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Posts tagged ‘Design’

What I’ve Learned About My Gardening Style

I recently had an ‘aha moment’ about my gardening style and decided I need to work on my patience and organization. I figure by sharing some of the mistakes I’ve been making, others can hold me accountable and maybe learn a little in the process.

Here’s a list of my more common gardening mistakes, followed by the plan I’ll follow to become a better gardener.

  • If I love a plant, I buy it. This is only a problem when I don’t have anywhere to plant my new treasure and end up putting it in the first open spot that’s big enough. In most cases I end up moving the plant at a later date.
  • I don’t plan before I plant. I do this mostly because I need to get it in the ground quick before it dries out. As a result, I get clashing bloom colors, taller plants in front of smaller plants or plants getting too large for the space. Again, I end up moving the plant at a later date.
  • Instead buying three or more of the same plant, I buy one. I’ve noticed lately that I have a lot of single plants scattered throughout the garden instead of plant groupings. This makes for a messy look in the garden. I really love the way plant groupings look — clean and uniform.
  • I get plants from other gardeners or plant sales. In other words, I have a lot of random nameless free plants. This is okay until it’s time to get more of the same plant or someone asks me the plant name.

Being a Better Gardener Will Take Patience & Organization

To start, I’ll do a little reorganizing and create a garden plan. This includes flagging plants NOW that need a new home in either my garden or a friend’s garden. Since I’ll do most of the moving in the fall, I have plenty of time to evaluate the new location to make sure it’s best.

I will document all plants in my garden and create tags with plant name, size, bloom time and color. This new labeling approach should help me from planting orange poppies next to pink peonies again. And by having the plant details I can purchase more of the same plants I’ve grown to love.

In the future, when purchasing new plants, I will carefully evaluate what I need and where it will live in the garden. If a plant will look fabulous as a grouping, I will sacrifice getting other random plants and purchase multiples of the same plant instead.

I’m glad I finally realize what I’m doing wrong. The chaos of blooms, colors and random plant heights finally pushed me over the edge this summer. Now, it’s your turn to hold me accountable.

Front Entry Mini Makeover

Front Urns

Back Yard Urn

Every couple years my front porch starts to look a little shabby. To spruce it up this year, I painted the porch a nice black color and replanted the urns. One of these days I’m going to resurface the front porch with stone and replace the front walk with a more natural walkway. Until then, a new coat of paint does wonders.

Left (front yard urns): Boxleaf Hebe, Aurea Heather, Black Mondo Grass & Scarlet Leader Cotoneaster

Right (back yard urn): Orme Hebe, Spring Torch Heather & Scarlet Leader Cotoneaster

In just a couple hours I went from hating my front porch to accepting it – almost liking it. I bet when the urns fill out – I’ll love this spot even more.

What’s funny is that last time I painted the porch I pretty much just painted it the color of concrete. Then because I picked a laytex paint it scratched off the show the green paint underneath – I hated it from day one.

Front Porch BEFORE

Front Porch AFTER

Click here to see what my house looked like when I bought it in 2005.

Help Needed: It’s Time for a Patio

Back Lawn After Mowing

We have a patch of grass in the middle of our back yard that acts as a patio with our outdoor sectional, bar-b-que, fire pit and table.

Every week we move all the furniture to the pathways to mow the grass. When done mowing we move it all back. This is very annoying.

We need a permanent patio. I’d like to add large pavers/stone where the lawn currently is with a ground cover between the pavers. Then add stone paths to the driveway and garage door – again with ground cover between.

By using ground cover we won’t have to mow but we’ll still have a green look.

This is where we need your help. The shape of the space is triangular and we can’t agree on how to create a patio design that looks natural and provides the two walkways to the garage and driveway. We also disagree on the type of stone, rock, pavers to use. I’d love to hear what you think about this project.