As much as I like lists, having an overarching plan for the complete garden, or yard, is difficult for me. I can create a plan for the vegetables I want to grow. That works out okay. It is when it come to looking at my yard as a whole and have a cohesive plan for the whole thing that I get lost. We live on a corner lot on a main street in our town. That means that most people can see our entire yard. Added to that, the previous owners, from what I was told, had a nice looking yard with a lot of statures, fountains and such. We do not. I am not much into fountains and statues, except to admire in other yards. So, not only do I feel like I need to have a plan for the yard as a whole, but I have this imaginary standard that I am trying to live up to.
So far I have been failing at both accounts: 1. To have a cohesive plan for the entire yard, and 2. To live up to the imaginary standard. I have been just going with it for the past few years and not really doing a lot with the flower beds. I justify it by telling myself that I am getting to know my yard. This is true to an extent.
I am not one for creating work for myself on purpose. I tend towards perennials more than annuals if it is an option. Not only does it help cut down on weeds, but they also spread on their own and do not need to be replanted every year. I was happy to find columbine flowers (Aquilegia) in our front corner bed. As I did not pick them the first year or two, they have reproduced quite nicely. They also seem to like the poor soil in that bed and did not seem any worse for wear with the lack of rain last year. I tried cucumbers and vining squash there. They did not like that particular poor soil and did nothing beyond a foot or two of growing.
Last year I did accomplish the goals of digging up and resetting the rock border to one small flower bed. This actually is around a tree and has hostas in it. That alone made it look much nicer and well kept. I think this year the hostas need to be divided and spread out. I will also begin working on digging up and resetting the stones around the front corner bed. It is easily four times as much as the smaller bed. However, since I learned a few lesson on how to pull up the stone, I am hoping it goes more quickly.
I think the hardest part for me in planning what I want my yard to head towards in the long term is that I keep changing my mind. Additionally, I have a husband who likes grass. So, till I come up with a firmer plan I will keep working within the small spaces that are already in flux.
At this time my goals for my yard as a whole are:
- having perennials, or self seeding annuals, in every bed
- having something in bloom every season in each part of the yard
- add edging to make the transition from grass to plant bed more defined
- add 1 piece of decor to every part of the yard (i.e. bird bath, bird feeder, statue, wall decor, lawn ornament, etc.)
- not to feel bad about taking out something, which the previous owners put in, if it is not working for me
I do lean more towards native than exotic, both in plants and decor. This will affect the final look.
In the end I need to let go of the imaginary standard that is in my head and head towards what works for me. Now, what to do first?
Do you have a plan for your yard or property as a whole? Are you more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of gardener? Over the years have you changed the direction you were going?