All Things Gardening forum: Planning the flower garden

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Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
Feb 3, 2015 7:11 PM CST
As I sit at the window and watch the birds eat what I provide, and the squirrels scurry
up the tree to see what treats I put out, I have my clipboard and paper and look at
the snow and know spring will come, and I do my planning. I draw sketches, go to online
sites where you can design it, but found I just like the clipboard and paper method.
I have decided since I have 2 raised brick square beds that one will be for perennials
and one for annuals. Then I decide height and placement and color combos. This spring we plan on adding 3-4 rose bushes to our rose garden. Last year my big plan was to sow
alyssum (sp) ? seeds into 2 big caved in rocks and they did flower and hang down nicely,
but I sure had to water them a lot as it did not hold much soil. Anyway living in winter
climate it is pleasing to do my planning.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 3, 2015 7:45 PM CST
I used Garden Planner 3 for all my large scale, from-scratch planning. It has a lot of limitations, but it did the job to scale like I needed it to so I knew things would fit together. This year I'm giving it a rest since I don't have huge rearrange-everything plans. I'm just sowing seeds and getting plants and bulbs ready. Whatever comes up I'll find a space and tuck it in. I'm not really a planner. Although I do like to sketch, I'm not good enough at it that it would be that realistic representation of the end result. I like to work these things out in my head and then on the ground. I see plants I like, get them or their seeds, and go from there.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Feb 3, 2015 8:00 PM CST
I never plan on paper. I just collect plants I desire. When it comes time to plant I make sure I know the reported height and spread of each one. Then I physically lay them out. Rearranging until I am satisfied. Often running to another bed to dig something up I think will look good with my selections.

I realize I do things backwards! But I never let not having a space for something stop me Hilarious!

So every summer I end up with a large collection that I scramble to fit in by end of season.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 3, 2015 8:27 PM CST
I've tired to sketch my small, broken-up yard to scale but it's sort of pathetic.

Google images doesn't have quite enough resolution or, sometimes, contrast.

Eventually someone with a drone and a camera will be cheap enough for me to get an aerial photo!

There is a big commercial service that does that, but they laughed and laughed when I admitted what my budget was.


Thumb of 2015-02-04/RickCorey/4d2826

Thumb of 2015-02-04/RickCorey/5bf689 Thumb of 2015-02-04/RickCorey/e145c0

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 3, 2015 9:49 PM CST
Money, talent, and knowledge are the only things that prevent me from having the beautiful gardens I see in the videos and gardening programs. It's like they have a budget the size of the national debt to work with. I just get discouraged and plop something in a spot I think it will grow in. I watched a lady laying out a border in a video the other day and in just 15 min. she put more plants in that bed than I could afford in a lifetime. She had "discovered" that just putting a few plants in did not give the bed the "full" look and that "repeating" plantings with "large numbers of plants" gave the bed a much better effect. Duhh...
Of course I do plan to rotate the vegetables "if I have the extra space," to plant the tall plants toward the rear of the bed "after they have grown a few years", have the plants repeat a theme in the bed "after they have been there long enough to divide" so they can be repeated. My plans go more like " in three years" I'll have enough plants to start a nice bed in that little corner...still, I don't think they enjoy gardening any more than I do, but I do envy the well designed gardens with the beds jammed full of beautiful plants.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 3, 2015 10:08 PM CST
Well, Larry, they ARE paid to do what they're doing on TV... and you know, when you're doing something to please someone else (in this case viewers and thus networks) and get a paycheck, it's done with much more deliberation than when you're doing it to please yourself. In this case, it takes deliberation and a whole lot of camera takes and scene editing...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Feb 3, 2015 10:12 PM CST
Yes, on camera I love how they know all the details of growing each plant, and they never mispronounce any of those latin plant names. I stumble around with plant names, last year I planted Plectranthus Ciliatus, I thought that had a wonderful sound to it, whenever I could get it to roll off my tongue correctly.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 3, 2015 10:14 PM CST
I shall have to look that one up AND practice saying it.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 4, 2015 12:52 PM CST
I think that the gardens shown in magazines, videos, TV garden shows, etc. etc. actually have the effect of discouraging newer gardeners... it's pretty darn hard to imagine coming up with gardens that would come near to living up to those, except after many years of growing, weeding, rearranging, and so on. Most of us have little if any help with our gardens (maybe a spouse, a friend, a son or daughter -- but definitely not a team willing to work long hours). Also not an unlimited supply of cash for buying hundreds of plants (half of which will likely then die on us). If there was one single piece of advice I would have for a new gardener it would be to not believe their garden will (or needs to) look like those "show gardens." It can also be quite a shock to find out just how quickly your nice, newly planted garden can be overrun by weeds! Rolling my eyes.
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 4, 2015 1:09 PM CST
This isn't a flower garden, it's my vegetable garden, but I don't see any reason why the same idea couldn't be used for either -- I just use my Printmaster program to insert shapes on a representation of my garden that I drew on a grid and scanned into the program. Each square is about 3 x 3 feet.

Especially if you're buying flower plants (as opposed to growing them from seeds) doing something like this would help keep from buying too many and then not having anywhere to put them. And if I didn't do it with my veg garden I'd end up growing 80 tomato plants because I wanted to try a lot of different kinds, and then couldn't fit anything else in ! Hilarious!

Thumb of 2015-02-04/Weedwhacker/13774d

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
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luvsgrtdanes
Feb 4, 2015 1:31 PM CST
I think things always look better in pictures and TV Shrug!

I always plan in my head, never on paper I change my mind too many times!! Like Jennifer I am scrambling at the end of the season to get stuff planted Whistling I still have pots and starts of stuff sitting out in the snow. Not to mention all the good deals that I get in the fall and never get them in Blinking
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 4, 2015 1:36 PM CST
Seedfork said:Money, talent, and knowledge are the only things that prevent me from having the beautiful gardens I see in the videos and gardening programs.


In my case, I think I have shortages of money, talent, knowledge, time, energy and space limiting my ambitions.

Fortunately, I also lack DESIRE to look like a plastic, pre-planned, synthetic Model Garden. Sometimes I wish I could look at least a LITTLE artful, but I settle for vigorous and healthy ... when I can achieve that.



[Last edited by RickCorey - Feb 4, 2015 4:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Bonnie
Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Bee Lover Butterflies Hummingbirder Xeriscape Birds
Seed Starter Winter Sowing
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droughttolerant
Feb 4, 2015 3:58 PM CST
Hmmm...Garden Planner 3? I might have to check that out. I use Excel to plan my entire landscape and as a database for my seeds, but I like trying out new software, too. Thanks for mentioning it. Seems like planning is the best-laid plan of mice an men as far as my garden goes. I always like what I planned, until I plant! Green Grin!

I know what you mean about getting discouraged. Don't let that bother you. Patience brings the blooms. I think those gardening programs are like those cooking shows. Dinner in 5 minutes or less! Well, yeah, if I had a cadre of people prepping my veggies in little baggies and putting all the spices in cute little dishes pre-measured, and lined up ingredients on the counter ready to go, pots and pans on the stove, etc... (not to mention the spotless, well-stocked kitchen) and all that. Glare But I'm not jealous.

And how do we *know* they aren't mispronouncing the botanical names, if we don't know how they should be pronounced? I am sure I totally wreck the pronunciations, but none of my plants ever complains. Whistling


Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
Feb 4, 2015 4:08 PM CST
My planning on paper only consists of me drawing the boxes that represent to raised beds and words, so nothing
fancy. I have a cup I toss all my change in and every spring it is my gardening money, and if I get surprise money
I stick that in the cup, it does add up. Also I try to plant what will come up again about 80% and annuals 20%.
And sometimes I just end up buying willy nilly at the Garden store and figure out where to plant when I get home,
but usually that is easy as you can have a endless supply of containers on the deck or anywhere. And if I just love
a flower type I plant and it dies I sure do try it a few more times, I don`t give up :hurray I am curious how my Hydrangea I
planted in the spring will do, last spring it was lush and green and growing..and I wonder if my false Spirea will
bloom again I planted last spring, it was beautiful! Linda H.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 4, 2015 5:40 PM CST
Bonnie, that's a very good analogy with cooking shows... which I watch all too often Hilarious! That and the home remodeling shows, complete renovation in 4 weeks -- right Blinking

Welcome to ATP, by the way !!

I've decided that I really HAVE to do some planning, after way too many times of buying plants without any real idea of where they were going to be planted and having them croak while they were waiting for me to find their place...
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Feb 5, 2015 11:34 AM CST
I know what you mean about them croaking before you find the right spot for them. I have done the same thing way too many times. Will I ever learn.......I am in Las Vegas right now with 70's in the daytime and 40's at night. The day we left Iowa we had 11 inches of the white stuff. This place with their flowers and shrubs is making me anxious for spring.....Leaving today to go back to 15 inches of snow on the ground.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 6, 2015 7:32 AM CST
It seems no matter how much planning I put into it, the look is never quite what I imagined on paper. These days I just plan companion plantings, usually by carrying a plant or bloom around the garden and holding next to other plants to see how they look together, or if its a mail order plant, I like copying data base images on a post to create sort of a collage, with plants I already have and the new ones I'm considering. That has been a fun winter activity!

What really gets me about TV and magazine gardens are the perfect veggie beds, with each plant of a variety the same size, perfectly spaced. I have never had a single veggie bed look like that, no matter how much I've tried. In a row of Lettuce, some get bigger than others, in a row of peas some reach the top of the trellis, others don't, etc. I really believe all those plants are grown in pots, and selected for uniformity, then installed into perfect beds and photographed. It really is disheartening to new gardeners, thinking they're doing something wrong. I guess its like an actual human trying to look like a Barbee doll, LOL.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 6, 2015 9:31 AM CST
So true about how beautifully uniform all the plants are, Neal... and never a bug-chewed leaf to be seen anywhere! Hilarious!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 6, 2015 9:41 AM CST
Neal, that's why I like to come here and to other garden sites where real gardeners post pictures of plants from the real world. They often look much better than mine, but at least I know which ideal is attainable.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 6, 2015 10:52 AM CST
I really do think they are very like displays you see at garden shows, where they arrange mature, potted plants to look like a landscape. I just envisioned Martha Stewart slapping a laborer over a less than perfect lettuce leaf in the garden Hilarious!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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