Planning Your Garden

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Winter is the perfect time to plan your garden.  With cold temperatures and gray days, what better way to pass the time than dreaming about and planning this year’s garden.

Garden planning is an important winter task whether you are planning a new garden or have a mature garden.  Without a plan your garden could become a hodgepodge jumble of plants and garden art.  Your time spent planning will be rewarded with a beautiful, low stress garden.

Some things to consider while you are preparing your garden plan.  Do you have a theme for your garden?  Some examples of a theme would be a butterfly garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  A native garden using plants that are native to your region.  Or a shade garden in a shady area of the yard.

How will you use the garden?  Will you place a bench in the garden so you can sit peacefully and enjoy nature? Will you have a stone patio with a grill in the garden to entertain your family and friends?

You will need to determine how much sun or shade there is in the garden?  This will help in making plant selections.  Keep in mind that the amount of sun and shade will vary depending on the time of year.  If the garden has full sun you will need to select plants that love sun and perhaps even have some degree of drought tolerance.  If shade is what your garden has it will be necessary to use plants that like it shady.  Selecting the wrong plants will result in you having plants that will struggle to survive and most likely will succumb to pests or disease.

Another consideration is using a focal point for the garden.  A focal point could be a fountain, statuary, or a beautiful tree or shrub.  The focal point should be placed in an area of the garden that will draw your eye.

Keep in mind the size of the area.  You need to be careful in selecting plants of the appropriate size and placing them with enough space in between so you don’t have an overcrowded garden.  This can be a difficult challenge.  It’s easy to place plants too close together when they are young and small.  But pay attention to the plant size at maturity.  You will use this size to determine the spacing between plants.

But the most important part of planning for your garden is having fun!  Use your imagination and dream of warmer days.

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