Plan your Garden

You have seen those beautiful flowers in the park. Their celebration of colors is like a cinematic orchestra to your senses. You wondered how they got to be so healthy and robust. As you walk under a rose covered archway, you smelled the lingering fragrance and you saw fluttering butterflies hovering over showy blooms. Suddenly, you thought it would be nice if you could have a magnificent garden of your own.

during my tour at the world famous Butchart Gardens
The thought is often overwhelming on how to start your own garden. But, actually your thoughts are all you need to hatch a plan. Just like in your work projects you must have a garden plan.

No matter how small or large a garden is, it needs a plan. A layout of your garden guides you through your garden projects and will help you to create your dream garden.
First things first. Remember these important points and use this as your guide when you build your garden.

Location.  Whether you are starting up your garden or wanting to transform its look, you should consider where you live. Space in the city is usually limited like the balconies outside of apartments; while there is more space in the backyard of a house. This will determine the number of plants you want to put in a given area. Container gardening will do the trick if you don't have a lawn or a backyard.

Type of Soil. You must check the soil first before deciding on buying flowers. There are three different kinds of soil and in each type, there is a suitable plant to be sown or planted. A soil can either be loam, sandy or clay. In some cases, the soil can come as a mixture of two soil types.

ClimateSimply speaking, one cannot plant a palm tree in a place where the season keeps changing. Generally, tropical plants thrive in a tropical weather with the exceptions of some cities like in Victoria, British Columbia. The crisp tropical air from the west and south mix with the cold air from the north and east making the weather milder and suitable for some tropical flowers and trees to grow.
  •  Rainfall. The amount of rain is essential in growing plants. In dessert regions, there is very light rain < 0.25 mm/hr. Cacti and succulents are plants great for planting with this type of rainfall. In places where there is heavy to extremely heavy rain, plants with lush foliage fit the type for growing.
  • Hardiness Zone. When I first started gardening, I also encountered this term. This is simply a guide to help gardeners choose suitable plants to grow in their locations. This will prevent you from purchasing plants that will later on die from either cold or extremely hot temperatures. Although the plant has its ability to adjust to changing weather, but as gardeners we still have to know how these factors affect plant growth.
  • Microclimates. If hardiness zone determines the average minimum degree of temperature where a plant is able to live, the microclimates are small but influential elements necessary for optimal plant health. Picture this, a daisy is placed on the windowsill but it does not get enough sunlight because of a wall obstructing the window. Humidity is increased and the daisy is not able to bloom from lack of sunlight and is also prone to diseases. Humidity here is the microclimate as well as heat and actually rainfall.
Although the hardiness zone is very useful, you should also consider even the smallest details and find what works for your plants and not.
  • Sketch your Garden. This is probably the most fun part in garden planning. Once you have all the other important factors in mind, it is ideal to sketch your garden layout. You will get to imagine what will be the expected result of your plan if you draw it. You don't need to be an artist to sketch, in fact you can use your own symbols or legend of flowers or trees or pathways- get creative!
vegetable garden layout courtesy of EwaInTheGarden

In a nutshell!

When you do gardening for the first time you learn as you go along, so do not be too hard on yourself. So put on your gloves, get the tools and start digging!

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