Friday, April 11, 2008

Am I ... *gasp* ... Designing?


Last weekend, we planted the Red Twig Dogwood shrubs and the Prairiefire Crabapple tree. I'm wanting to make a rough path from the pool house out to Max's Garden so that the garden doesn't look like Las Vegas plopped in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I want to tie it in more to the rest of the goings-on in the yard.

To do this, I'm going to plant ornamental trees and shrubs and mulch the larger area that they will encompass. Specimen perennials will be dotted here and there and some colorful annuals here and there as well. Max's Garden is cottage-style, with lots of things crammed into it, but this new approach to the garden will be more open, creating more of a transition from the big expanse of grass to the jam-packed garden.

Oh dear. This sounds like I'm designing something, doesn't it?


Okay, so I am. I talked to Mom about this and a couple of other ideas I have and that's when I realized that I have now reached the point where I know about a great deal about a lot of plants - what they look like, their growth habits, their water and sun needs, etc. When I started gardening in 2005, I knew next to nothing.


Funny how learning changes you in oh so subtle ways that you don't realize until one day you wake up and you know things you didn't know just a short while ago, and you're actually utilizing what you've learned. That's why this summer, I'm able to design the areas I am. But if I had to sit down and put a plan on paper, I still couldn't do it.

My design strategy starts with me seeing an area that looks like it's lacking something. Then I throw around different scenarios in my head and try to visualize what each would look like. Once I've settled on an idea, I try to figure out how I can incorporate some of the new plants I don't own but have been drooling over. Rarely will my initial idea be what I end up with, because I keep an open mind and my design evolves as I execute it.

So, my apologies for that rant I went on a couple of months ago. I know that each and every article I've seen on garden design has played a part in my education that has led to my becoming a designer of sorts here in my own garden.


8 comments:

jodi said...

I'm with you on designing--couldn't put one on paper but this winter I have been visiting the various beds in my mind, thinking about what's there and what I'd like to add or move. But to design a garden from scratch for someone? Don't think so!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am not much of a designer either Kylee. I do draw ideas and then when I begin to execute a drawing it seems that proportions aren't the same as what is on my paper. Ha. Even when I measure. My Dearly Beloved says I have a 10 acre imagination for our 1/4 acre. Oh well, I like the way it turns out for the most part. Good luck with your design.

Shady Gardener said...

Keep it up! :-)

Nancy J. Bond said...

However you do it -- on paper or with spade in hand -- it's going to be beautiful. :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

There are some people who can draw a design on paper & can visualize it. Then there are the rest of us. You have to do what work for you. I've heard of people placing lawn chairs & ladders in different places to help them imagine what size & shape of woody plant they need. Another way to do it, which I've tried, is to draw on photos of your garden (or play with a photo in Paintbrush). Good luck.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I'm with you, Kylie. I can "design" in my head, but not so much otherwise.

The funny thing about reading design-y books is that often I find that I read something that makes me go, "Yeah! THAT'S what it is--that's why I can't stand having plant X next to plant Y!" And then I feel that I'm justified in moving one or the other. :)

Meems said...

All my designing goes on in my head... never on paper. I LOVE the designing part of gardening. Often it evolves as I get started oon a project... to me it is the most natural way to work in my own garden... by the feel of it... by my knowledge of every nook and cranny of it...

The longer we garden the more we pick up along the way and the more we know about our own little acre...

Can't wait to see your design.:-)
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Dave said...

I think you have to visualize it in your head before you can put it down on paper. I don't think it can work the other way around. That sounds like a great combination of plants. The crabapple and the red twig dogwoods. I think I'm obsessed with the RTD right now.

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