Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’m wishing you good luck and happiness today. This last week has been incredible in the amount of snow that hit the country. Many of us are wanting spring while nature gives us more winter. Here in central Florida we had high 80s degree weather last week. This week the cold front came down and Wednesday was in the 50’s F. I know that is not cold to most of you but it was to me. The sky started out gray with cold rain. Later the sun came out. I know that eventually the weather will start to warm up everywhere. When the sun shines brighter and little green things poke their heads out of the soil, it’s the perfect time to bring your garden to life. Create a vibrant outdoor space to enjoy throughout the summer. Though, it’s important to remember that nature doesn’t rush its processes. As Lao Tzu once said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Take the time to plan your garden layout, choose the right plants, and incorporate the elements that will make it beautiful and functional. Several years ago, I shared basic garden landscaping ideas and printables. They’re great to use when you want to update your garden too.
With patience and care, your garden will flourish and become a thriving outdoor space that you’ll enjoy throughout the season. There’s no more perfect time to start getting your garden ready than right now. It’s never too early to start your garden, as some people even start their composting process in winter or plant seeds inside. The seedlings are later planted in the garden according to the local gardening zone requirements. So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, here are some tips to help you create a beautiful and thriving garden this season.
I. Choose the right plants
First of all, in order to come up with a comprehensive plan of how to do your garden, you need to figure out what your garden even is. When selecting plants for your garden, choose varieties that are well-suited to your climate and soil conditions. You’ll also consider the amount of sunlight your garden gets and select plants that will thrive in those conditions. Consider adding perennials and annuals to your garden. If you want to move plants around, be sure to look into companies like SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc., to keep your garden the way you like.
- Consider the height and spread of the plants: Choose plants that won’t overcrowd or grow too tall for your garden space.
- Check the hardiness zone: Your garden’s hardiness zone is determined by the average minimum temperature in your area. Make sure the plants can survive in your garden’s hardiness zone.
- Think about the amount of maintenance required: Pick plants with a maintenance level that fits your schedule and resources.
- Choose plants that attract pollinators: Select plants that attract pollinators to help support the ecosystem.
- Think about the color scheme: Choose plants and flowers that complement the colors of your home and outdoor decor.
Consider the following when selecting your plants. What will it add to the aesthetic value of your garden? What will actually grow in the soil and conditions you live in? How difficult is something to cultivate and take care of? If you’re new to gardening, start small. You can add more next year. If you are not a gardener and have a brown thumb, go with a few shrubs like small evergreens and a large one or two to create a pleasant appearance in your front yard around the front door. Curb appeal doesn’t have to mean lots of work.
Next consider what is already in your garden such as trees, bushes, and perennials. Make a list on the form below of new desired additions and best dates for planting.
II. Plan your garden layout
Before you start planting, take some time to plan your garden layout. Think about the plants you want to grow and how much space they’ll need. Consider the amount of sunlight your garden gets and the type of soil you have. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your garden will be balanced, beautiful, and functional. After you have an idea of what you are going to be planting, draw a to-scale diagram of what your garden is going to look like. That way, you can plan out what plants will go where, and get an idea of how much space you have to work with. Different crops require different amounts of space from other plants, so make sure you list what those recommended differences are, so that you plan your layout to maximize the growth potential of each thing in your garden. This is also a great step to think about what your garden is going to look like, when everything is grown, as that is a major motivator for many gardeners.
III. Create a focal point
Every garden needs a focal point to draw the eye and create interest. This could be a sculpture, a water feature, or a well-placed plant. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s in a prominent location and complements the overall style of your garden. You can have several focal points. Using garden focal points is more than just highlighting a couple of garden features, it’s about creating an immersive outdoor experience. By using garden focal points to their advantage, you can help guide the eye through the garden and take people on a journey through your outdoor space.
Check out Balcony Garden Web’s DIY ideas for focal points.
IV. Compost early
As I mentioned before, it’s never too early to start your composting. Adding compost to your soil, early, gives it time to develop into the rest of a soil and contribute nutrients. Compost can be made of a variety of different things. It’s practically endless, the list of things that you can turn into compost. Any type of decomposing organic matter can be used for compost, including egg shells, old food, fruit peels, burnt wood, and even certain types of newspaper, among thousands of other things. Indeed, one useful source of compost is to take the leaves that fell from your trees in the fall and scatter them over your garden area. Learn more about that here.
V. Spring clean up
Your trees and shrubs are probably a little shabby and overgrown after winter. It is healthy for your trees to prune them as soon as spring comes in, as the new growth on old winter branches can leave your tree with a higher risk of developing a disease. This does not apply to spring flowering trees or bushes. Do not prune the spring bloomers until all the flowers are gone! Cutting back on the branches of your trees and shrubs makes them more healthy and helps them grow more full and luscious. You want to make sure that you don’t cut too far back, though, or you could stunt the development of these larger plants.
VI. Garden chore schedule
Before you actually go and start planting anything, one of the last things you need to do is create a planting, harvesting, and maintenance schedule for your garden. A calendar that outlines when things need to be done in your garden will make sure that you always know what task is at hand. This includes timelines of how long certain things take to grow, when they will be planted, when they will be harvested, and how often you need to water/prune them, along with any other type of garden maintenance that needs to be done. This takes a lot of the basic guesswork out of gardening, and makes for a less stressful experience.
VII. Incorporate seating areas
Creating seating areas in your garden is a great way to encourage you to spend more time outside. Whether it’s a simple bench or a full outdoor dining set, having a comfortable place to sit and enjoy your garden will make it even more enjoyable. Benches, swings, picnic tables, and other welcoming spots are all possible ways to invite visitors to relax and stay.
VIII. Add lighting
Adding lighting to your garden can transform it into a magical evening space. Consider adding solar-powered lights to your walkways or stringing up fairy lights in the trees. Not only will it make your garden look beautiful, but it will also make it safer to navigate in the dark. See Lighting Ideas For The Garden for ideas.
IX. Maintain your garden
Once your garden is planted, it’s important to maintain it regularly. This means watering your plants, pruning them when necessary, and keeping an eye out for pests and diseases. Regular maintenance will help your garden to thrive throughout the summer. Add seasonal tasks to your garden chore list.
In conclusion, bringing your garden to life this summer is all about planning ahead, choosing the right plants, and incorporating elements that will make your garden beautiful, functional, and enjoyable. With a little effort, you can create an outdoor space you’ll love spending time in throughout the season.
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This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.
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