I really wish that planning a garden was as simple as a visit to a nursery/garden center, buying up all of the pretty plants that you see, placing them in the ground with love and support (and water) and watching them flourish. Sadly, that was our experiment last year… and it didn’t work out. Then again, our drip system wasn’t working as we thought, we did get a little frost, and we planted without considering what will grow in our type of soil.
So this time around, instead of just buying and plopping plants, I’m trying to be a bit more purposeful in my planning. Pandesaldreamer asked the
other day where I was finding my garden plans, so I thought I’d share what I’ve come across to help me out.
First off, Better Homes and Gardens has an immense number of free online garden plans, all conveniently made as PDFs so you can print them out and take them to the store with you!
My first stop: a clay soil garden. We didn’t raise our garden beds nor dig out 4 feet of clay from our backyard, so I figured I might as well get plants that will love our soil rather than hate it.
Once I downloaded the plan & printed it out… I cross referenced all of the plants in this lovely book: the Sunset Western Garden book.
I have fond memories of my dad pulling this book out of the yellow cabinet at home and searching for information on the new plants he bought. Quite simply, if you live in a “Sunset Magazine” zone… you need to have this book, especially since most other publishers only take into account non-Western climate zones. After crossing a couple of plants off the list, I headed to the nursery to see whether they actually sold any of the plants that I wanted… and I came home with some pretty new daylilies and siberian irises.
And for the lazy gardener who just wants it all in a simple way, there’s always buying a garden! Michigan Bulb has a few pre-made gardens, but you’ll need to be extra patient for your orders and complain if any of them die to get a replacement ASAP.
And last but not least, if you’re going to order anything online, check Dave’s Garden for reviews on the sellers. There seems to be a lot of waiting time involved with the “cheaper” sites — but at least you won’t be surprised by poor service if you look here first!
Anyone else have any great garden go-to websites for planning out their garden??