Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter a perfect time to picture your garden’s future

Hello again!

Robb Rosser at writes a neat piece about garden planning and how now is a great time for year long contemplation.

Here it is:

"There are several times each year when a gardener needs to envision the garden in a completely different season. In autumn, we imagine the arrival of spring bulbs and plant them in the garden according to that vision. In spring, we speculate on summer flowers. Winter is a good time to imagine what your garden will look like in other seasons and also a full year from now. It’s best to keep track of these ideas with a plan.

Begin by drawing a simple outline of your entire garden or of individual areas in your garden. Make your drawing as accurate as possible, but simple enough that you will follow through with the project. Before you start filling in the outline with plants or hardscaping ideas, make a few copies. This way you won’t have to redraw the entire plan every time you add or remove garden elements or if you just want to fiddle around with an idea that comes up while it’s fresh in your mind.

Pull these plans out of storage every once in a while to review your garden in different seasons. Make a note of voids in winter and color clashes in spring and summer. Use your planning pages to add notes throughout the year unless you keep a separate garden journal. I like to use plant catalogs to help me list the plants that would transition well from one season to the next. Choose a combination of plants with colors that will blend even as they change with the seasons.

When we start gardening, we plan and plant for tomorrow or at most, the near future. That’s why so many beginning gardens are filled with spring flowers only. Exuberance is an appropriate approach for beginning any project. Over time, we may mellow out in pace with our maturing gardens. Whatever stage you’re in, it’s the desire to take your ideas one step further that characterizes the whole-hearted gardener. "

We can help you often with garden planning. Check out our series of classes at

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
January 28, 2010

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