Garden Design Plan – How to Prepare a Perennial Garden Design (Part 2)
December 3rd, 2010
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The first part on this topic discussed some important backyard landscaping ideas – specifically, a garden design plan for perennials. It talked about why this is the perfect time to develop your perennial garden design.
So it’s important to get your garden design plan right for perennials.
A perennial garden design is more difficult initially. But your efforts can pay off in the long term in the form of a beautiful backyard landscape design.
Before you start putting together your garden design plan, you need to determine where you will plant your perennial garden. Observe how much sun different locations of your backyard get each day. Keep in mind that the sun will be higher in the sky in the spring and summer than in the late fall and early winter.
If a garden location gets sun most of the day, then “full sun” perennials should be planted there. If your garden gets sun for only one half a day, then determine those flowers that do best under “part sun” conditions. You will need plants that do best in “shade” if your garden receives less than 2 hours of sun each day.
Your perennial garden may get limited sun each day, but you may really want to grow a perennial that requires full sun. In that case, you might consider planting it in a container and placing it in a location that gets a lot of sun. You can move the container as sun conditions change.
Now that you have determined the sun exposure of your garden, your garden design plan should consider the specific location of your garden. Is it up against a fence, a wall, or a border in your yard? Here you want to plant your taller flowers in the back. The medium sized flowers will be in front of those with the smaller ones in the front and around the edge.
Or is your garden in the center of the yard. In this case, it will probably be viewed from different angles. Here you want the taller flowers in the center. Plant the medium sized flowers in front. The smaller flowers should be planted on the edges.
Perennial Garden Design
Your garden design plan should list the perennial plants you want to grow.
Select those flowers that meet your sun exposure requirements. Write down the height, spread, color of its blooms, and the time and duration of its blooming period.
Then post each plant in your perennial garden design. It will take 1-2 years before you see the full benefits of your perennials. Consider the width and growing habit of each plant.
As I said before, group plants so that at least one plant is blooming throughout the growing season.
You can review your garden design plan for each garden throughout the winter months. Take your time in creating your perennial garden design. It will provide you with beautiful flowers for years to come.
Garden Design Plan – How to Prepare a Perennial Garden Design (Part 1)
December 1st, 2010
Establishing a garden design plan is critical to your backyard landscaping ideas.
This is especially true in developing a perennial garden design. The right flowers add color and beauty to your backyard landscape.
I can hear what you are saying now. This is the first part of December. Why in the world is this guy talking about perennial flowers. Has he lost his mind? Most areas have already seen a frost while others have even had a freeze by now.
This happens to be one of my favorite gardening periods of the year. In fact, it lasts all winter. It is the time to come up with some great backyard landscaping ideas.
Now is the time to put together a garden design plan. There’s absolutely no pressure. There are no imminent deadlines. You won’t be planting anything for several months.
You can take your time and determine how you will plant your garden areas the following spring. You can go through garden and nursery catalogs and decide which perennial flowers you will grow.
I thoroughly enjoy that activity since these catalogs contain so much good information. You can also look online to find perennial flowers that that do well in your geographic location and in your backyard soil and light conditions.
A perennial garden design is trickier than planning an annual garden.
Perennial Garden Design
Perennial flowers return each year. They generally bloom for no more than a month. As a result, it’s best to plant a variety of perennials so that there is constant bloom all season long.
So it’s best to select perennial flowers based on their blooms, their foliage, and the time and duration of blooming. Where you plant perennials will be fairly permanent.
On the other hand, most annuals die by the end of the year. So you can develop a brand new garden plan for the next year.
It’s important to remember that perennials tend to expand and grow larger each year.
It’s best to plant a variety of perennials together that have different blooming periods. By doing that, you should have some flowers coming into the peak blooming period at the same time blooms of other plants are fading.
Perennial flowers come in many different colors. This is one reason why growing perennials is so much fun. You can have a garden design plan with a color combination of perennials during one month and have a completely different color combination the following month. Your backyard landscape design will always be changing.
The second part on this topic will discuss how to develop your garden design plan for perennials.
Make Your Backyard Landscape Your Weekend Retreat (Part 2)
October 7th, 2010
Yesterday we talked about why we might want to turn your backyard landscape into a weekend retreat. We talked about the need for planning and research in coming up with some great backyard landscaping ideas.
Today we discuss steps to follow to develop your backyard landscape plan.
Here are some important steps to follow:
Choose your trees
Tree landscaping is a critical piece of your backyard landscape. Trees should be planted in the fall – several weeks before real cold weather arrives.
If your backyard has enough space, add one or more large shade trees. Many of these trees produce beautiful foliage in the fall in addition to shade during the hot months of the summer. Of course, you must be willing to do a lot of raking of leaves in the fall.
Flowering ornamental trees make a great addition. Many of these trees have beautiful flowers in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall. Do your research. Some of these flowering ornamental trees need partial sun rather than full sun.
Choose garden shrubs
Garden shrubs can be planted in the fall when you plant your trees. Or they can be planted in the early spring after any danger of a heavy freeze. They must establish root growth before hot summer days arrive.
If you are not sure what garden shrubs to plant and where to plant them, you may want to wait a year. Put in a flowerbed or two. See how your backyard looks before making an official decision on shrubs.
Decide what annual and perennial flowers to plant
If you are like me, I like to have flowers growing throughout the entire growing season. Perennials are great flowers, but they only bloom for a short period of time. For example, I love chrysanthemums in the fall. But for the spring and summer, they are just an ordinary non-blooming plant.
Come up with some good flower garden ideas. Determine where you want your flower bed(s). Will your garden get full sun, partial sun, or full shade? This will tell you what variety of flower to plant. Take a look at garden centers, nursery catalogs, and magazines. Journal the types of flowers you like.
Do a lot of planning and research. Determine those flowers that do best in your geographical location. Your garden center or nursery catalog can help you.
Make Your Backyard Landscape Your Weekend Retreat (Part 1)
October 6th, 2010
In order to have a beautiful backyard landscape, there are two very important concepts you must keep in mind. These two concepts are research and planning.
I don’t know your thoughts on landscaping your backyard. You may have no interest. In this case, this blog is not for you.
On the other hand you may want a nicely designed backyard landscape. You must first determine the purpose for your backyard.
You can put together a fairly simple design. This blog can still be of service to you by helping you know what, how, when, and where to plant.
Or you may be like me. I want to have a nice backyard landscape. I’m not talking about anything elaborate. Just something fairly simple.
I like to travel. I like to enjoy pretty scenery. I like to go places where I can just relax and enjoy the setting.
But I can sometimes save a lot of money by relaxing in my own backyard and enjoying my backyard landscape as my weekend retreat.
The first step in creating some great backyard landscaping ideas is to put together a preliminary design in writing. Make it an enjoyable experience. Look at the present condition of your backyard. Write down the things you like and those that you don’t like.
Determine whether you can build upon the plants and garden areas that presently exist. For example, you may have some large shade trees. Your only choice in your landscaping plan is to either use them or cut them down. If at all possible, use them.
Or you may want a tree surgeon come in and trim them up a bit.
Or the trees can be an important part of your design.
Putting your landscape design on paper is not necessarily a one-day process. Take your time. Plan on taking a few days, maybe even a few weeks to come up with a design. Just visualize what you want your backyard to look like. You will probably want to come up with several plans.
Look around the neighborhood or city. See what you like. Keep a journal and make notes. Look at landscaping magazines. Make a few visits to your local garden center or nursery. Look online. Write down the names of landscaping trees, garden shrubs, annual flowers, and perennial flowers you like.
Fall and winter are great seasons for coming up with good backyard landscaping ideas. As you can see, your landscaping project requires both planning and research.
In my next post, I will point out some important steps in developing your backyard landscape plan.
Your First Steps in Choosing a Backyard Landscape (Part 2)
September 13th, 2010
In my last post on Backyard Landscaping Ideas, I discussed some general considerations in designing your backyard.
Your deck or patio is a major element of your backyard landscape.
In this post, I recommend some important things to consider in building your deck or patio.
If you have a high deck, you may want to consider a two-tier deck. The high deck can have 2-4 steps down to a lower deck. There will then be 2-4 steps down to the ground.
Or you may want steps leading from the high deck down to a landing area. Then have steps going down to the ground from a different direction than the original steps.
Horizontal and vertical deck railings make your deck more interesting. Seating around the outside of the deck can also be attractive and practical.
Take a look at different deck designs and choose the one you like and is within your budget. Any deck that is more than just a square or rectangle will have a more interesting appearance.
There are many types of materials you can use to construct a deck or patio. A basic material used for decks is pine. Concrete is used for patios.
Keep in mind that the structure should complement the theme of your house. It should also blend naturally with your backyard landscape.
It should be a structure that is easy to maintain year after year. A deck must be painted or sealed every couple of years. A patio must be cleaned on a regular basis. You must be willing and able to perform this maintenance.
The cost of your deck or patio is a major consideration.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. A custom-designed deck or patio can be expensive. If you can’t afford to put together the exact appearance you want, then do something fairly basic. But keep it relatively flexible so you can add to it later.
Price out various materials that will give you the appearance you desire. Look for items that are selling at discounted prices.
If you have your deck or patio done by a professional, obtain quotes from several different vendors. Feel comfortable with the company you choose. Make sure they are aware of what you are looking for.
Design of your deck or patio
As I said in the previous post on Backyard Landscaping Ideas, your deck or patio should provide a seamless bridge between your house and backyard. It should add to the appearance and value of your house.
Is the construction something you can do or do you need to hire a specialist? The specialist will probably give you a recommendation or two on designs for you. But you must be happy with the design you choose. The design you choose will be with you for years to come.
Your First Steps in Choosing a Backyard Landscape (Part 1)
September 13th, 2010
I have said this before. Coming up with backyard landscaping ideas is one of my favorite aspects of gardening.
One of the important factors in choosing a backyard landscape is that you can start small. In fact, I encourage you to do that.
When I put together backyard landscaping ideas for my yard for the first time, I didn’t have much knowledge and absolutely no experience in doing that. That was many years ago.
Today, I find it a real joy to research different plants that will make up my landscaping design. I spend time during the winter designing and coming up with new ways to improve my landscape.
As I stated in Tree Landscaping, it’s important to decide on the trees to plant in your yard before anything else. When you first move into a house, you may already have good shade and flowering trees in your yard. They may be located in the perfect place in your backyard.
If not, then follow the instructions I give you in the posts under Tree Landscaping.
Your house may already have a deck or patio. If not, then you need to design one and have one built. If you are handy, then you may want to do it yourself. If not, I highly recommend that you hire an expert to accomplish this.
A good deck, patio, or porch is a key element to your backyard design.
You want your deck, patio, or porch to provide a seamless bridge between your house and your backyard.
You must determine the purpose of your structure. Will you be entertaining and having parties? Or will you be using it primarily for your own personal use – sitting in a relaxing, peaceful environment?
I do a little of both. But my main emphasis is on a relaxed setting used for reading, meditating, writing, and other enjoyable things.
My preference is a screened-in porch that leads onto a deck or patio. In that way, I can use the porch in the periods of the year when mosquitoes and other bugs cause problems. I use the patio or deck when insects are not a problem.
In my next post, I will give you a few backyard landscape ideas on things to consider in building a deck or patio.