Designing Your Garden

It's May and time to really get working in the garden.  Of course, gardening is something you can honestly do all year round if you put your mind to it!  However, since it's the middle of May, I needed to really get going!  I am getting into the midst of it right now and  I thought I'd show you how I go about planning my gardens.

First, I wanted to show you some of the areas of my garden that are blooming and displaying lots of color currently. Since the beginning stages of planning and planting a flowerbed are not very impressive or colorful, I wanted you to see some areas of my yard that are quite lovely. (At least, I think so...)
 The Lilacs are still fragrant and beautiful.
 This is an orange azalia.  I am not sure of the exact name but, it's always stunning.

 This is Honeysuckle, which can get a bit invasive, but at this time of the season the fragrance is so great that it is totally worth the trouble!
 This is aguga, a perennial that only seems to want to grow in our field.  I've tried moving it to my garden several times but, to no avail.  I won't let my husband mow this part of the field until the aguga is done blooming, which understandably drives him nuts :)
 I had to show you my new birdbath.  It was my Mother's Day present.  Isn't it pretty?  Most of the plants around it are ones I planted last fall.  I'm so surprised they made it through the winter.
 More birdbath plants
 Oriental Poppy...just purchased this spring.  I'm hoping it comes back next year.  We'll see.
A Rhododendron blossom that actually wasn't eaten by the deer last winter!

OK, now that I've shown you that I do truly have color in my yard...on to designing my flower bed.  I have a shade garden on the side of my yard that I love but, I often have a difficult time trying to decide what plants to use in it because its light exposure is not very good.  The garden only gets two hours of light early in the morning and, perhaps, two hours in the late afternoon.  Who placed a garden in that stupid spot anyway?

After the winter I took stock of the garden and found that one Foxglove, three Jacob's Ladder, four Lady's Mantle, two Fever Few, one Clematis and two mystery perennials were making appearances.  This may sound like many plants but, it's a big space and I needed to fill it in with many more.

My first plan of action was to transplant seven or eight Bellflower plants from my back garden to my shade garden.  I love this plant but, it appears to be a favorite of rabbits and woodchucks also.
It's supposed to look like this if the animals don't eat the buds off first.

          This is what it looks like now.  I'm hoping it will bloom in a few weeks.  Oh, and I found a Foxglove plant          behind the fence and transplanted it to the garden.  Free plants!  I love it!

The next phase of my plan was to actually draw up a plan.  So, I scribbled a drawing in a notebook and brought it with me to the garden center.  That way I have a visual picture of the thought in my head and I remember what plants I need to buy to make my idea a reality.
I didn't think you could decipher my scribbled drawing so, I made a more legible one.  Here you can see the garden is made up of perennials, as well as, annuals.  By the time the perennials are done blooming, the annuals take over to provide constant color...if everything goes as planned, that is.

So the garden consists of:
Jacob's Ladder

 Lady's Mantle
White and red begonias and blue lobelia
Mixed Coleus and Snapdragons

As well as, bellflower, fever few (a perennial with small white flowers on a feathery stem), a mystery plant and clematis
 Here is the finished product.  I know.  It's not very impressive right now but, hopefully, it will be soon.  Following my plan, I planted all the plants by digging a hole and filling the hole with water fortified with plant food.  This gives the flowers a good start. I will continue fertilizing the plants about once a week for the next month or so.  After that, I'll probably fertilize every two weeks.  As you may have guessed gardening is not for whims.  It's a lot of work but, it can be very rewarding.
Obviously, I think it's rewarding because I am on to the next flower bed!

Happy Planting!!

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