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Planning your Landscaping Hummingbird Garden

 

Planning 
your 
Landscaping

Landscaping will enhance your home, but at the same time, it should not be a burden.
The right plans are essential for low maintenance.
With good planning and proper plant selection, 
your yard will be a pleasure to care for as well as a pleasure to view. 

 

HOW TO PLAN YOUR GARDEN

First - EVALUATE YOUR SITE.  WHERE IS IT GOING TO GO?

1.  Where is the sun and/or shade?
2.  Where is the wind in the summer and winter?
3.  Where is the location of utilities and/or easements? Tree roots can disrupt plumbing
4.   Where is the location of your house on the lot, including walkways, patio, pool?
5.   Have your soil analyzed.
6.   Where are your existing plants and trees?
7.   Where is the location of your water supply?
8.   Think of the convenience when locating a patio, a tree, etc.
9.   What will it look like from inside the home?
10.  Do you require low maintenance?
11.  Is there an eyesore in your yard?

Second - MOST IMPORTANT!!! 
THINK ABOUT
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IN THE SPACE?

Is it a playground?  A place to relax?  A pool?  A basketball court?
Is grass practical or do you need a tougher surface?

Are you going to put a "quiet area" next to your air-conditioner compressor?

Sit down, and think about how you want to use the space.  What do you want out of the space?  
How much money can you afford to spend?  Is the space expandable if you can't complete the 
entire project at one time?  How much work is involved in taking care of the space? 


Third - AFTER YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THESE QUESTIONS, THEN THINK ABOUT...

Avoid the temptation to over plant.

Plan for the shrubs FULL size.

Small gardens are easier to work with than larger gardens.

Square or round shapes are easier than free form

Use plants that will thrive in the conditions your site offers. Native plants work well.

Keep your garden beds and containers within reach.  The most convenient garden beds 
should be no wider than 4 feet.  Three feet might even be better.

If possible, keep your tools and supplies in the garden area.

Keep potting soil in wheeled plastic trash containers so that they may be easily moved to 
your work area when necessary.

All gates, passageways and other openings should be at least 42" wide, the width of a 
wheelbarrow.

Do not feel like you have to do everything the first year. As long as you are working from a 
master plan adding to your landscape can easily be done over seasons. Trying to plant 
everything at once can sometimes have a negative effect since your needs or feelings may 
change over time as you live with your garden. Making alterations to a master plan is easier 
than digging up half of your garden and replanting it.

As you are adding new shrubs to your landscape, be sure to keep their mature size in mind. 
Try planting dwarf shrubs, this will help in reducing your pruning chores.

If you an object in your landscape like a fire hydrant, telephone pole, create a focal point 
elsewhere in your garden with a bed of flowering plants to draw you eye away from the less attractive object.

It is important to NOT raise the soil level around your trees.

Changing the grade around trees, whether with soil, top dressing, thick mulches or flower 
beds leads to fungal diseases and even death.

                            ADVANTAGES OF RAISED BED GARDENS

Some gardeners find they have an impossible soil situation that won’t grow anything. If this is a problem 
then growing plants and flowers in raised beds should be considered. A primary advantage of raised bed 
is the gardener has a choice as to the soil he/she gardens in. Free water drainage is essential in raised 
beds and the soil or mixture used should be one that will retain some water while permitting the excess 
to drain out. For small areas the commercial peat-lite mixes might be considered. These are disease, insect 
and weed free and have good drainage properties. Another mix might be equal parts of sand, peat
moss 
and garden soil.

Irrigation: Raised beds that have good drainage should be watered more often than regular garden soil 
and plans for irrigation should be considered when beds are constructed. Underground water lines to each 
bed are ideal and are best put in while beds are being built.  
Drip irrigation will require more initial investment but less water will be used for irrigation.