It All Begins With a Plan


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I moved into my newly renovated home in October. The interior is wonderful but boy, the work sure took a toll on the small back garden.  Even if the garden had been maintained over the summer, right now it’s a boring rectangle. Visitors say polite things like “It has potential” or “Guess I know what your next project is, ha, ha.”

As a result, I’m reading a lot of stuff about gardens and gardening in search of ideas and inspiration. My most recent find is The Rusty Rake Gardener by David and Cathy Cummins, with John Lawrence Reynolds. Isn’t that a great title? David and Cathy write about the importance of creating a plan for your garden and anything which mentions plans of any sort, catches my interest. In the past, I’ve always kinda whinged it, buying whatever plant caught my eye (with mixed results).

Like we talk about in The Plan, the process of planning is inherently satisfying and planning a garden is no exception.  Simply putting pencil to paper to roughly map out your garden creates opportunities to discover new things, new potential or perhaps, new problems.  As I follow David and Cathy’s advice and map out a plan for my garden, I’ve already discovered things I would have otherwise overlooked. Because my planning is happening now, it’s easy for me to see that my garden looks pretty boring in the winter and to include plants in my plan that add winter interest. If I wasn’t creating a plan, I might not have remembered come April or May when I’m actually out buying the plants, to buy some with interesting bark so there will be something to look at next January.

It’s also delightful to look at pictures of beautiful gardens during the winter, dreaming about sitting in the garden with the sun on my face. The process of drawing up a plan naturally leads me to consider things like cost which then leads to trying to figure out where the money will come from and that leads to figuring out my priorities and on and on.  I’ll let you know come the spring, whether I can stick to my plan once I’m surrounded by hundreds of beautiful blooms in the nursery.

Helen