Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Beautiful Garden Begins With A Master Plan

Every beautiful garden begins with a Master Plan, whether you are renovating a tired old garden or starting anew from a field of rocks and weeds as we did with "This Grandmother's Garden". Designing your garden first gives you opportunity to think about what elements to include in your landscape and provides a visual picture of what it will look like when you are done.
  • Will my landscape include a perennial garden? 
  • Is a vegetable garden a must have?
  • Do strawberries, raspberries and fruit trees have a place in my garden? 
  • Do I want water features in my garden?
Without a Master Plan, you may find your landscape filled with plants and trees that don't especially work together to enhance and beautify your yard.  Creating a Master Plan allows you to add elements as you can afford them and to avoid the frustration of not being able to do it all at once. You need not be a landscape designer to accomplish this, but you do need to know what plants and trees grow well in your region. 

There are many resources to help with your choices.  One of my favorites is the Sunset Western Garden Handbook, this is my Bible of the plant kingdom. Another excellent resource is found in your State Extension Service.  Here's a link to my state's extension service: Utah State Extension Service Yard and Garden Info Every state has a similar website. Search for  (Your State)State Extension Service. This website offers month specific tips to keep your yard and garden beautiful.  Also gives great information regarding which plants and trees grow well in your area.  

Another resource is to visit your local nursery, to browse the many possibilities of plants and trees available. Don't be tempted to purchase anything! Your visit is only to discover  what you like and may wish to include in your plan.

Once you've armed yourself with a little knowledge from these resources you're ready to design your Master Plan, to actually sketch a picture of what your landscape will look like. Stay tuned for my next post which will take this idea a step further.

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