So many neighbors, friends and blog followers ask me what are the key things that you have done to make your garden so healthy and abundant.....
that's a good question?!
So I thought about the top 10 things
that I have done lately and actually over the last 15 years,
that have made me a better gardener
and why using those things have made
this garden easier to manage
here they are:
1. Keep a master plant list
Throughout the process of this extensive landscape design
I have kept lists of what we ordered,
how big the plants were & when we planted them,
ie. 1 gallon, 5 gallon, 24 inch box etc.
The list is organized by
genius and species and also common name
I keep this list with my drawings of the landscape design in a binder
and add little notes
and ideas now and then.
I continue to add things like bulb orders,
notes on veggie seed packets that have worked well and when I planted certain specialty items that I wanted to bloom at a certain time during the year
It sounds sort of silly, but I actually refer to my design binder
many times throughout the year
And how big certain plants have gotten
and what I may want to change next year
I also read and re- read the Western Garden Handbook
as well as many other great books and publications from Master Gardeners, Fine Gardening and Garden Design
2.Use a Color Wheel
Just with interiors, color, texture and variety are key to a beautiful garden
If you're stumped about which colors work well together look at a color wheel.
The color wheel shows you the most basic Primary, Tertiary and Secondary colors
Colors to the left or right of one another tend to work well together as do colors directly opposite of one another.
And don't forget about playing up the beauty of spectacular foliage like bronze tones and lime green, as well as variegated leaves.
My garden in Ojai has a distinct color pallet and I planned it that way
I never stray from it...ever
3. De -Clutter
I love the messy English style beds
but I love an orderly mess
Let your plants do their thing and then clean up...
kind of like dealing with kids after they get going with boxes of play things
What we have found is that if we don't really stay on top of what needs to be done it gets away from us....really quickly
Today we cleaned out three large beds
We typically do a first of summer trim and clean out,
after the big spring bloom starts to fade,
and then another big prune in the fall
We usually take at least 2 full pick up loads full of garden debris and clippings
to the organic re-cycle center each month
in exchange we get a discount on great compost!
We also have a triple bin composter which yields
about 6 cubic feet of compost every month
TIP: Get some good flexible buckets like these here...these are invaluable
Next to my felco prunners these tubs are my best buds
5. Outside of the neighborhood thinking
Go on as many garden tours, beautiful home drive-by's,
nursery walks etc.
as you have the time for
And don't for get to use your parks, trails, wonderful hotels
and garden shops
as your inspiration
Many of these gardens are designed by our best and most famous landscape Architects and we can learn so much from them
Five more to come.... have a wonderful Weekend
New things in the shop here