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> About Winter Garden Design, my thoughts...
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ghost 
Posted: 13-Oct-2005, 05:51 PM
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Today, catalogs start arriving before the holidays? each direct mail marketer trying to beat the others into your home. The holiday season is like the final harvest festival, with a well-deserved rest that follows. But once the festivities are over and you feel refreshed, let the dreaming begin! There?s no dirt, no sore muscles, no poison ivy or bug bites, and no weeds to distract you.

The best gardens begin, continue, and thrive with dreaming. What better time to dream than on cold, dark, winter days sitting on your couch, by a window, or at your kitchen table, surrounded by garden catalogs, books and magazines?

Why start planning a garden in winter? Winter is when it all begins, when the earth paints the canvas of creation white and you can truly dream. And though the landscape seems dormant and spare, winter is really one of the best times to see the true structure and form of your garden. Can your garden and yard be beautiful without blooming flowers, green grass, leaves on the trees, and warmth? Yes! Winter is a key gardening season. It?s your annual chance to start over, improve, and recreate your vision of paradise.
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ghost 
Posted: 14-Oct-2005, 02:27 PM
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What I do every year....

The next steps get more practical but are still fun and should not be limited to reality.

1.Make a wish list of favorite flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees,pets, wildlife, and birds. Don?t hold back. So what if you can?t grow olive trees in your region? Don?t worry about that now. There are also a lot of other trees that look like olive trees?.(hint hint).

2.Make a list of all the things you want to do in your yard. Here are a few to start with: entertain, relax, play football, play fetch with the dog. My uncle had built a campfire pit in a corner of his suburban yard. It is surrounded by trees, a hammock, and treated recycled tree stumps to sit on. In my case I don?t even have a yard right now to work with, it is a communal garden and a fairly generously proportioned cement balcony. My design challenge became how to work within those parameters and still be satisfied.

3.If you are so inclined, you can also make a list of things you don?t want in your yard. The things that you may not want are ones that take a lot of space or maintenance, invasive plants that need to be constantly cut back, or certain types of wildlife. I personally like squirrels, but other gardeners spend hours trying to get rid of them.

4.Make a list of important attributes. Examples may be privacy, simplicity, formality, or wilderness? basically anything that is important to you in your yard that hasn?t shown up on any other lists. Since we live on a busy street, important attributes for us are privacy, noise reduction, and pollution control. As it turns out, the same trees that are good for privacy? broadleaf and needled evergreens such as aborvitae, holly, boxwood, laurel and rhododendron? are also good for reducing noise.

5.Last, make a list of things you feel you need in your yard. You may need a certain amount of space designated for vegetable gardening, a children?s play area, a compost area, a trash area, a place for a shed or greenhouse, or a clothesline.

After you have all your wishes, dreams, and lists compiled, take a break. Put your lists aside for a few days to ?germinate?.
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