Friday, March 20, 2009

Gardening With a Plan

Happy first day of spring!

If you are like me, the gardening itch is getting pretty strong. Even though it's still cold and damp, there are enough emerging daffodils and tiny tender leaves to inspire my garden dreams for the upcoming months.

Come April, after drooling over seed catalogs all winter, I'll head to Portland Nursery and fall in love with a few showy but expensive plants. The problem with this approach to gardening is that I end up with a scattershot collection of plants at great expense but not great effect.

But this year I've got a plan. Well, technically it's Better Homes and Gardens' plan, but who's counting. I downloaded one of their plans for a shade garden (the picture above) and will use their plant list as a shopping guide for my trip to the nursery. (I may purchase all of the plants online to avoid the temptation of the nursery.) One of the benefits of using a guide is that it forces me to buy enough of each plant to create a lush landscape, thereby creating a mixture of standouts and less exciting foundation foliage.

The best part of the BHG plans are their use of easy to find plants. For more modern landscape plans, I love Applegate Gardens for their innovative yet more elusive plant choices.

What are your plans for your garden this year?

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