Plan Your Garden While the Sun Shines!

There's no time like the present to get to work on improving your yard.

By FamilyTime


Now that the yard and garden are in full bloom, take a hard look at them. Are there major or minor changes you want to make? Let us help you make plans. 

You could can hire a professional to plan your garden, or to do a lot of the heavy work. But if you tackle some jobs yourself you will save money and also to benefit from the pleasure of a job well done.

Know Your Yard
Take a good look at the property. Decide which areas you want to improve upon first. Don't take on more than you can handle. Yards and gardens develop and evolve over time.

Once you know where north is in relation to your yard, take note of how the sun shines on the garden beds -- or places you want to dig some. This will determine where to plant certain flowers and vegetables, if trees need to come down, and if hedges need pruning or planting.

Figure out where underground pipes, electrical cables, and septic systems are. You don't want to excavate in these areas or drive heavy equipment on them.

Check out overhead wires. Will trees interfere with these when they reach their full height? Do any trees need attention now?

When it rains, observe how the water drains. Are there hills where it sluices down, taking dirt and debris with it? Does it puddle in one part of the yard? If so, you may want to shore up the yard, dig a drainage ditch, or plant some shrubbery. 

Is there a tumble down fence somewhere, electrical boxes for the pool, an old garden shed, or a neighbor's rusted car that you would like to screen with plants or a fence?

Make Plans
Draw some plans once you have decided where to put new flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Get some graph paper, a scale ruler, and tracing paper. If you're planning a flower garden, a box of crayons helps, too.

Draw the buildings, large trees, driveways and walks, and other permanent fixtures. Sketch a plan, taking into consideration things such as lawn area and room for the dog or swingset. Overlay tracing paper on it and change it several times until you're satisfied.

If you have a view, decide how to take best advantage of it. Is it time to take down some trees? Is privacy important? Think about building a fence or planting a hedge.

Choose a Style
Consider the style of your house. A Victorian house may do better with formal gardens and large shrubbery, while a cottage or center-hall colonial will take to a country garden.

Walk and drive around various neighborhoods to get ideas. Take note of the shrubbery, trees, and flowers that thrive in your part of the world. Look in books, magazines and on websites. Talk to the folks at the local garden center.

Take Action
Decide what you can do yourself and then call in experts for the rest. You can't cable a tree, probably, but you can dig garden beds and plant grass seed.

Keep the plans and follow them as the months go by, modifying as you need to. You will want to refer to them next year and the year after -- and before you know it, your landscape will take shape in all its beauty.