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New Year's resolution: create the garden of your dreams

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It’s the hottest list of the year: The New Year's resolutions. For 2014: think outside the body- to something bigger than yourself- your garden. Get thyself a notebook and commit to one month of planning with 11 months of follow up to a better garden.

January’s main objective is to commit to creating your dream garden. By creating a notebook to queue from, you will organize your mind about what to do the rest of the year.

The mission statement

Yellow pad or iPad, write what purpose your garden needs to fulfill in order to best serve your needs. Is it a place for vegetables or volleyballs? Maybe it is both. Space can be multi-purpose, active or reserved for quiet reflection.

When you are satisfied that you know what sort of garden pleases you, print this guiding statement out. Punch holes and post it in a notebook. Having priorities to develop your outdoor space saves time, energy and money. Not to mention mistakes.

Picture what this looks like

For your second section in your notebook, sketch out the space to scale- marking entrances, exits and views looking out from the house. These are the most important spaces visually. Treat them as such.

Gather inspiration

Pictures explain your grand vision and supporting details faster than you can write. For your third section, buy some shelter magazines. Collect clippings of what appeals to you from internet design sources such as Pinterest and Houzz.

A plant you spotted in a magazine or big box store might not do well in our region. However chances are good that something with similar attributes can be spotted at the public spaces easy driving from the San Gabriel Valley. From A (The Los Angeles County Arboretum) to Z ( The Los Angeles County Zoo), we are very fortunate to have public gardens open year round.

Take your camera. Photograph what you love – along with the identifying tags. Together, when you go to actually stalk plants for your garden, this makes that job so much easier.

Study and Analyze

Take some pictures of what your property looks like on camera- compare this to what you want.

To help you analyze and strategize how to create your personal vision of what a beautiful garden looks like, I highly recommend ordering Yards Turn any Outdoor Space into the Garden of your Dreams by Santa Barbara based garden designer and writer,Billy Goodnick.

In this lively written, picture filled tome, Billy puts the fun in the fundamentals of planning a great home garden. His book is a triumph of beauty and efficiency. He manages to to advise everyone, from beginning do-it yourself-ers to people who want to communicate better with the professionals they hire.

Take Action

By the end of January, you should have a list of what needs to be bought, built or carted away.Divide this list between the 11 remaining months- then get to work. For the next New Year's list, the resolution can be to enjoy what you worked so hard to bring to life.

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