Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All Yards and Gardens Have Little Spaces

Hello again!

This article recently posted at really caught my eye. The author is Inez Calendar.

The article is aimed at people who have small backyards. But my feeling is that even large yards are often made up of a series of small scenes. This is a neat article that flows well and here it is:

"A small house with a small yard can become a showplace when you turn that tiny yard into a garden. Landscaping with plants with not only increase the value of your home but will make your home a great place to live in.

A beautiful garden has nothing to do with size and everything to do with design. With the right combination of design, soil enhancement, and plants, your yard can become an attractive and peaceful sanctuary, a place to get away from it all.

You don't have to spend a fortune either. When you design your perfect little garden, take stock of what you already have in your yard. Anything that you like about the yard keep and work around it. Use what is already there as a basis of your design, whether it's a tree, an attractive shrub, or a small patio.

What you don't like, get rid of. Don't feel sorry for that wretched looking, raggedy tree. Chop it down and dig it up. Don't be intimidated by concrete either. It's easier to bust up concrete than you might think.

When you decide to create a garden, check the soil. Chances are that the soil need to be built up and enriched. Many local dumps offer free compost and mulch to area residents. Check with your department of sanitation to see if you can get your hands on some of those freebies. (Warning, warning: I don't agree with this part! "Free" compost is often worth the price you have just paid: NOTHING! Skillin's or any other reputable garden center sells natural, safe composts that are very broken down and free of weeds, weed seeds, old tires, etc. etc. )That way, your garden is off to a great start for next to nothing except some hard work.

You probably won't be able to create a paradise the first year. So, the initial purchase and plantings should be the big stuff with big impact - a tree. There are many small trees perfect for a tiny garden. A tree adds vertical interest, provides shade, and just makes a garden look nice.

Shrubs can create privacy, soften the edges, and make for pleasant surroundings. Some shrubs grow tall enough to stand in for a tree in a small yard. Remember that you can plant evergreen shrubs for year long foliage, or flowering shrubs for color. Shrubs add texture to the overall design and many shrubs are aromatic as well. Flowering shrubs include roses (for sunny areas) and azaleas (for shade), many of which are evergreen.

Herbaceous plants can be crown in containers or placed around the garden in an attractive design. Herbaceous plants include perennial flowers (they come back every year), annual flowers (they don't), vegetables, and herbs. If you can't make up your mind, use them all. Intermingle herbs and perennials or create small sections of the garden to highlight particular types of plants. With a little bit of planning, you can create a well-balanced mix.

Check out gardening books and see how the experts combine plants for visual appeal, convenience, and the best use of space. Don't be intimidated by the grand schemes presented in some gardening books. Concentrate on the small stuff, don't get carried away looking at steams, meadows, or Wisconsin willows.

Containers are a great way to expand space in a small garden. A beautiful container can create a focal point, or add a variety of visual interest. Container plants need to be watered more often than plants in the garden, especially in hot weather.

There are so many wonderful things to do in a small yard to create a beautiful garden. All that it takes is a little research and planning, patience, and elbow grease. Remember, in a garden, size does not matter; it's what you do with the space that you have to work with. "

Click on Spring 2010 Classes at Skillin's! for our latest series of classes that are quite devoted to yard and garden planning!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
February 3, 2010

1 comment:

Finishing Touches said...

Great Article! Totally agree w/the free compost warning. I am a firm believer in organic seashell based compost. There are some community transfer stations within Skillin's area that do offer some decent compost. You can always ask for a sample before you use. Best bet, make your own or purchase from locally owned garden center.