Every year around this time while putting away the last of the Christmas decorations, I secretly hope that spring will be just around the corner – the smell of fresh grass, colourful flowers in bloom and warm sunny days – sadly I know the worst of the cold is still to come as February is really, just around the corner.
Since spring is still months away and is blistery cold outside, what better way to pass the time than to make your daydreams into reality by planning out your garden.
Whether you like fragrant flowers, lash green shrubs or bountiful vegetable gardens; planning the foundation is essential.
Research is Key
Start by gathering ideas from magazines, the internet and visit home shows (International Home and Garden Show at the end of February and the National Home Show in the middle of March) to see what you like. Research is key, especially when you consider that a fixed object in landscape isn’t going to be move easily, such as driveways or large trees.
How is this space going to be used?
Decide what you want and need. What are your priorities? Is it entertaining friends, playing with the kids, growing flowers and vegetables, or simply relaxing in a hammock? How much maintenance are you willing to do?
Keep in mind of your budget constraints.
Also remember that the landscape may have to develop in stages. Make a map of your property. Draw a “bird’s eye view” to scale on graph paper. Be sure to include:
- The house itself
- Boundaries, noting the neighbor’s landscape style as well
- Existing plants
- Exposure (which way does it face – north, south, east, or west)
- Utilities (dryer vents, air conditioner/heat pumps)
- Service areas (dog kennel, storage building, trash cans)
- Views you wish to preserve or hide
- Downspouts and drains
- Any existing irrigation systems
Use tracing paper or graph paper to draw your ideas. These could include plants, a gazebo, a walkway, an orchard, a pond, or sculpture. Lay the tracing paper over the map to get an idea of how the new landscape will look.
Here’s a helpful program from Better Home and Gardens to help you with laying out your design. This program is called Plan-a-Garden. It lets you design anything from a patio-side container garden to your whole yard. Use your mouse to “drag-and-drop” more than 150 trees, shrubs, and flowers. Add dozens of structures like buildings, sheds, fences, decks — even a pond. You will need to register to use the program and it is completely free!
Careful planning and sourcing will make the task much easier when springtime rolls in and the warm sun comes out. With planning out of the way, you’ll have all the time to run around outside and enjoy the new season with the family.
For more information, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you out.
Image Source: Freshome Design and Architecture