The New Year is a great time to look at your garden and envision changes and additions. Your garden can be as simple as a deck getaway or apartment patio, or a more complex garden with hidden spaces and fragrant plants. The first step to creating a great garden is to identify how you want to enjoy your garden space.
Take a few minutes to list the things you want to be able to do in your garden. Do you long to harvest fresh herbs from your garden and eat figs or pears that you grew yourself? Do you want to spend time in your yard with your friends, eating carefully prepared meals or playing games? Do you want to unwind after a long day as you listen to the sound of running water or enjoy the smell of fragrant flowers? By identifying the purpose you want your garden to serve, you can identify the primary elements you need in your garden.
Let's say you have a small apartment patio or balcony with a few hours of light, and you need a space to unwind. You can add a colorful deck chair and side table or even a small bistro set, place a hanging planter with fragrant petunias or other spreading flowers, and fill a large planter with herbs such as basil, thyme and sage to flavor a meal you can enjoy on a cool summer evening.
What if you want a kitchen garden which will supply your family with fresh, healthy vegetables or fruits? Start by planning a small section with a few raised beds and plant something your family enjoys eating. Starting small can allow you to build on success. As you grow more comfortable with growing food, add more garden space to your kitchen garden.
What if you have a large yard that is out of control? Have you noticed how large gardens will develop one area at a time? That's because they plan one project, start working on the project, then complete it before they move onto the next project. Don't stress over building your new garden in one year, or about identifying all of the plants needed for each section. Your garden plan can be planned and implemented in phases, allowing you to complete one area and move onto another area later.
If you need help with brainstorming, try using magazines and website to help you visualize what you are looking for. (Use this link to learn more about an exercise that I've found effective when planning my garden.)
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