Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Paper Garden...

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.
~ Napoleon Hill

Well, we have come up with a plan! Our mature yard, unloved for so many years, decades even, is coming to life!

The plan below represents two winters of dreaming out the window and one summer of evening meanderings. Last summer we got the old stumps that were along the borders all ground out and we got a fence up. Why so slow, you ask? Well, with a toddler to enjoy and home renovations underway, it's all we could manage.

This year so far, we have settled on a landscaper to do the excavation work of taking out all the gravel and concrete pavers and about six inches of clay. He will bring in topsoil and lay the sod and prep the beds with bark mulch. That will be our foundation for gardening. I know all the experts say to do your hardscaping first, but we haven’t decided on exactly what we want for hardscaping yet and I simply can’t wait another year before I garden!

Although we know we want either a patio or deck out there and have a vague notion of the shape, I am happy to sit out on the grass until we do decide.

As you can see in the plan, there will be lots of areas to plant. Everything marked “mulch” is prime planting space! I will have an almost 10 ft deep semi-rounded bed for shade plants, some shrub areas around my spruce in the back and lots of sunny areas for some hardy roses and other flowering shrubs and perennials.

Along the north side (right side of image) I want to put a privacy screen of a variety of columnar trees and some high shrubs. I want a mix of deciduous and evergreen so that there is winter interest. These have to been quite narrow or standard-shaped as I only have about eight feet of bed there between the fence and the area where we will have a patio or deck.

On the south side (left) I want to put one deciduous tree with a high and rounded, but not too dense, canopy to screen out the view of the side of the neighbour’s house. I would also like this tree to have some winter interest so I am thinking of something with an interesting bark, such as Prunus maackii ‘Jefree’ (Goldrush® Amur Cherry). Around this tree will be shrubs and perennials for shade. (Maybe even a water feature someday. One must continue to dream!)

So many decisions to make! I am working on a list of plants, shrubs and trees I like and what might be suitable to the particular locations in my garden.

Right now, we have to pot up what I do have planted out there already (treasures I couldn’t resist even though I knew we were going to have a major upheaval!) and pick out the stepping stones.

Oh, did I mention the landscaper said they should have it done in May? Cross your fingers with me, dear gardeners, and think positive thoughts that they stay on schedule!

Edit: I have tried to post this so that the picture of the plan will enlarge as you click on it- to no avail, I'm afraid. It seems to be random in that some do and some don't. If anyone knows the secret, please share!


Alice Joyce said...

What an exciting point to come to, embarking on design and plant selection and visualizing the garden that will take shape. Cheers, Alice

The Garden Ms. S said...

Alice: It is a very exciting time - full of anticipation and dreams.

I just popped over to your blog and it is certainly inspiring, will be back :)

Alice Joyce said...

And I'll be checking in to see your progress! Have fun with it, and take care, Alice

Calgary Garden Coach said...

Looks great! I love being at the point where I am starting a big project - the anticipation is almost the best part!!

The Garden Ms. S said...

CGC: It is very exciting! After such a long winter of staring out into the yard and dreaming of this, I think when I actually get to plant something I should have a ceremony to celebrate - or at least a toast with wine :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, very exciting plans! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Now, that idea about the wine toast sounds like a good one, think I'll toast my veggie garden as well :)

The Garden Ms. S said...

Trillium: I can't wait. Nevermind that it snowed a little today *sigh*. I will perk right up as soon as I get some green in here.

I popped over to your blog - you will have to post pics of your apples blossoms. They are one of my favourites :)