The Q&A Archives: Sitting area

Question: I live in an apartment complex. I am aloud to do anything I want with the front of my apratment planting/yard area. I want to create an inexpensive/relaxing sitting area. Please send me some tips for doing this. I am new to all gardening and landscaping. Thanks so much.

Answer: Your first order of business is to figure out how much sunshine/shade the area gets so you can choose appropriate plants. Then you'll want to sketch your ideal sitting area out on paper. Decide where you'd like to place a bench or some chairs and what you'd like to see when you look out onto your new garden. The next project is choosing plants that appeal to you and will grow well in the sun or shade exposure (lots of homework here!). Then, once you've gotten everything down on paper, you'll want to prepare the planting beds. Start spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the beds. You can use compost, aged manure, shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your perennials and shrubs and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. There are lots of books in the library with ideas and you might want to visit botanical gardens or parks in your area to see which plants appeal most to you. I'm sure you'll come up with an awesome new garden - one you can enjoy for years to come!

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