According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, fall is the best time to put our creative energy into improving our gardens to enjoy the following spring.
Whether you are moving existing plants or beginning from scratch, start by mapping out the dimensions of the space you are designing making sure to note the amount of sunlight the area gets daily and the soil type: clay, sandy or loam.
Clay is nutrient rich, but drains slowly. Sandy soil drains quickly but has trouble retaining nutrients and moisture. Loamy soil is generally ideal because it retains moisture and nutrients and doesn’t stay soggy. Knowing the soil type will help you figure out the type of plants that will grow best in it.
For inspiration, fill a scrapbook with ideas seen in magazines and around the neighbourhood for a visual guide.
In designing which plants will go where, begin by placing the largest ones (trees and shrubs) first, noting their height and width at maturity. That information is typically available on the tags in the nursery. You don’t want to crowd such centrepieces with perennials that will have to be moved later.
Also, work from the back and move outward for the same reasons. This way, larger pieces become the backdrop and smaller ones placed in front won’t be obscured. Avoid putting large trees and shrubs up against the house where they will eventually block windows and light coming into your home. At the same time, large additions to your garden can hide unsightly parts of your home.
Your eventual piece de resistance is sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.