Spring has finally arrived! After spending the winter months with your living room as the center of attention, it’s nice to relax in your yard. What if, however, your yard is empty, unkempt, or just plain bland? You might be surprised to learn that crafting your own blossoming garden can be easy, inexpensive, and hugely rewarding. While professional landscapers, store-bought flowers, and specialized pots are all available options, they are not the only way to make a garden.
The first step in creating your own garden is to understand that you don’t need to overhaul the entire area at one time. The key to creating a beautiful and well-maintained garden is to add a little something every year. You don’t want to burn yourself out by taking on a full renovation at once. Start with clearing away at least a small area of maybe a couple square feet in your yard. I recommend choosing an area you can see from your kitchen or one of the windows you find yourself at often. This way you can be reminded of your hard work and stay motivated to keep improving it.
The next step involves a little research. You don’t want to spend effort on planting and nurturing flowers that don’t thrive well in your area. Your local garden center is undoubtedly full of information about what types of plants thrive in your local climate. While you’re there you should consider buying some nutrient-rich soil, but don’t feel obligated to buy any potted plants. It is always cheaper, and more rewarding, to start your garden from seeds and parts of other plants. Some plants can grow roots from sections that are disconnected from the original. Also, ask your friends! You’d be surprised how many people are willing to give away plants or seeds that they can afford to spare or no longer want. Gardening communities and organizations can be found almost anywhere and offer a tremendous amount of helpful advice, access to materials, and a pool of potential new friends with related interests.
You don’t need to plan your whole garden before you start. You can always buy a couple different types of flower seeds and see what you like best. If you are using seeds, be sure to water them more frequently than you would a full-grown flower as seeds need extra water. Be sure to note that there is a difference between annuals and perennials. Annuals have the longer period of bloom and tend to be some of the showiest flowers available, but they also die at the end of the season and need to be replanted every year. Perennials, on the other hand, usually last at least three years, but have a shorter period of bloom. Experimenting with different mixes of different types of flowers can give your garden a beautiful blend of colors that can alter and shift throughout the year based on the different waves of blooming times.
Flowers aren’t the only thing that can make a garden beautiful and unique. Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find unique and interesting additions for your garden. Statuettes, wind chimes, and older pottery can bring a different feel to a yard. This is a very inexpensive way to add character and depth to compliment your blend of flowers. Also, be on the lookout for items like spare lumber, concrete slabs, broken bricks, and other assorted items as they can make terrific walkways, garden borders, and accent pieces if used creatively.
There are many different ways to create, build, or improve a garden and creativity plays a big role in this process. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new ideas. Ask professionals and friends to share their experiences and successes. There is always more to learn and few things are as satisfying as watching your hard work turn into something beautiful for you to be proud of. Before you know it the sun will be shining, the breeze will be wafting gently by, and the birds will be singing. What better place to enjoy these wonders than in your private little piece of nature?