Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Planning A Flower Garden part II

As I mentioned in the last article, you need to decide what effect you want your garden to create when you or others look at it. Look at the area you’ll be planting in. Is it next to a fence which will be used as the “backdrop”? Is it going to be the center focus of your backyard with nothing but your lawn around it? Is it in a bright sunny area? Will there be a water bath or waterfall included in it? Is it going to be a neat and tidy, well-manicured flower garden or a free-spirited bunch of wild flowers? Will this be the place you go to curl up in your hammock with a good book or to just watch the birds and butterflies? Your flower garden should be that one place you can go where the stress of daily life can’t touch you or interfere with your happiness.

You can see it in your head! Now, put it down on paper! Draw out the plans for what you want, in pencil, on a really large piece of poster paper! It doesn’t have to be an elaborate drawing, just one that you can understand. Get a master plan going, you don’t have to create your masterpiece all in one season! Take your time and build on it every Spring! Gardening should be fun and relaxing, an activity to create beauty and be able to stand back and say “Wow! I did that and it looks fantastic!!” Find pictures of what you want to have in YOUR garden. Cut them out and paste them onto the “plan page” you made and draw arrows to where that particular thing is going to be in your garden. (It would be good to keep the name and descriptive info also!)

Of course, you won’t want your tall flowers over-shadowing your smaller ones, you don’t want a vine or creeping plant reaching out and choking your other plants, you don’t want to mix your “needs lots of sun and water” with your “partial-full shade drought resistant” plants. Drainage needs are important as are fertilization needs. A little forethought and planning can go a long way with getting you the results you desire with the least amount of headache!

Do some research. Talk to the local nursery. Check the Internet. If you don’t know what kind of flowers you want, start looking at pictures or order a free magazine from Wayside Gardens, Michigan Bulb Co, Jackson and Perkins, or any of the other plant catalogs that come out every year at the end of Winter. I share these tips not because I am any expert at creating flower gardens, but because I made mistakes that cost me a lot of time and money last year and don’t want the same to happen to you. My purpose is to get you thinking so you don’t have the frustrations that I had.

Here are some sites that I looked at when I was doing this year’s pre-season planning: http://www.perennialresource.com/ Pictures and info on Perennials
http://plants.usda.gov/ A really good resource for tons of plants with pictures
http://butterflywebsite.com/butterflygardening.cfm A butterfly garden resource

I am certain if you conduct a search in http://www.dogpile.com or http://www.google.com or any other competent search engine, you’ll find tons of information for what you are wanting to do.

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