Ten Things to a Better Garden: Part Two

 Hey there fellow gardeners...thank you for the great comments on the last post!

Did any one notice that I left out #4? 
Obviously my head was in the compost bin while I was writing ....

 So here is # 4
Biodiversity and Sustainability

Essentially what that means is, when you create your garden you should give some thought as to how you can offer support to the Eco system by means of the variety of plants that you choose and creating  more diverse habitats for plants, insects, birds and other species. 

 The sustainability part is to choose plants that will grow for a very long time with out using tons of water, fertilizers and require a huge amount of effort.

I can't tell you how different my yard is now from three years ago...just by counting the number of different bird species that nest in my garden....so it's working!

 Now on to #6
Match the style of your garden to your house

I know this sounds really simplistic but we have all seen it right?...the house down the street that is a colonial style house but has a garden with 
a pagoda
 and a Buddha statue

You get the point!
 #7  Break it down

Create distinct areas or zones that you can manage and work on them until they are looking really great. 

It helps when you are shopping for plants'
 to know exactly where the plants will go 
and how they will be arranged,
 if you are thinking about just a specific area of the garden 
and not the whole yard.
 #8.  Create a garden that fits your lifestyle

Not everybody has the time, 
space or energy to have a big huge veggie garden or an orchard. 

I have gotten more joy from a tiny patch of front yard on a 30 foot lot...just planting and clipping and enjoying  a sunny day.

I never felt bad when I didn't have a big grassy back yard or a chicken coop....just garden with what you've got, even if its an apartment balcony!
 #9  What you don't see matters
 Drainage, soil prep and proper irrigation....
really boring stuff but it really is the key to a great garden.

We are constantly tweaking or irrigation system...I mean like every week, as the weather changes!

 Take the time to get your beds in good working order before you plant.  
Don't forget to use lots of organic amendments too! 

 If you have a vegetable garden,
 each time you start a new bed you will need to add soil boosters and compost to replenish the soil for really healthy vegetables.

 #10  Plan for the future

 Even if you don't know how long you will be in your current home it's nice to know that you did your best and that the things you did will be there years from now and enjoyed by others. 

When I am long gone I know this garden will still be here...that's really nice to know!

 I decided to add more more thing to the list....#11

Plant some thing to eat!


It is so fun to eat what you grow 
even if its just a little cherry tomato or an herb!

 So those are some of my ideas on how to create a really great garden!

On the next post I will show you how I have my binder set up and a few ideas that might help you set up one of your own!

Have a great day....and happy gardening!


  1. This was a great post! Great Idea and very educational. Honest I will apply what I read to my own home.

  2. All of this shows responsible thinking for the future Kelley. Very smart. And I love the last one about planting something to eat! I just did a post today on herb gardens and can so relate to #7 on breaking your space into different areas instead of the whole thing at once - which is overwhelming (3rd time I've used that word today...what is up with that?) Looking forward to your notebook info!

  3. Love your pics. Save for our veggie garden, most of our garden plants tend to be easy to care for... I didn't try to plant things that would be beyond their environment or range of growth. Watering is so key in the first two years until those roots set in...everyone always asks how we get our plants to look so nice...well, water!

  4. I would also like to add that veggies and herbs are beautiful and look wonderful in your flower garden. Because the front of my house faces south and I virtually have no backyard, I started planting veggies in the flower beds. I especially like savoy cabbages, artichokes, and herbs like rosemary, basil, and squash. I also think investing in decorative trellises and obelisks for plants that need support makes the garden lovely.

  5. I am LOVING these posts!! we are doing alittle at a time as my yard is so big and just thinking about it drives me crazy. I started a butterfly garden with my 12 year old and in the back are four rows of strawberries. So much fun seeing the little ones eat them while they are playing and getting so excited as they are really getting big this year. Can't wait for you next post!!!

  6. oh my this is in valuable! I love all the information!
    Our foxgloves are so beautiful this year..http://vintagehomecolleen.blogspot.ca/2012/06/foxglove-love.html
    Your roses and peonies are stunning!
    Thanks so much for always being so willing to share ideas & info...It is deeply appreciated!

  7. I love this series, Kelley. I am printing it out and saving in my garden file for study and review. It is very generous of you to detail all this information and share your experience.
    XO Victoria

  8. this landscape designer says BRAVO! you nailed it kelley, great post

  9. Such great suggestions! When I first started gardening I tried to recreate and english cottage garden...in California! Was I nuts? My garden too has evolved...if plants don't thrive..out they go!

  10. Kelley,
    As a fellow gardener I'm always excited to read how others manage their gardens. I have enjoyed your posts on this topic and look forward to seeing your binder ideas for staying on top of the 'garden to do' list.

  11. I like your past 2 tips!! I especially like "plan for the future" - my husband and I actually drive by on occasion our past residences to see how things we planted years ago are doing! Some of the items we planted (even in rentals) were from my parents yard! We like to comment how my mother's lilacs from New Hampshire are all over New England!!!

  12. Cactus plants are great because you barely if ever have to water them.


~*~love to hear from you~*~

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.