your own, try not to get carried away with the size of the beds and shrubs if you have limited gardening time.
In fact, if budget is also a major factor, try forming small beds . Other items to consider are the amount of sun you get, what type of soil you have, and whether you want perennials that give you a good return on your money vs short term annuals. Of course if you are new at gardening and want to get the feel of things before sinking your teeth in to perennials, annuals will let you try a wide variety of plants until you get the soil/sun thing worked out.
Now what you might ask? Well you can go check out the books and site, or visit a local garden center for hands on help with what plants may suit your needs and go from there. Me, I have decided my city property has too many gardens to keep up with and they are all suffering as a result.
I get overwhelmed looking at all the weeds/wildflowers that now call my yard home, so downsizing and compartmentalizing is the way to go. Of course that may sound destructive, ripping most things out and shrinking things, but when there is only so much time to go around, I think of it ultimately as good time management.
First I have to just focus on a small area or section of each garden so the overwhelming mess doesn’t get me discouraged. I try to pick a section of garden that is manageable to tidy well and mulch in a few hours. Once this is tackled then I move to the next section, and before the week is out I have one tidy, good looking garden.
To make all the approximately eight gardens look good is too big a task, as they are suffering after several years of neglect, so my landscaping plans include time management. Remember picking one small garden area at a time means, more time to admire the lovely flowers in bloom and to make garden art like my scroll sawed Garden Shed sign below.
For further information on scroll sawing, visit the great site listed below: