Last weekend my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren met at our little log cabin for the celebration of spring birthdays and the commencement of converting the large garage into a bunk house for this ever-expanding family.
During the course of the weekend, various ideas flew about which I found of interest. While many focused on the construction details including heat, electricity, and general design, others leaned toward furnishings and pictures on the walls. I had to appreciate the interaction and the gifts of sharing and respect that brought about a general consensus of how to proceed. The details of that procedure was left to the experts in their respective fields!
Design ideas take thought and the ability to prioritize those thoughts. In the world of landscaping, pictures on the wall represent planting flowers before the drainage, grading. soil amendments, and irrigation which are the foundation of the garden. Without those four components, the recipe for landscape design and installation spells trouble if the pictures on the wall are installed first.
Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult to walk into a nursery displaying a sea of color and not transpose that image into visions hoped to be found behind your garden gates! Yet the foundation must be built before turning our gardens into a living version of a Claude Monet painting!
As with any project, it always helps to formulate ideas on paper or computerized drawings by generating a schematic plan showing where the house sits in relationship to the property lines when working with landscaping. Determine which direction is north to establish the micro climates in the garden. Finding the elevations of the property helps determine how to drain water away from the house. Grading the existing soil is also paramount in managing water, establishing contours and terracing if desired. Installing pipe for irrigation would be next, though at this point it is necessary to know where the garden beds are going. Identifying entertaining locations such as patios or decks as well as play and utility areas. Walkways leading to assist anyone moving through the garden can also be identified on the plans at this point. Consider lighting to highlight the pathways and accented areas. While these processes takes place, pay attention to plants and especially the trees that will provide the perfect touch to the garden and suit your needs.
Why especially trees at this point? Trees form the backbone of a garden. They also take a very long time to gain the height and breadth to create needed shade, fruit or accent. Therefore, trees should be one of the first “pictures on the wall” to plant in the garden. Alas, the shrubs, flowers, garden art and vegetable gardens -those pictures on the wall -can finally be added to your priority list before finishing off the projected job with bark.
Any garden project that takes these required steps insure a gardener the ability and opportunity to sit back with beverage in hand to appreciate the beauty of those pictures on the wall.
Have a great weekend.