At the Garden Gate


Number one of a series


Yes, it's January, but now is the time to dream of what your garden is going to look like. There are many catalogues and magazines out there to help brighten the winter months and some great ones available now on-line too.

But, for those of you who are brave, why not put on your boots and mitts, take a sketchbook and pencil and begin to create a scale drawing. This look at your yard as a blank canvas will help you to assess the overall basic structure of your garden, redesign areas you weren't pleased with last year and plan new spaces. Winter shows off the bushes and trees in a whole new way. Create your drawing to show all the main elements, existing trees, shrubs and large features, such as ponds or patios.

Walk out to the end of the driveway and view your entrance from the road or street. Is it inviting or mysterious? How you feel about people can be determined by the way you invite them into your garden or yard. Is privacy an issue? Garden gates and fences, trellises and hedges can be designed to provide for your needs. Now is a great time to look for those blank spaces.

Now, armed with your sketch or sketches, cuddle up on the couch with a warm drink and all your gardening books. A handy item to have is a box of coloured paper clips. Use each colour for a specific thing - a size, shape a flowering time, whatever it is you want to incorporate into new or existing beds. Start flipping pages and you will soon discover that your are using all those paper clips. I usually find the flip process is a good start and then the real fun begins.

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28/01/2009 10:17 PM

Colour & Texture

Once you finish flipping, you can start to go into more detail. Take your first colour group and list the plants, their full size, height and width, colour palette and sun or shade requirements. Do the same with each grouping and you will end up with a fairly good idea of the types of plants you like and where they might flourish in your garden.

When you think about what is already in existing beds, are there things that are not 'happy' where they are currently planted? Now is the time to put them on your plan, but in a new and better position. Once you have completed this step, it is time to add in the new plants. Will the reds look good so close to the yellows? It's all a matter of personal taste, but your overall design should hve some form and flow, allowing for a variety of textures and, importantly, blooming times so that your beds are colourful, pleasant places throughout the seasons.

Also read about Carol

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