Landscaping Your Garden
Whether you are creating a new garden or redesigning an old tired one, it is nice to have some ideas for making it look just like the picture in your head. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes developing a garden is a great experiment and may take a few years to achieve. These ideas will get you started.
Every garden needs structure. Structure provides weight to the garden and anchors the other plants. Trees provide great structure. Keep in mind how tall a tree grows and how wide it’s canopy will be when full grown. Plantings in and around a young tree may need to be repositioned as it grows. Plant trees away from power lines, houses, and hardscape because some, like maples, can push concrete out of the way in their quest for water.
Large shrubs also provide structure. Evergreen shrubs will be colorful in winter and deciduous shrubs (lose leaves in winter) will provide interest in winter with shapes and colors of branches. Some may also keep their blooms even if they are dried and brown.
Color can set the stage in a garden and create many moods. Different shades of your favorite color and some neutrals or white create a monochromatic color scheme. You may want to plant a color that is the opposite of your favorite on the color wheel, like purple and yellow, red and green, or blue and orange for a complimentary color scheme. Planting one color in drifts is also a very effective way to provide movement in the garden.
So that every beautiful plant can be seen, try to plant in layers with the largest and fullest plants in the back of the border or in the center of a garden that is seen from all sides. From there, plant by height with the shortest at the edge and a gradual change in height as your eye moves up to the back or center.
It is always nice to have something blooming or providing interest all through the year. Bulbs in the early spring will start you off, then select plants with different bloom times so you have color all summer and then a different kind of interest with shapes through the winter. If you’re lucky to have warm weather year-round, then you have more options to choose from.
What it really comes down to is plant what you like, it’s your garden and it should make you smile when you walk through it.