Inspired by a good friend, I present five tips for planning a new garden:
1) measure your space. If your garden is 1ftx 3 ft, you can get one plant in there.
There are four plants in this bed, plus a volunteer Datura.
If your garden is enormous, have a sense of its enormity, and budget accordingly, which leads us to:
2) Set a budget. The Wall Street Journal reports that well-maintained plantings recoup over 200% of their cost when a home is sold. But plants are expensive. Do you live in a posh neighborhood where everyone has tree peonies and seasonal mums- then do that, and know it will cost a lot. Is it a lake house where there are 12 deer who regularly sleep in your yard? Probably don’t spend a fortune on that garden… and:
3) see what you already have. Even the most modest houses have some delights; hostas that can be split, attractive daylilies worth dividing, phlox that are about to be smothered by a spruce tree. Dig em up, divide them, and hey presto: instagarden.
4) Now you know what you have so it’s time to draw up a plan!
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Or to scale. It just needs to give you an idea of how many plants you’ll need, what the colors will look like, when they’ll bloom. It isn’t rocket science, and you’ll still have to…
5) clear the site of all plant material, add amendments, mulch and THEN plant. I’m too busy to spend my life weeding. As the boys say: poor planning results in p*** poor performance.
WEasy peasy, right? It’s ok if this sounds like everything you hate in the world. Think of it as a semi obvious checklist- it gets easier with practice, and soon you will have a fantastic garden.