Planning your garden
Planning a new garden is exciting but can also be daunting! Remembering a few key things will help you create a garden you love:
– You may be planning your garden, but the garden will also have plans. So that rosebush that you so want in the front may keep dying, whereas the space you thought would be for your firepit seems to just push out all manner of plants. So why not have a to and fro ‘conversation’ with your garden – you can suggest things, and then see if the garden agrees. (You can of course force your will on the garden and through major landscaping and a lot of work make it look exactly how you’d planned – at least until nature takes over. But where’s the fun in that?)
– There is no ‘right’ way of doing things. There really isn’t. There’s a huge industry that has grown up around teaching us how to grow things. Things grow. If they’re in a good spot for them, they grow better. If the spot/climate is not right, they won’t. By all means, learn as much as you can but be prepared to also do things your own way and experiment. Your garden will grow and evolve to be just as individual as you are, and how amazing is that?
Next, here are some questions you can start with:
- What kind of garden would you love? How do you want to feel when you are in it? How will you use it?
- How much time/energy do you have for the garden?
- What do you like to eat? How/what kind of foods do you like to cook?
- Any other things to take into account – climate/pets/children/mobility – prevalence of pests in your area…
Some other things to consider:
- seasonal interest
- think vertical!
- multi-use (eg garlic gives you bulbs, scapes, flowers, and pollinators!)
- plants adapted to your area will be rewarding to grow – for example, in colder climates, choose curly parsley over flat leaved varieties, and whenever you can, swap plants with the local community!
- don’t forget perennial veg and fruit – they are super-low maintenance.
- and it is fun to grow stuff you can’t buy from the shops – garlic scapes, courgette flowers, nasturtium pods, blue potatoes…
This is your garden – have a think about how you want to feel, what functions it needs to fulfil, and get experimenting. The main thing is to not just enjoy the results, but enjoy the process. Happy planning!