Creating Your Garden Wish List 

....article by Business Member, Janet Ennamorato, continued from the homepage

When creating your garden wish list, dreaming is great, but it is best to keep your dreams grounded in reality. Think of your day-to-day life and how your garden can enhance the things you love to do. It is often helpful to jot down your ideas; make a list that you can refer to as you go through the process. This list should include:
 

  • Theme or style - country garden, formal and ornate, french provincial, Zen, contemporary;

  • Reconsider the traditional thought of a manicured lawn; do you need or want this?  There are alternatives;

  • Landscape lighting - for those evening parties or simply to extend your personal use of the garden at night;

  • All season appeal - elements to keep your garden looking great in every season: garden plant structure/ornamentation and seasonal plantings;

  • Colour in the garden or a more subdued pallet?

  • Every garden needs a focal point, what should it be? A water feature, a fire pit, a beautiful garden sculpture?    

  • Consider the sun, shade, soil quality, and drainage conditions of your outdoor spaces. What is your plant hardiness zone? How will these affect your plant choices?

  • Is privacy important?  What garden elements can help you meet this need?

  • What specific structures do you wish to include?...a swimming pool, cabana, gazebo, pergola, privacy screens, a deck, stone patio, or other masonry features?

  • How about an outdoor sound system, an outdoor kitchen, playground equipment, a pond, fountains, or other water features?

  • Do you wish to invite nature into your garden? Are you interested in encouraging birds, butterflies, and pollinators such as bees to visit?

  • Is an environmentally sustainable garden part of your dream? 

  • Fusion landscaping involves efforts to preserve rainwater, reduce stormwater runoff, and introducing native plants and natural habitats for birds, bees, and butterflies.

There is a lot to think about when pulling together your wish list. By going through this process you will be in a position to begin considering the specific plants that you like and the specific structures and accessories that will complete your vision. In fact, you will have already done most of the work by creating a framework the narrows down your choices and slots them into your priority needs.

All that is required now is to explore online sites and offline resources such as books and magazines to find the specific items you like and are consistent with the wish list framework you have established. And don’t hesitate to visit nurseries to help you out.

The final stage of the planning process will involve putting all of your choices together into a landscape “blueprint”. Here you may consider enlisting the help of a landscape designer, landscape architect, or expert staff at a garden center. At a minimum, they can provide you with a general plan and help with scheduling. If you choose, they can also provide you with a detailed design, timeline, budget, and help find a contractor to bring your dream to life.

When approached the right way, this entire process can be great fun and should certainly not be overwhelming. In fact, much of the enjoyment of gardening and landscaping can come from this planning stage. It can excite you about new possibilities and provide you with a road map for practically achieving what you really desire. With proper planning, there is no reason why you can’t bring your wish list to life and realize the garden of your dreams!

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Janet Ennamorato

Creative Garden Designs Inc.