Thursday, January 25, 2007

To Plan or Not To Plan...

I've read with interest over the past week or the virtues of having a garden plan and the question, "Do REAL gardeners PLAN?". I tried to photograph the professional garden plan done for my backyard last fall, but was unsuccessful. So I snagged this copy from BH&G. Here's the link in case you want to plan yours.
The reason I write about this is that the beautiful, well done, professional, expensive plan has left me cold and uninspired. I think I could get a little more excited had I done the plan, but I'm really not sold on this "planning" concept. I think I fall into the spontaneous, seredipitous group. To me, the thrill is in the hunt. Of course I consider the zone, light and water requirements, but when those area fall into line, most plants are fair game.
I will never have a formal garden thinking like this, I know, and that's okay with me. I think I could do the garden plan thing if I could add plants to the plan as I obtain them.
So, I ask you wonderful gardeners in blogland, do you plan and then get plants according to that plan or not?

8 comments:

Carol said...

I like to have a general sense of a plan, and then I go look for plants. There are landscape designers who will help with that approach and give you a plan with an idea that defines general areas, but doesn't specify exact plants.

Leslie said...

I'm not a planner...I generally get a compulsion to change some area...and I just think about what I think the area needs and then go for it. Although I've often done the "walk around the yard with a trowel in one hand plant in other trying to find a spot to squeeze it in" that Henry Mitchell talked about in one of his books...I don't remember seeing it this time (not that I posted about reading the book)so it must be one of the others.

OldRoses said...

I like to look at plans to get ideas for my own gardens. I couldn't ever use one in my yard. I would find it too constraining. I need to be able to flexible and change layouts/plants if I see something new that I like.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I always have a plan. But one day, it looks a certain way... and the next day it changes because I decide I need some grasses over in this area, etc! I do have a general plan for larger plants (trees and large shrubs) though. I have no choice but to plan those, since I have such a small yard.

RUTH said...

Our garden evolved rather than was planned. We didn't know in the beginning that we were going to get hooked on gardening. Whatever you do the most important thing is to enjoy it.

MrBrownThumb said...

Hey Chris

Thanks for that link. I hadn't seen that program before. Recently I blogged about The Virtual Garden from the BBC website on one of my blogs. What I like about it is that it's not as static as a design plan and you can view your plan in 3D and walk around your "garden" as you design it. It has some limitations but it's free and kind of fun.

I'm not a planner because I have such small space to work with 37 feet wide by 13 ft long and I like too many plants to limit myself to something so I add what I can where I can.

gardenmomma (Chris) said...

I guess that's how I feel, too. I squeeze in plants where they will fit, look good and thrive. But. I'm not opposed to a plan to plot them out once they're there!! :)

Carolyn gail said...

Sometimes a blank canvas is easier and sometimes not. For us garden designers, a plan is a must but in the process of installation I often make changes if I think they're needed.

A plan is just that - a plan, but it can save money and time. It's a good idea to get the big things installed first - the backbone of the garden -trees and shrubs and then have fun with the perennials and annuals which are easily moved if you don't like them.

By all means your ideas should be a part of the plan or you'll never feel its your own garden.

Take your plan with you to the local garden center and ask about plants that you could substitute. Visit each department and find out what other choices you have.