• Sandi Manna

6 Tips to Enhance This Year's Landscape

SIGH. It's winter. You don't really want to be outside when it's raw and cold, you'd rather be inside enjoying your favorite book, show, or catching up with friends. Planning this year's garden might not be first on your list.

Now really is a GREAT time to plan ways to enhance your landscape for this year.

If you weren't 100% satisfied with your garden last year, now is the time to start dreaming! The plant catalogs will soon start arriving, (or you could always call us!) so grab your favorite beverage, pull up a seat and get prepared to have a stellar garden in 2017!

If you're like a lot of people, you're not much of a planner. The weather gets nice, you run to the garden center, pick up a few plants and run home with the same enthusiasm of a 6-year-old with a new toy! THAT is what gets you in trouble. So many people have a garden they're happy with in spring or summer, but rarely are they happy all season. That's because the weather gets hot, and the pool or the beach sounds much better than sweating and struggling in your garden that doesn't look that great anyway. So just HOW do you have a landscape that looks great all year round?

Take these 6 steps and you'll have a garden that will be the envy of the neighborhood.

1. Assess Your Space. Think back over the previous year and try to remember what worked and what didn't. What did your garden look like in spring? What about in the bristling heat of summer? Look out your window. What does it look like now? Did you have a variety of foliage and blooms whenever you looked out the window, no matter which season it is.

2. Figure Out What You'd Like Your Landscape To Look Like.

Do you like a variety of foliage colors or textures? Do you want winter interest? Do you want a succession of blooms from spring to fall? Are there particular plants you've seen around that you would love to have, but aren't sure how to incorporate them? Start making a list of all the things you'd want in your landscape., It doesn't mean you have to incorporate them all, it's just an idea to give you an idea of where your priorities lie. Don't even worry about maintenance for right now. If you don't want to take care of the maintenance, you can hire someone. If that's not an option, you may be able to substitute a plant with a similar, more easy to care for variety. If you're not sure, try HOUZZ or Pinterest. Both are full of ideas for any style landscape!

3. Narrow It Down.

This is where you decide what you really want to keep and what it might be a good idea to get rid of so you can get your landscape closer to what you want. Maybe there's a shrub that's overgrown or hasn't bloomed in years. Maybe your perennials are lanky and not performing. Maybe there's an empty space that needs filling. You'll need to make some choices about what you have and what you want to accomplish.

4. Map It Out.

It doesn't have to be perfect, but map out your garden now. Maybe you want to take a picture and circle things you want to keep and cross out things that aren't working for you. This will help you get a clearer idea of what you have and what you want.

5. Do Your Research

Figure out what might compliment what you have now, or what might fill in for the areas you feel your garden is lacking now. If you have seasons that aren't so pretty, find out what blooms when nothing else in your garden looks good. Looking for options for interesting foliage? Do a google search. The internet is a wealth of information if you just dig a little.

6. Devise a plan.

Once you've done your research and you've decided what you want to plant and what you want to get rid of, print out some images. Cut them out and overlay them onto the original printout of your garden and see how they'll look and if it gives you the effect you're looking to achieve. Then, plan to go to the garden center during the plant blooming season. Color sells so most garden centers will only carry plants that are blooming at that time. If you have trouble, give us a call and we can always get plants for you no matter the season!

Looking for inspiration for plants? Try Monrovia! They're an exceptional grower and their plants are pretty easy to find in garden centers. http://www.monrovia.com

Most Importantly: Put It In Your Calendar.

Studies show if you write something down as if it were an appointment, you're more likely to honor that commitment even if it takes 2 or 3 trips to the garden center and a weekend of heat in the summer. If you're diligent now, you'll reap the rewards later. Google Calendar is great because it will send you a reminder. https://calendar.google.com

These 7 tips are sure to help you achieve the garden of your dreams in 2017!