10 Tips on How to Design a Garden

They say gardening is the ultimate form of hope. You plant tiny seeds in the absolute faith that something grand will grow. No garden design is ever finished. Plants fail, tastes change & weather is unpredictable. Your garden may not have followed all the gardening basics or be designed on paper, but the more thought you put into what you want and what you like or dislike about your garden, the better your garden will be next year.

Instead of resolving to eat healthier & exercise more, make some resolutions for your garden:

1. Learn from Last Year’s Mistakes  At the end of every gardening season, look over your list of disappointments and make notes of what not to plant next year or what to watch out for earlier in the season. Then open up my seed catalogs and order things that you know very well will struggle for survival in your area.      Tips for Evaluating Your Garden

                                                       2. Start off on the right foot Now that you’ve reviewed what worked and what didn’t, take a moment to                                                                            consider what plants will be happy in your garden. Do you have a sunny or shady garden? Do you want high or                                                              low maintenance? They say a healthy plant is better able to withstand diseases and pests, so it's best to work                                                                with plants that will work well in your unique garden space.How to Choose Healthy Plant


                                                        3. Mulch Early  Every spring wait to see what plants have self-seeded and which tender perennials made it                                                                      through the winter and will be putting in an encore appearance. Waiting for flower seedlings to emerge means                                                            you're also giving weed seedlings time to pop up - everywhere. Mulching also gives your garden that finished                                                                clean look. Which Mulch Where?

​                                                     4.Become Pro-actively Organic  The NL Pesticide bylaw has now banned pesticides for cosmetic use so try to do                                                        some proactive investigating when planting your garden. Try to find plants that are resistant to weeds and pests.                                                        Look at the type of drainage in your garden and coordinate the plants to their environment. Gardening                                                                              organically   can be difficult, so ask for help at your garden centres. Sometimes it can take years to get your                                                                      garden running  smoothly.  Getting Started with Organic Gardening


                                                     5. Plant More ShrubsThere was awhile there where new perennials were the holy grail of the gardening world.                                                            We went crazy every time a Hosta showed a new stripe. Trees and shrubs were for common landscapers, not                                                                cultivated gardeners. Well, have you seen the shrubs out there on the market recently? They're textured.                                                                        They're  colourful, They have flowers and berries. They don’t require months of endless pinching and primping.                                                              Try adding  more shrubs to borders and to simply learning more about the shrubs that  are available.

                                                      Dwarf Evergreens as Garden Bones 


                                                     6. Use More Foliage with Colour and Texture Along the same line as planting more shrubs, I resolve to make                                                                   better  use of plants with interesting forms and texture and perennials with colourful foliage. No plant blooms                                                             incessantly  all season, but there’s no stopping great foliage. Using Plants with Purple Foliage                                                                                                Keeping Your Garden in Colour All Season

                                                      7. Fragrant Flowers and Plants There’s not been much point in stopping to smell the roses lately. Most of them                                                             have no scent at all. Like a flavourless tomato that was bred to ship without bruising, flower breeders fed out                                                                 need for longer bloom periods and larger flowers, at the expense of fragrance. However, some want the same                                                              thrill  when the lilac buds start to open, every time they walk into a garden. I’m going to be looking for seeds of                                                              old- fashioned flowers that perfume air.

                                                      Fragrant Flowers and Plants       Top Fragrant Roses       Lemon Scented Herbs                               


                                                    8. Be More Daring with Containers Too often my containers are used to house plants that I couldn’t find a spot                                                            for in the border. There’s not much planning or thought behind my combinations when that happens. Even when                                                        I plan, I tend to hedge my bets with plants I know will perform long and well in a pot. This year I want to use a little                                                      abandon with my containers. I think I’ll allow impulse to point me toward brazen and potentially ridiculous plants,                                                      just to see how they work out.  10 Tips for Great Containers        Growing Vegetables in Containers                                                                                  Ornamental Grasses for Containers

                                                   9. Push my Vegetable Garden to the Limit Vegetable gardens are becoming a big thing in Canada. There's                                                                        something very satisfying to growing your own vegetables, fruit or herbs. Let’s face it, half the fun of vegetable                                                            gardening is harvesting baskets of produce. So if you can't eat it all there are plenty of places to donate what you                                                        can’t use?         A Long Producing Vegetable Garden                      Vegetable Gardening in the Cooler Seasons

                                                   10. Plan for Fall in the Spring  Fall bloomers are a hard sell in the spring. We want instant gratification after a long,                                                        dull winter and a bunch of plants that languish for 3 months of the growing season just don’t have that great an                                                            appeal. But fall is such a beautiful season and the garden can really come back to life as the cooler weather sets                                                            in. This year I’m going to hunt out plants that bloom, fruit and flare into colour in the fall. And to complement that                                                          I’m going to plant pumpkins, winter squash, gourds and corn - just for the stalks. They’ll be no need for inflatable                                                          Halloween decorations in my yard!       How to Plan for a Fall Garden

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