Redesigning Your Garden…This Is For The Birds!

For me, the New Year is all about a whole new cache of projects that I vow to start and finish (much to my husband’s dismay, as he is usually roped into those plans somehow). Last year this time, I was knee deep in revamping my swamp of a garden.  The redesign was ambitious, and after a little trial and error, elbow grease, and dirty nails, the renovation resulted in my own slice of heaven.  If you’re thinking of doing the same, here’s what I learned:

First, take a photo of your current space (preferably from a second story window), and print it.  In fact, print a couple of copies. Plan out planting beds, entertaining vignettes, and if necessary, play with a new shape to your garden.  I was once told by a wise landscape architect that there are no straight lines in nature, so don’t be afraid to play with curves.

Alluring Allium, photo by Patrick J Flynn

Second, sketch out the design on a clean sheet of paper.  This step is worth it, as you will have a nice, clean rough visual of how your new garden will eventually look.

Third, consider your plants.  Consider its hardiness, sun exposure requirements, etc., and choose appropriately.  Also consider its drainage requirements as well.  This may take a little research, but well worth it.  For instance, if you are planting Russian Sage, and your planting bed is a bog, you won’t find sucess with that plant in that spot.

The Alluring Allium, photo by Patrick J Flynn

Fourth, consider color.  Is your preference a monochrome or polychrome garden?   Whatever your taste, give the color palette consideration.  Some colors complement each other better than others.

Fifth, consider placement.  Tall plants to the back, mid-sized plants in the middle, and then shorter plants to the front.  If you are planning an island, then tallest plants in the middle, next are mid-sized plants, and the last ring of the island is where the shortest plants will go.

And last, plant, plant, plant.  But make sure you start with good, rich soil. Amend where necessary, and in my opinion, organically enriched soil is best.

Though you may think you are designing your garden for yourself, in reality, you’re really designing for your guests, that is to say the bees and the birds.  So look for bird feeders,  bird houses, bird baths , and humming bird feeders  to make your guests feel most at home.

Have a look at the slide show of my garden redesign and hopefully, you get inspired!


4 Comments to “Redesigning Your Garden…This Is For The Birds!”

  1. Some good advice well worth the effort. Planning before you act makes all the difference!

  2. Ah i love allium flowers but sadly they did not succeed in our subtropical climate. Loved your blog. Keep posting.

  3. I am glad you are having a great time on Blotanical. I enjoy your blog and am looking forward to reading more. I am glad you stopped by and will keep popping in here. Donna

  4. Thanks for the reminder! My fiance always makes fun of me for planning every last detail, but it really makes things better and easier.

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