Believe it or not, now’s the time to start planning your garden building projects for next year. You have an idea of how the light falls, what’s shaded and what’s not, and where you might enhance the view with structures, plantings and patios.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Concentrate on one area at a time. If you spread your efforts all over the yard, you’ll end up with many unfinished areas… and unsatisfied. By picking a corner and concentrating on a patio, or planting a few small trees around a garden bench, you can finish and begin using and enjoying an area quickly. Then plan the next stage.
At the same time, have an overall vision. This way, each area you work on will merge into the next.
Consider benches (pre-made or homemade), pergolas, low picket fences bounding an area, trellises, low stone, brick or concrete walls, arbors, garden gates, sheds, patio areas, and decks.
Plan for vistas. Stand in various areas of the yard, and imagine what the view of other areas will be like from that vantage point. By plotting your yard into many different “rooms”, you can have a number of areas to enjoy and entertain in, while offering attractive views.
You might think putting a lot of structures and plantings in a small yard will make it seem crowded. By dividing it into different “rooms”, you actually create the illusion of a much larger space.
Consider your materials. Unfinished wood may not complement a pristinely painted framed house. But crisp white pickets or well-laid brick might.
Determine your maintenance tolerance. If you’re not into pruning and weeding, you may want to pave much of your garden area with a patio or cover it with a deck, using planters to hold your plants.