Wouldn’t it be great to simply step out back and pick fresh cucumbers for your salad? Or fill a vase with freshly cut flowers without a visit to the florist? A garden is a great way to add beauty and function to your yard.
Adding a variety of plants to your space is a great way to add color to your outdoor space. While creating a garden can be hard work, it’s therapeutic, and you can get the whole family involved. Plus, you’ll have less grass to mow!
Every household and yard is unique. Thoughtful planning can help you create a perfect outdoor retreat for your situation. Here are five ideas to create an awesome garden.
1. Chose a Perfect Location
You want to think carefully about where you place your garden. The location is important to your garden’s vitality. It’s also something that can’t be easily changed. Make sure the area gets enough sunlight or shade for the types of plants you plan to grow.
Plan to put your garden in an area of your yard that is viewable for the house and your outdoor sitting area. You’ll want to be able to enjoy the product of all of your hard work. You also want to make sure your garden is close enough to your house that your water source is easily accessible.
Plotting your garden in a more open area of your yard may be more beneficial. Leaving space around the garden gives you the opportunity to expand the space in the future. It also makes the area easier to access from all sides.
2. Choose Plants Carefully
Be deliberate about what you plant in your garden. It’s important to balance function and visual appeal. It’s also important to be aware of your planting zone to choose what and when to plant.
If you choose to grow vegetables in your garden, consider your family’s likes and dislikes. Also, it’s important to research which plants pair together and grows well side by side. Different plants leach different nutrients from the soil. With crops, you will want to have a plan to rotate where you plant each crop every year.
You can also focus on beauty and create a flower garden. Be mindful of the plants and seeds you choose. Do you want a colorful garden, or are you going for a monochromatic look? Try to vary the bloom times of your plants, so you have a longer period of time to enjoy the beauty of your garden.
Sunlight is the most driving factor in deciding what to plant. Most flowers and vegetables need a decent amount of sunlight to grow. If you have a shady yard, look into choosing lush plants like hosta and ferns that don’t need much light.
3. Get the Kids Involved
Gardens are a lot of work. But it’s the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved in enhancing your yard. And gardening is both educational and fun for kids of all ages.
Learning about the climate and selecting plants is a great task for older kids. Allow them to choose seeds and help with laying out the design of the garden. They can help with planting and daily weed maintenance.
Younger children love to start seedlings indoors. Their excitement when the plants sprout will make them feel accomplished and invested in the garden. You can make it their job to water the garden during dry spells.
If you are growing a vegetable garden, you’re creating a great opportunity for your kids to learn about their food supply. They will also be more likely to enjoy vegetables they had a hand in growing. Encourage them to help harvest crops and prepare dishes.
4. Make it Functional
Include elements to make your garden more usable. You put in a lot of work to make your garden beautiful. And you should be able to enjoy it.
A decorative bench is a great way to add beauty and seating. A freestanding hammock can create a great, relaxing place to read a book. Add a small table and chair set for the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee.
Be sure to make your garden easy to maneuver about. This makes it more welcoming, as well as protects your plants from getting trampled. You also want to be able to have space to easily work and move tools and plants in and out of the area.
Pathways are an easy addition to your garden. They can be as fancy or as simple as you like. You can create them from a variety of materials like gravel or pavers, or keep it simple and use grass.
5. Make It Animal-Friendly
Keep your native wildlife in mind when creating your garden. You will want to make it friendly to help animals while keeping out the pests that can cause damage. If you have pets, you’ll need to keep that in mind also.
Consider dedicating an area of your space to growing a pollinator garden. Wildflowers and butterfly bushes are easy to grow and work well here. These bright flowers attract garden-friendly insects like bees and hummingbirds.
Create a home for wildlife that is beneficial to your garden. Add a birdhouse, feeder, or birdbath to attract feathered friends. Not only will you get to enjoy watching them as they visit, but they will help keep your garden free from damaging insects.
Don’t forget to consider your own pets when planning your garden. Some plants are toxic to dogs and cats, so you’ll want to avoid those. Instead, think about adding plants like cat grass or catnip, so even furry family members can enjoy the space.
A garden can be a great addition to any sized yard. The options are endless, and you can create a space that fits your needs and tastes. The work is worth the reward, and the whole family can get involved in beautifying your space.
So whether you choose to grow vegetables, flowers, or a combination, your garden should reflect you. Take time to plan it, so it is welcoming and peaceful. And the perfect place for you to enjoy the great outdoors.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.