Beautiful flower gardens with less work can be a dream come true when you follow the six steps below to get you started. As you begin to plan your garden, it’s beneficial to begin with the end in mind. After all, it’s true what they say “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’re there?” A cliche for sure, but knowing where you want to go and how to get there is critical…in business and in gardening.
Review these six steps each time you plan a project, design a garden, or pursue any new vision that may have planted its seed in your brain. Each strategy will help you have more garden with less work.
Six steps for managing your space, energy, and time.
- Reduce repetitive tasks like mowing, edging, planting, pruning, raking leaves, picking up sticks, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, and pest control. Figure out how much time you are spending, or are willing to spend, on these tasks and plan accordingly. Buy ergonomic gardening tools to reduce joint strain.
- Choose what you will do. From the above list, see which things you actually like to do. Maybe you love mowing your lawn or edging. Great! Go for it! But, on the other hand, don’t feel guilty if you decide to take down that huge oak tree because you’re tired of picking up the nuts or racking the leaves every fall.
- Repeat what works. In business, if something works, keep doing it. Same in gardening. Have you been to a public garden or seen a neighbors’ yard with a landscaping idea that seems to work? Maybe it’s a great color scheme they used with their annuals like red and white begonias, or pink petunias with gray dusty miller. Take notes on the botanical name, helpful to your landscape designer, as well as the common name, if possible, and use them in your garden. Be sure you have picked the right niche (see the next strategy) for your plant!
- Know your niches. It’s a helpful business plan as well as a helpful garden plan. The dictionary defines a niche as: “A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.” Your garden is made up of several different niches-ecological pockets that vary in terms of light, moisture, wind and soil. Matching your plants to these niches is the best way to assure gardening success.
- Set nature free. You like having the freedom to pursue your God given talents and passions, right? Well, so do your plants! They all have their own personality and passions. Some love to run rampant all over your yard (sort of reminds me of our 25 year old when he was young) but then others are very content wherever they happen to be (our 22 year old.) You love them both equally but each has their own set of needs. So, likewise, be sure and put shade loving plants like hostas in low light areas and don’t even purchase high maintenance plants like roses if you’re not willing to take care of these babies.
- Grow what you love. Don’t like radishes? Don’t grow them! I actually did this last summer. Grew radishes…I hate them. I did it just because they are easy to grow. Big mistake! It doesn’t matter what it is, just find your own passion in gardening and “grow” for it! Whether it be bonsai, a fern or hosta collection, or even perhaps a native plant collection… just grow what you love.
With these six steps you can have the beautiful flower garden of your dreams and be the envy of the neighborhood. If you are new to gardening, be sure and start small and build on your successes. If you are a seasoned gardener, branch out and try something new!