Whether you are an experienced gardener or a weekend enthusiast, there are some things you should consider when making changes to your landscape. Regardless of whether you are planning a complete garden makeover or just looking to make a couple of changes, there are several important factors to take into account before doing anything. I’ve provided some tips below for you to consider before getting started on your next landscape project.
Know Your Yard
First and foremost you must know your yard. Different regions will determine what type of plants can grow and thrive in your area. If you are not sure about your region, you can check out USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. You also need to consider the location of surrounding buildings and large trees. These impact your landscape and will define any wind paths as well as sun or shade areas.
Develop a Plan
Next you need to figure out the purpose of your landscape and develop a plan. Think about who will be using the space. Will it be children, or only adults? Will you be using the area for entertainment or just as a pass-through from one area of the property to the next? When planning, take into consideration the maintenance your garden will need. Will you be maintaining it yourself or will you hire someone else? Do you want your garden to be easy to take care of? These are all important things to consider when developing a plan so that you properly choose your hardscape and softscape areas. Don’t just purchase the first pretty flower you see from your local nursery. You may find that when you get it home it will not go with your current layout. Creating a plan and doing some research will ensure a better fit your garden.
When developing your plan, also consider how you will be placing your plants. Make sure to give your plants enough room to grow. If you have room, layer your plants by placing larger plants toward the back and step them down toward the front. Some plants flower during different times of the year and others lose their foliage at times. Knowing this will help create visual interest points in your garden.
Don’t forget the water! Take into consideration drainage and sloping areas for water needs.
It is important to design with the future in mind. Always consider your space and the space between plants, shrubs, and trees. Placing plants too close to each other can cause them to choke each other out and compete for nutrients and water. Allow plants to grow out to maturity with the appropriate space and make sure you have a space you can maintain.
Protect Your Investment
Once you have planned everything out and your plants are in place, it’s time to protect your investment as best as you can. Managing your watering will help your plants survive and thrive. Keeping a close eye on your irrigation system will also help. If your plants begin to wilt or start to do poorly, consider moving them to a different location that they might do better in. Timing is everything so be sure to act fast.
Bottom line is this: Whether you are an experienced gardener or a weekend enthusiast tending gardens… planning is everything. Research as much as you can to ensure the plants you choose survive and thrive in your garden. Keep in mind that healthy gardens are sometimes a product of trial and error. If something doesn’t work the first time, don’t get discouraged. Try again.