A Time of Reflection
As we eagerly anticipate the return of spring, winter gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous growing season. How did your gardens perform? What worked wonderfully, and what could use a bit of a green thumb?
Whether you're a flower enthusiast, a vegetable garden virtuoso, or a shrubbery specialist, we invite you to join us on a journey of reflection, assessment, and design to ensure that the upcoming growing season is your best yet.
The Good, The Bad, and The Leafy
Start by considering which plants performed exceptionally well last year. Did your roses bloom with exceptional vibrancy? Perhaps your tomatoes were the juiciest they've ever been? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, then ask yourself, "Why did these plants thrive?"
Of course, not all plants may have had a stellar season. Reflect on the plants that struggled or didn't make it. Did they fall victim to diseases or pests? Perhaps the scorching sun was too much, or maybe they languished in the shadows. Could they have been over or under-watered? Recognizing these challenges is the first step toward remedying them in the upcoming season.
Are Improvements Needed?
No matter how green your thumb, there's always room for improvement. Gardening is a lifelong learning experience. There's always a new technique to try or a gardening hack to discover. So, as you prepare for the upcoming season, why not challenge yourself or learn something new?
Think about changes you could make to your current gardens. Could you add compost for richer soil, mastering the art of composting? Or maybe you'd like to stay ahead of pest damage in your garden by tackling organic pest control? Perhaps just install a trellis for climbing plants or adjust the spacing between your veggies? No matter the improvement, every new skill will make you a better gardener. And our greenhouse has everything you need, from rich fertilizers, soils and compost to trellises and obelisks, and even organic pest controls! We're always here to help.
The design of your garden can greatly influence its overall performance. Was your garden layout a help or hindrance last year? An excellent design can optimize sun exposure, improve irrigation, and create a harmonious balance between different plant species. Conversely, a poor design could lead to overcrowding, shading, and competition for resources. If you're considering a garden redesign or starting a new garden from scratch, winter is the perfect time to get your plans in place.
The key is to set your plants up for success by giving them what they need to grow big and strong. In the coming emails and blogs, we'll explore how to choose plants based on their light, water, and soil needs, so you end up with a lush, vibrant garden you'll enjoy for years to come. For now, let's determine what kind of environment you have to offer.
Understanding Your Garden's Environment
Understanding your garden's environment is the trick to choosing the right plants. Not sure what type of garden environment you have? No worries, whether your yard is a sun-soaked paradise or a shady retreat, we're here to guide you.
To assess the sunlight exposure, observe your garden at different times of the day. Take note of which areas receive direct sunlight, partial shade, or full shade. Note how many hours of direct sunlight these areas receive. This will help you choose plants that are well-suited for your location.
Next, consider your soil quality. Is it sandy and well-draining or heavy and clay-like? Some plants prefer well-drained soil, while others thrive in moist environments. Additionally, have your soil tested to determine its nutrient and pH levels. Some plants may require specific soil types, like acidic or alkaline, or specific nutrient levels. You can test your garden's soil using an at-home testing kit, but we recommend sending a sample to a professional lab. For a more details on soil quality, read our Blog, Soil Preparation & Care.
Lastly, evaluate water drainage for the area you wish to plant by visually examining your garden location after a downpour. Look for areas where water collects or where runoff is excessive. These areas might be lower and may need to be filled in or properly drained.
Next, take some time to consider the look you are going for—cottage garden, modern, or something else? Once you determine the look you want, you can start designing! In Part II of Garden Review & Design, we'll help you choose plants for your specific garden environment, plus teach you how to find plants that reflect your style and personality!
Your Gardening Partner
Remember, our knowledgeable staff is always here to assist you in your gardening journey. Whether you need help designing your garden, choosing the right plants, or troubleshooting a problem, we're just a phone call or visit away.
Soon, our greenhouse will be opening for the spring season, bursting with a wide selection of plants just waiting to make their way into your gardens. So, as the winter snow falls, cozy up with a warm cup of tea, your favorite gardening books, and a sketchpad. Start dreaming, planning, and designing. Spring will be here before you know it, so let’s make sure your garden will be ready to bloom. See you down the road soon!