Gardening Tips ~ Planning A Garden

1 min to read

Article and photos by Samantha Butler, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

My garden make over has been a work in progress with many challenges.  I have only been the new owners of this property for the last three years and during the first two, I have managed to revitalize an overgrown tired garden, into a space that consists of year-round perennials and blooming annuals for colour, which I love.  After taking what it seems to be never-ending removal of weeds, and over 100 garden waste bags later, cutting overgrown bushes and trimming trees, I was able to slowly sort through what made sense in the space that I had.  I tried to take inventory on what plants I was familiar with and researched ones I was not.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who stop to look at your garden.  I even offered many plants to other people when I was culling through the space.  I loved doing that.  I started by creating a rock garden in the front of the property using Chilean black stones and colourful larger rocks as the center stone, you can be very creative with rocks, I also used coco bean shells as mulch which is unique and colourful; you can find these at Angelo’s Garden center.

I planted three (designers like to accent in threes, you can also use this principle in gardens) dwarf lilac trees, with burning bushes in between, the great colour in the fall offsets all the greenery.  There was an overgrowth of ground cover, tangled English ivy and many other varieties that I am not sure of their names, but it was overtaking the entire garden.  I had many seedlings, and wild weeds and plants that you would commonly find in the forest’s trails in the neighbourhood.  It took some time to sort through these and then give-away, discard, or relocate plants to open the space. With the space now opened up, I used colourful hanging baskets until I could figure out what else I wanted to plant.

This use to be a four-foot fence between me and my neighbours’ home.  I extended the boards a few extra feet with small pieces of fencing boards, and the vines already in place continued to grow to the new height.  The privacy of the space is quite amazing, it was so simple to do.

I also created a side garden for all my fresh herbs and vegetables.

It has been labour intensive to say the least, but a real pleasure to see the end results.  My end goal is to have a colourful garden that is less work to maintain.  I have enjoyed the process and will continue to change things up as the seasons go.  I hope you enjoy your garden as much as I do mine.