Landscaping 101

Apr 12, 2023

Gardening and landscaping are fun, healthy, fulfilling hobbies that benefit our own wellbeing as well as our community and our planet. Here are tips on creating a beautiful landscape.

My number one advice to new gardeners is to be creative and have fun. Use colors, styles, & plants that appeal to you - Use garden art, structures, and seating areas to enhance the garden - Design a garden to be enjoyed by the whole family. The more a garden reflects who you are and the things that you love the more fun gardening becomes.

Find a garden center where you feel comfortable and inspired. Take notes while you explore their plants and landscape beds. Ask their employees for landscape ideas and solutions. Inquire about classes, clubs, and other educational opportunities they offer.

Join with others who enjoy landscaping and gardening. There are many gardening societies, clubs and social media groups that provide gardening information and inspiration. It is also an opportunity to view the styles of other gardeners.

Tips for starting a new landscape bed.

  • Take measurements of the area you are landscaping.
  • Sketch bed shapes then pencil in the location of doors, windows, porches, walkways, fences, etc.
  • Asses the value and condition of existing plants
  • Note the views & features that may need screening as well as any views or features worth retaining.
  • Make notes about sun & shade patterns, soil conditions, drainage, & wind exposure

Take these notes with you when you visit your garden center. This will help you select the right size and type of plants for your circumstances.

Tips for bed construction and maintenance

  • An edging around beds will keep out weeds and keep in mulch. It also gives you a solid edge to run the weed eater against.
  • Amend the soil with 30% - 50% compost. It is important to create good drainage for the bed. Raised beds are beneficial.
  • When spacing plants keep in mind their ultimate size. Perennials and annuals can be crowded to prevent weeds. In a properly prepared bed the top of the root ball should be at soil level.
  • Mulch with two inches of mulch to hold moisture, keep out weeds, and regulate the soil temperature.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide after mulching to keep new weed seeds from germinating. Don’t forget to water it in.
  • Water recently planted plants frequently especially in the hot summer months. Established plants can be watered less frequently but some regular water is required even in the winter months.
  • Fertilize with a slow release or organic fertilizer once or twice a year.

With a little planning and hard work, you can have a beautiful garden that reflects who you are. So get out and express yourself through your garden

 Written By 'Botanical Brian' Pirtle, Horticulturist