Garden design is as personal as any other part of your home. Take the time to make sure your garden is designed the way you want it to be. Stock image.

SPRING IN THE GARDEN: Having fun with garden design

Ellen Presley

Special to The Record

There is a lot of interest in gardening this year. And for many it’s a new endeavour digging in the soil, creating new beds and redesigning the whole yard.

Now that we are spending more time at home, we all want to create that perfect oasis far from the maddening world. A lot of people have already started their vegetable garden, but what about the rest of the yard?

So where do we begin? One of the advantages of starting a new garden or revamping an existing garden in the early spring when the perennials, trees and shrubs are just breaking dormancy is that you can have a good look at your structure. Look at the form of the garden, with both the hard structures like gazebos, arbors, gates, fences, benches and pond placement, and the soft structures of big items such as trees and shrubs. Is it the way you want? Is it enough or too much? Does your yard have pleasing paths and garden rooms? Is it low maintenance or high maintenance and what do you have time for? Are you getting older and need to raise some beds for easier access or do you feel you are bored with your garden and need to create a new area? For some of you, you may have that completed and just need to make a few adjustments, and for others, you might need to pick one or more areas to tackle this year. Whatever you feel you need to do, this is a great time to do it.

Garden design is a very personal experience. Although there are general rules of height, planting in odd numbers or choosing plants with different blooming times to ensure continual excitement all year round: be sure to choose the plants you want, not just the latest trend or what someone else likes in their garden. There are many garden magazines, books and websites filled with amazing ideas. Do a little research until you get a sense of what appeals to you.

Do you like a formal look with symmetry, manicure topiary, square and geometric shape, or an informal look with boisterous riots of colours, overflowing cascades of foliage, and randomly displayed beds such as the English country garden? Do you like the minimalist look associated with a zen or Japanese atmosphere, or do you like a romantic billowing scented curved garden with whimsical additions? Or maybe you like many different styles and hence the ideas of rooms separated by fences, arbors, or hedges is more to your liking as you can have one or many themes depending on space. The choices are endless and you have the fun of deciding. Although many would disagree, there is no right or wrong as long as you love what you create. After all, this is your sanctuary and you need to feel good about your labour of love.

While we have time on our hands, now is the perfect time to focus on design. Purchase your arbors, build your fences and plant your trees. Measure up your garden and make lists of the plants you want and decide where to place them. Take into account sunlight, soil amendments and water availability. After that… the fun begins. There are so many amazing plants to choose.

You finally have time to play in the garden. Have fun and enjoy it.

Happy gardening.

Ellen Presley is the owner of Anderton Nursery.

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