My house is 117 years old. It's been named a Century House in the historic Jewell district in our town. The people we bought our house from lived there for over 50 years. She was an avid gardener. He was a state conservationist. Needless to say, our yard was beautiful...before I got my hands on it. The first two years we lived in our home, we never knew what would bloom. We had everything from phlox to iris. From tulips to tiger lilies. From beans (true story!) to blackberries. This yard was just a garden delight.
But, I'm not that good at flower gardening. I thought the blackberries were weeds and I whacked them. Then I cried when I realized what I had done. I let the tomato patch grow over. That was kind of planned, though, since I wanted a raised garden in a different part of the yard. I trimmed the 2 story bushes in our front yard, in hopes of planting a garden that never happened. And unbelievably...I killed our phlox. HOW do you kill PHLOX?!?
we have a beautiful garden on the corner of our front yard. My dream was to plant really pretty annuals there every year. That never happened. Every so often, something will pop up in the garden...tulips, irises, etc. But for the most part, it looks like an awkward part of our yard. That has to change quickly.
Time has run out. My neighbor, who is a gardening genius, is going to come over and help me landscape my backyard. It's nearly half an acre, half of that used to be a tennis court so it's flat and unhealthy (it's where we have our hot tub and fire pit), and there are nooks and crannies that could really be used for something beautiful once we move the chickens and the hot tub. I know I'll be shopping, and I'm hoping to plant and maintain prettier perennials that are low maintenance so I can focus on selling the house next year.
So how am I planning my planting? I'm using these steps:
1. Use a garden planning tool. I prefer online and free, of course! With the Better Homes and Garden's Free Interactive tool. You can use it here: Better Homes and Gardens
2. Find a nursery that you trust. Whether it's a big box place like Home Depot or Lowes, a local nursery like Family Tree Nursery in the Kansas City area, or an online nursery. I like The USA Nursery because the prices are great, there are great guarantees, and the prices are really discounted. Plus, the website is really easy to navigate. And if you click on this link, The USA Nursery is also offering 3 free additional plants What Makes Me Valerie blog readers!