depends upon one essential question you must first ask
yourself. Do you or do you not like to garden? You are a gardener if you
find pleasure in watching plants grow, enjoy feeling earth, consider
gardening relaxing and have time to devote to the craft. You are not a
gardener if you find the idea of gardening a waste of valuable time.
However, even a non-gardener can still appreciate the finished appearance
that landscaping can give property. The key is to realize if you are, or
are not, a gardener.
of individuals must start with the first basic steps of landscaping.
Using a compass mark the exact N,
S, E and W directions on the paper.
bags with dirt from each direction and mark the bag accordingly.
- Draw the shape of your property on
a piece of paper.
- Orient and draw the shape of your house/office on top of the
windows, doors, pathways and heights of eves on paper.
has early morning sun (unless blocked
by houses or trees)
is hot and sunny (unless dappled sunlight from high trees)
has late afternoon sun (unless blocked by houses or trees)
and Planning are
characteristics that must be carefully cultivated. Find a
reputable nursery with a knowledgeable staff and keep asking questions.
Read about gardening. The library is a free and bottomless source of
gardening mantras are "Fall is for Planting" and "Keep it Simple".
information and pictures with appeal and keep it in your car for reference.
first basic steps and Rule Of Thumb
last one growing season, then die. Pinching or disbudding encourages
return stronger and bigger each year Never spray roses with the hose.
pointed end up and never in poorly drained soil.
Use sand to
lighten, drain and aerate heavy soil.
Water and feed
flower of a bulb only. Cut back the rest after the leaves turn
yellow and fall.
flowering bulbs can be left in the ground. Others must be lifted and
stored. Tag your plants to remember their names, care directions.
Use a timed
soaker hose so that you can sleep through your 3AM watering!
Know your soil.
Match or change the soil to accommodate the plant.
Have the garden
center test your soil bags and advise you of a reputable soil
treatment for your needs ~ Join G.A.B.B. (Gardeners Against Bad
spring or summer blooming shrubs in late winter or early spring
Prune a shrub right after it blooms, if the blooms occur on last
year's growth Invest in useful gardening tools and keep them in a
safely locked garden shed Unless you like the sun, plan to garden in
plants for winter with recommended food, pruning and burlap covers
dried fallen leaves and needles act as a bed cover during the cold
winter months. Clean
up some of those leaves in the Spring
in clusters of like colors. Blend your patterns in a flowing
covers in front, medium blooms next, then tall flowers in the rear.
bloom cycles. Consider what remains after the bloom cycle is
Use lots of
good mulch. It is attractive, beneficial and discourages weeds.
Define architectural and landscape elements such as front entrances
and pathways Conceal blemishes such as exposed foundation and
utility boxes Consider landscaping for privacy or wind and heat
protection Consider solar lighting for illuminating walkways and
effective traffic control, add thorny plants to the corners and
borders of your property.
with colors: yellow roses (sun), yellow lilies (part shade) yellow
plants attract wide life such as birds and butterflies as well as
bees and flies.
consider family allergies and poisonous plants.
flowers that make beautiful vases, dried arrangements and gifts for
brick, stone, boulders, trellises, benches, birdbaths and other
ornaments. (not all together).
close your windows before you water the flower boxes
Pulling at the
plant will not make it grow faster
Cigarette butts are not
biodegradable and are hideous in the landscape. Put a sand can
outside. Well-cultivated weeds can reap beautiful flowers Take time to smell the flowers
Landscaping can be
other than Plants.
Consider the following alternatives:
Decking with mortar for weed control
with flat sides to prevent rolling
walkways and Front Entrances
with solar lighting Systems
traffic and increase privacy by using thorny hedges near windows
and as fences Use decorative lattice panels to cover ugly
utilities or create privacy.
old benches with plantings to create decorative seating areas on
you are not going to hire a landscaper heed the following advise:
only from a reputable nursery with knowledgeable staff.
Match the above Rule of Thumb guide to tree and shrub sunlight
tags. Have the center test your soil bags and advise you
of a reputable soil treatment or recommend which shrubs grow
will in your soil type.
those with like needs together. For example, plant groupings of
acidic soil, full sun and water together and alkaline soil,
shade, and light water together. Consider low maintenance ground
covers like Ivy instead of lawn.
a soaker hose connected to a timer so that you don't have to
a good mulch to avoid weeding chores and to maintain soil
Know trees and shrubs full
height and width at maturity and position accordingly.
in groups with soft curved edges at strategic locations on your
for terms like: hardy, tolerant to drought and poor soil,
disease resistant and low maintenance Follow the planting and
with trees and shrubs, preferably evergreens and deciduous trees
placed in strategic locations. Plant only trees and shrubs
that are suitable or indigenous to your climate.