How to Design a Garden | Reader Submission

Figuring out how to plan and design a large-scale gardening or landscaping project is a hell of a job. You have to figure in bloom time, heights, color schemes, annuals versus perennials, BI-ennials…one can become paralyzed by the options.

If you have been following along with The Retirement Garden Project, you have read all about how, at 10 months into this project, I have run into a wall. Although many plants already have homes out in the Front Yard Sun Garden, my stumbling block was where the heck to plant everything that is still in a seed packet or started under the grow lights downstairs.

Front Yard Project

This is where we were when we bedded the garden down for the winter.

So I put a call out to the Project Community. And, as happens when you finally get out of your head and open your mouth to ask for help, someone answered. The Fabulous Mrs. Fox, otherwise known as Andrea, answered.

Then she blew my mind into a thin goo. Like a squished slug goo. Or a pile of squished slugs.

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The Sun Garden Front Yard Master Plan

The Retirement Garden Project rolls on, every day new plants coming back to life after the winter. On Monday I told you about the history. Wednesday we reviewed the current state of the garden. Today I will bring you the first installment of the Master Plan. 

Front Yard

Beautiful aged compost, all over the place, and the boys working hard.

I had planned to do this all in one post, but I thought a scant two novel-length posts for the week was enough. Rest assured, there will be more gardening coming at you next week. For now, who wants to geek out on the garden planning with me? You even decide where we put the plants! This is going to be fun.

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Ready to Landscape for Spring!

On Monday I told you the story of The Retirement Garden Project and the state of the garden at the beginning of the project, before we broke much ground. Today I’m going to show you where we are at today, 9 months and a very weak winter later. On Friday, I will be bringing you THE MASTER PLAN for the rest of the project. Be excited.

The Retirement Garden Project

I am so very proud of this curvy garden path feature.

Let me preface all of this by saying I am an extremely novice gardener, but a fantastic researcher. I have a whole tome of gardening knowledge in my head and at my fingertips, but little practical experience. I have found gardening tips and advice to be more contentious and contradictory than religious discussions in a barbershop, so who knows what to believe.

I know there are armies of you out there that know the hell out of what you’re doing in the dirt, so I want to crowd source this sucker. If you keep reading all the way to the end, I’ll tell you how you can be my hero and be a part of making my lovely parents’ retirement dream garden come true.

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The Retirement Garden Project

Today I’m going to tell you the story of The Retirement Garden Project.

My father is 60 years old. My mom is a couple of years behind him. Despite the fact that she is graduating from nursing school right now, at some point they are going to retire, and most likely in this house. It’s a great house, in a great area, and this is where the grandkids are going to be, so they likely will not be moving to some far-off locale. The Baby Bear step-granddaughter has given my mom a taste for the grandbabies, so certainly not going anywhere before infant versions arrive.

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden Love

The objective of The Retirement Garden Project is to give my parents the garden of their dreams for their golden years (I’m not calling you old, mom, but eventually you will be, okay?). The front yard will be bright and cheery with fiery warm hues, with a meandering path and clearings all the way through. The back yard is to be soft and relaxing in light pastels, filled with flowery perfume. Both will be a haven for birds, bees and hummingbirds for my dad to sit out and watch. Pure heaven.

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