Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Gardener's Tip - Know Your Style

Getting out into the yard is an annual winter rite-of-passage.  But before taking a backhoe to the yard, take a few moments to consider these few aspects of building a successful garden.  Gardening is not supposed to be stressful, but many get discouraged because they skip these steps.  

                                        Envision  - Enrich  -  Enjoy 

My approach to gardening is simple.  Envision, what is desired in the garden.  How will the yard be used?  Do the children need room for practicing soccer?  Will vegetables be grown?  Is a shady sitting area in the plan?  Is outdoor cooking wanted?  These questions allow for a picture to form in this planning stage of the new garden. 

I know getting that Vision is difficult.  So I encourage a trip through landscape pictures, gardens, patios, and decks.  What you like will be evident when you select favorites and the 'likes' will most certainly fall into a style that expresses you and your life style.

There are fifty styles that  can be developed into your space.  Here are a few styles that may appeal to your tastes.
English Cottage

Relaxing nook

Front Yard Vegetable Garden

Formal Garden

Zen Meditation

Mulched Tree Garden

Mulched Borders


Entertaining Garden

Urban Border

Each garden embraces the owner's requirements for their life style. This vision of what you will use the space for is key to deciding on a garden style. No direction of taste or style will get a confused mish-mash garden that may not work for the family.  There may be an area where you never go, or one area is too small or crowded for where everyone hangs out.

The over-all yard design may be too difficult to easily maintain.  Shrubs that need constant pruning may not be the relaxed space you want.

Decide you style. Then be honest about the maintenance you are willing to do. Formal gardens need periodic pruning to keep the crisp lines of this style.  Let's face it, an overgrown space will overwhelm most gardeners, and sets the gardener up for failure.  I want all gardeners to succeed.  Clean and simple may be just what is needed.

I personally have been so busy pruning, weeding, deadheading, watering, mowing, and mulching, that I never had time to just sit and enjoy my yard.  Learn from my mistakes - and be realistic in your new garden project. 

Enrich the lives of the homeowner.  Allow the pleasure of this outdoor space to bring friends together, provide a quiet spot to read, and gather veggies for the family.  Sun, shade, rain, and colorful flower beds will add an element of satisfaction, peace, and relaxation to enrich any life.

Enjoy the outdoor space you have.  Families and jobs certainly deserve our best efforts.  But even if the tablet is in your lap on the patio, that space can be yours to enjoy.  

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