Thursday, July 14, 2011

Advice to the design-challenged: plant lots


It’s a good thing that the previous owners left good, well-delineated planting areas in my urban front beds, side beds, and courtyard area, because I’m not that skilled at overall garden planning and design. I just love gardens and plants. I guess I’m like those people who say they don’t know much about art but they know what they like.


This is what I like: full, colorful beds with mostly tall plants, and lots of fragrance. That said, I’ve had to compromise because of the abundant shade throughout the property. Shade will limit your color and number of blooms, depending on how much there is. But that’s OK, because I like foliage too.


My strategy has been to ignore any and all spacing recommendations that come with plants. I squeeze it all together and let the best plants win. This gives me the fullness that I’m after and is also useful in making sure I get the most bang for my buck in the few beds that have good sun.

Given my limitations, a smart thing to do would be to have a succession of spring to fall flowering plants for maximum wow factor, like daffodils to daylilies to rudbeckia to grasses in a sunny bed (with some slight additions), but that would be too limiting. So trial, error, and pack-it-all-in is still my design plan. And aim for a mid-summer peak. That’s partially for Garden Walk, but also because mid-summer is when I most enjoy being in the garden. Which is what it’s all about—not the work, the being there. Right now, the emerging lilies are making that especially pleasant.

And—let's not forget! Happy Bloom Day!

8 comments:

Rebecca said...

Oh, yes! That's me. I don’t know much about plants but they I know what I like. And I like what YOU like :)

Karen said...

Abundance! Isn't it beautiful?
Your garden is lovely, so glad I found it

glimpsesofglory-karen.blogspot.com/

Larry said...

I've enjoyed seeing your lilies... particularly the orienpets! Larry

Lisa said...

Such a beautiful garden. How I wish I can have that flower garden at home.

Lisa from Beginner Free Guitar Lessons

Gail said...

Thanks for the reminder~I need to order more bulbs...I know I can squeeze a few more in there! gail

Blake Hall said...

I am there...we plant one of everything we Love and then hope for an abundance of fun out of each one. Then I enjoy taking pictures of the close up details from each plant. Life in the garden is great!

Crystal said...

I think your garden looks amazing. I have a big garden that is mostly weeds. In the center, I followed the guidelines on spacing for a garden package....about 3 years later...it does not look like the picture at all. I am about ready to turn it back to grass. I did learn the hard way that it is better to plant bulbs in groups and not individually after I did about 300 bulbs.

Grass Man said...

Love this statement “ignore any and all spacing recommendations that come with plants” as feel this is real gardeners journey. The plants that I have “loved and lost” over the years has kept my passion alive for creating that perfect border. Problem is, once you get it right you fancy a change!