Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gardening Article: Painting a Picture of Your Dream Garden

Most gardeners and even aspiring green thumbs have fanciful visions of what their dream garden would look like. Without the constraints of cost, space and a lack of free time, most gardeners would adore fleshing out their current space into something fit to be a photographer's muse. But it's those constraints that force gardeners to pick and choose what’s most important — or so they may think.

While some limits are hard to overcome, creativity goes a long way in the garden. Colors, plant combinations, foliage types and other factors can all be manipulated to change your garden space and bring it closer to your ideal conception. It's worth any gardener's time to do some research and create a comprehensive idea of what their dream garden would look like — with that vision in hand, you can proceed with working toward that goal. Here are some considerations to help you in that pursuit.

Focus on Garden Colors and Foliage

The visual aesthetic of a garden is one of its important aspects. Bright colors offering great contrasts with one another will be a great installation in your yard. You can complement these bold colors with lush green foliage that serves as a visual backdrop—consider trees as well as shrubbery, but don't use too much shade in the garden area, and remember to choose plants accordingly.

When you're looking for the best color combinations, red and yellow often seem to stand out. You can pair these colors together in a variety of ways, from bold red and yellow tulips to more sedate wildflowers of the same color. Or, for a more offbeat, but visually striking pairing, consider the fiery spires of the celosia paired with a yellow butter rose. Allow yourself to experiment with different combinations to give your garden the precise feelings you’re seeking.

Consider Garden Curb Appeal

How your garden looks from a distance should matter, especially if you might eventually sell the home. Some landscaping in and around the garden area can give it a more open, cultivated feel, and these features will be more evident from a distance than the individual plants. Also consider adding trellises, stones and other garden accessories to diversify the textures and features. And when choosing plants, consider ones that will attract favorable wildlife, particularly birds. A birdbath can look impressive on its own, but add a small bubbler in it and the pleasant noise will drown out nearby traffic and attract birds at the same time.

The Challenges of Shade in the Garden

Whether you're overexposed or are struggling to get your plants enough sunlight, the amount of shade is an important consideration. Lighting is sometimes overlooked as an aspect of garden care, but the location of your garden will determine how successful its plants are. Choose a garden plot carefully and keep in mind how the daily sunlight will affect the plants you’re able to grow. Remember that you can plant trees to provide shade if your garden is getting too much sun and the plants are struggling.

Investing in Yard Privacy

If you'd prefer to enjoy your garden in relative privacy, a fence—particularly a wood privacy fence—will keep intruding eyes out of your area. You can also consider cultivating thick shrubbery as a natural hedge, if you want to keep appearances as natural as possible.

Follow a Garden Style Guide

If and when you've settled on a garden style, seek out a guide to help you create that space. Garden guides for cottage, country and Japanese gardens are all easily found in stores and online, and they can help you form your space by showing aspects you might have overlooked.

Gardens can be as simple or as complex as you'd like. If you're only interested in learning to grow some plants or flowers, you might not need to invest a ton of thought into the garden as a cohesive unit. But if you want to maximize its value and aesthetic qualities, do your homework and piece together a space that will be greater than the sum of its parts.

About the author: Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master's degree.

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