Sketch your ideas on paper. It's easier to make changes with an eraser than with a shovel. This is the time to consider garden views from inside the house, traffic patterns throughout the yard, and ways your family uses the yard.
Draw permanent structures such as paths, walls, fences, decks, and gazebos, even if you don't intend to erect them immediately.
Reserve space near hedges, walls, and fences for plants that benefit from the extra protection and shade. Keep plants an ample distance from one another and from nearby structures to allow for growth. Give wide berth to new shrubs and trees; when fully grown, they can take up a lot of space.
Remember to leave open play areas for children. Add exercise areas for your pets where they won't trample plants. Leave yourself room to work. If you plan large beds, add space for stepping-stones or a winding path that will allow access to plants in the middle of the bed.
To anyone starting a first garden, buying all the tools can be pretty intimidating. This list covers the basics that you'll need to get started.
- Spade (for digging and transplanting)
- Shovel (for moving earth and mulch, flipping compost, etc.)
- Pruning shears
- Sharp knife
- Narrow digging tool
- 5-gallon bucket
- Cart or wheelbarrow
- Watering can
- Hat (for sun protection)
How to Create a Colorful Garden
-One of the easiest ways to design a great garden is to know what blooms of what. One classic combination is roses and peonies. The beauties at the roses grow up to the peonies and compliment them in color, form, size. Here a pink rose and pale pink peony are magical combination. Plus both are wonderfully fragrant. Yellow Lysimachia and cranesbill geranium are standout combination. It's easy to care for combination that thrives in the summer garden corner. This is a combination of old fashioned roses, a white rugosa Rosa Alba and pink Grootendorst Rose. What's lovely is that the roses undercarriage is camouflage with blue [unk]. All three of these are very fashioned, yet very hardy plants. They make a great trio. This is a lovely romantic combination of pink English roses and purple May night salvia. Once the salvia is done blooming, shear off the flowers and they will bloom again later in the summer. Here we have two different types of blue clematis in front of a pink rugosa rose. The clematis seems to [unk] on the fence while the rose provides a backup of color. This hardy rugosa roses growing with the white clematis. It makes a beautiful romantic pairing. You just can't go wrong with roses and clematis. Sometimes foliage plants make great companions too. Here's the red leaves a barberry looked good all summer long and are lovely planted next to the shimmering light peony. It proves you don't leave flowers for great color. If you have peonies consider adding alliums to this play. Their purple flower heads are very dramatic in the garden. Just remember, alliums have to be planted in the fall. It doesn't take a big number of plants to have big impact in your garden. By choosing varieties that bloom at the same time, you will create a wonderful floral show in garden in the summer.
Continued on page 2: The Dirt on Dirt