Make your garden plans before you dig your holes!
“If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail”….
..well, ye-es, BUT sometimes we go overboard with our planning and when it comes to the garden, we can let nature take it’s course sometimes, if we ‘keep an eye on it’ 🙂
When my partner and I took on an acre of bramble / woodland that hadn’t been tended for more than forty years, garden plans didn’t come into the equation.
After using an earth mover and creating a rough drive and parking space for our camper van, the budget ran out for ‘the garden’. One thing we did discover though was that we had bluebells – a bluebell wood is just so romantic!
We took on the challenge metre by metre and discussed – sometimes for hours, days and even weeks – a particular nook or cranny, tree or flower bed. Garden plans were being made – piece by piece…but this helped us to really get to know our space.
It’s impossible to get the most out of your garden if you have no idea where the sun is fullest and at what time of the day.
Every aspect is different. South facing gardens are not necessarily in full sunlight all day. Walking around, or fighting our way through the brambles as we so often did, made us aware – without really knowing it – where the darkest, sunniest and even breeziest parts of our garden were.
The land sloped severely in parts and had to be cleared to be safe – it took us almost two years to get an exact ‘lie of the land’ and still we were making plans. With such a natural landscape, untouched for so many years at our disposal, we instinctively worked with the land rather than against it.
The most sunniest but sheltered spot had been chosen for the vegetable garden and that’s when gardening started getting serious!
Through trial and error, we found that keeping the vegetable plot as defined and organised as possible made it a lot easier to:
**keep an eye on any pests in the garden – caterpillars, slugs, mice etc;
**keep up the morale with the digging chores. It’s much more emotionally acceptable to tackle small plots rather than one large one for example.
**Keep up with weed control
**And most of all, the more organised we were, the better our harvests.
**Planning the vegetable garden is a must!
For the rest of our garden, we were finally coming up with a design we enjoyed – we built a wooden house to live in, and made some of our garden plans around that.
We decided to use laurel hedging around our vegetable garden. The hedgerow protects against many airborne pests and viruses, and it makes an excellent windbreak. We collected the small laurel saplings coming up around the older laurel trees and replanted them. Within eighteen months we had a solid hedgerow.
Behind the hedgerow, we have a long terrace. We thought this path was a metre wide when we first started uncovering it. Turns out it’s big enough for badmington, paddling pools, toddler trike racing and all sorts!
Our garden was created by my partner and myself with very little machinery… it is, however, a work in progress.
We long ago realised garden plans should never be considered ‘finished’. Even if you don’t make any further moves, the living plants in your garden will have garden plans of their own, believe me!
Take your ideas and designs and make your garden plans slowly and surely. The benefits are enormous. Not only for your land, but also for your well-being. Letting your creative imagination flow with nature uplifts your spirit and kicks ‘stress’ and ‘depression’ down the drain! Try it…it works 🙂
If you need a little inspiration, pop over to Amazon and browse their gardening products – grab a cuppa first. It’s addictive!
P.S. When you make your vegetable garden plans, remember there are some crops that will need a permanent spot. Asparagus is a good crop to grow if you intend to stay with your veggie garden for a few years. Asparagus will produce year after year in the right conditions. And there are many more perennial crops you could grow which means less work and more good organic food!