You’ve gone through all the hassle of moving home, all the real estate paperwork, all the stress. Now you are free and clear, unpacked, and ready to explore your new garden. Whatever the time of year, you’re only seeing a snapshot of what you’ve got out there. So how do you plan your gardening year? Here are some tips.
Planning the first year in your new garden
Your first task is to observe. If it’s winter, you won’t have much idea at all of what plants might come up. If it’s spring you’ll see the early flowering specimens doing their thing, but you’ll be in the dark as far as summer asnd autumn planting is concerned. And so it goes on – the last thing you want to do is damage or dig up fine specimens that haven’t poked their heads out of the dirt quite yet.
Identifying the full potential of your yard as time passes
As the weeks go by, the personality of your new outdoor space will reveal itself to you. You will find out what grows where, how big it is and how healthy or otherwise it is, and what you’d like to move or remove altogether. In 12 months time you’ll have a clear picture to work with. So what can you do in the meantime?
Playing with hard landscaping and structure
The basic structure of your yard – the hard landscaping – remains much the same throughout the seasons. If there’s work to be done to repair, tidy, replace, maintain, change or extend the garden’s bone structure, you can do so at any time of year, weather willing:
- Fencing and gates
- Sheds and outbuildings
- Patios and decking
- Gazebos and pergolas
- Pathways and edging
Getting to know the characteristics of the space
Over time you will learn how you use the space. You’ll know how you naturally move around it, the places you’re inclined to stop and sit for a while, the best views and the sunniest areas. For that matter you’ll also find out where the sun shines at different times of year, where the damp, dark areas are, which bits get super-dry and which are boggy.
All this will help you make sensible decisions about which garden furniture to buy, where to put it, where to site your barbecue or chiminea, where pots of flowers will thrive. And you’ll find out about the character of the dirt in different areas of the yard as well as which new plants you can safely put where.
Planning your next gardening year
Keep running notes about tasks you’d like to achieve and plants you’d like to add. As you see plants rise and fall through the seasons, mark out the spaces where new planting will thrive. And make a note to maintain the existing planting at the right times of year. It’s well worth waiting before taking action, rather than hurling yourself in at the deep end without a clue about what’s there. Knowledge is, after all, power!