You’ve spent the time preparing your garden spaces, have a general idea of what it should look like, have admired that gorgeous garden down the street, and are now ready to plant. The problem is knowing which plants and flowers will yield visual appeal, can grow in your conditions, and have a long “shelf life”. There are many books out there that give you exceptional advice on garden design (many of which I have bought or read), but it still comes down to finding the right combination that will work well in your garden.
In my opinion, there are just three major garden “types”: formal, wild, and cottage. Living on Cape Cod in a 1780s sea captain’s house, the only type that I envision is a cottage-style garden theme. Researching the web over the past few months, I’ve actually found the Better Homes & Gardens website to be the most comprehensive and easiest way to plan my gardens. The garden plans on the website are diagrammed, contain lists of the plants needed, and offer tips for care. I highly recommend you bookmark the website and refer to it often as you plan, execute, and change your gardens.
One of the issues that needs to be considered in planning is color. If you follow the plans at Better Homes & Gardens, they have coordinated the plants to be pleasing to the eye. However, many of us also have established gardens that need a little more work rather than starting from scratch. This is when color schemes become important. The worst mistake you can make in picking colors is to give yourself a visual migraine by incorporating too many different colors. This doesn’t mean you have to have a single color scheme, though sometimes that works best, but don’t go overboard!
You might find the following article by Yvonne Cunnington to be of some help in deciding color schemes. Her blog post is easy to read and very informative. Read more about color at Flower Gardening Made Easy
Check back on our blog to see how our gardens are coming along. We’ll be starting new gardens and working on established gardens throughout the year to maximize visual appeal.