Garden Planning

As you know from a previous post I am working with Scotts Miracle-Gro on a short commercial series to be aired on HGTV.  I will be filming with Chris Lambton from HGTV’s “Going Yard”.  As part of my contribution on this project I have been researching multiple styles and layouts of gardens that I want to share with you.

Often gardeners maximize their gardens to get a great show for as long as they can.  This would be considered and all season garden.  This type of garden includes a variety of plants that, as a whole, offer something throughout the year.  A garden like this may contain spring bloomers like bulbs and lilacs, summer bloomers like Clematis and Coreopsis, traditional fall mums, and red twig dogwoods and Carex for winter interest.  All these perennials are incorporated into one garden with the possible addition of annuals to fill in space and add more color.  This is a great way to landscape when you have a limited amount of space and time.

Other designs may focus on one season, like a spring or bulb garden, a summer color garden, and even a winter garden.  Yes you can have winter garden.  If snow fall is heavy it can cover the garden for a portion of the season, but if you have variable snowfall like we do in Chicago a winter garden can really make a difference in these gloomy months.

You can also design color gardens, like whites, reds, pastels, and silver!  Oh and you can choose themes like hot colors-all reds and oranges, or cool colors-lots of light blues and icy pinks.

Edible gardens bring to mind vegetable gardens and orchards of fruit trees.  You can have herb gardens and edible flower gardens. And for small areas you can combine.  There is no rule that says you can’t plant tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, and raspberries all in the same bed.  Also for small areas you can plant a miniature garden, which allows for multiple plants that at their fullest growth are small, filling in only about 2-4 square feet.

Sensory gardens are extraordinary.  Use plants that give off a fragrance when you touch them like scented geraniums (Pelargonium) and Alyssum.  Use plants that are fun to touch like lamb’s ears.  For visual enjoyment try plants that have exciting colorful foliage.  Many plants will rustle in the wind and for other sounds add crunchy gravel to a path, a fountain, or bird feeders to attract song birds.  For your taste buds add basil or other herbs, and try honeysuckle, you can drink the nectar out of the flowers!

There are many more types of gardens we could talk about-for wet ares or near ponds, for dry desert areas, other themes like a Japanese garden or an English cottage garden.  One of the best ideas came from a friend of mine.  I call it the point-and-plant garden.  It is so simple-you just point to the plant you want, either in the store or from a catalog, and plant it.  This garden is truly a personal creation, you choose all the plants you love.  Once you have a good foundation you can perfect your garden layout and content.

Any ideas you want to share please comment, we would all be very interested.  Thanks for joining us.


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