Gardening is a hobby that brings joy, entertainment, and a better quality of life. It is a creative activity, the result of which is a more aesthetically appealing home.
Thoughtful planning of a garden starts with the type of garden you would like to have. Deciding on a type of garden is essential defore choosing which design elements to include. Will your garden be just a place to plant a bunch of flowers, which will blossom only during the growing season? Or would you rather have a thoughtfully-chosen herb garden? Or maybe just a vegetable plot?
Another issue to consider is the climate in your location. It can be surprising how little we know about the facts, figures and statistics of the weather where we live. You may want to consult an online map to get statistical data regarding climate elements like rainfall per month or average temperatures.
The next step, after having decided about the type of garden and after investigating the local climate, is to figure out the plants that you would like to grow in your garden. Think of plants that are suitable for the duration of the growing season in your location and that will survive the changes in temperature, typical for your location.
The thoughtful planning of a garden involves one more factor to consider - how much shade is necessary for each of the plants. You need to make sure that there is enough light all over the places you plan to plant your garden.
When you have finished with planning in theory, it is time to start planning the plots in your garden. Again, think for a good plan - one that brings joy, is easy to keep to, and at the same time efficiently uses the available space.
Think about where to place plants that require a lot of sunlight. The best place for such plants is away from buildings and taller trees because these block the light at daytime.
Deciding which plants to grow near the house, and which should be in the open also requires some thought. If you prefer the sunshine streaming through your windows, then you are best not to have bulky trees or bushes near the house, where they will block the sunlight.
If you have decided that you will be growing herbs and vegetables, the best place for them is near the house. When they are near the house, it is more likely that you will be using them for cooking. Besides convenience, you should also think about the location of vegetables as far as their needs for sunlight are concerned. This is especially true if yours is mainly a vegetable garden.
Last, but not least, take into account your personal preferences, when designing a garden. If there are particular extras you would like to have, for instance winding pathways or gazebos, include them in the initial design of the garden. Your outdoor garden is constrained only by the limits of your creativity and the growing season in your location.
David Kurshel is the webmaster of BIO Gardening -- a popular and extensive resource including articles and a newsletter about gardening. For more information, go to: http://www.biogardening.com