Ready to get digging in the dirt? Your best bet is to gather your thoughts, ideas, and materials before actually getting started on this year’s garden. That sort of planning will help you in the long run. By doing so, you will get more done and spend less money and time in the process!
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is by creating a garden map. With it, you’ll know what’s planted where and when it’s due to blossom and harvest.
Creating Your Map
Make your garden plan now with our downloadable grid and garden-planning checklist. You can use it to track incoming plants as well as recording your planting successes through the season.
Why make a map? Humans are visual creatures. Mapping out your next garden is the perfect place to begin your planting plans. Using our grid paper is beneficial, but you’re not limited to it.
Start by taking a walk around your yard and garden to note areas that need work. Next you should create a basic map of your yard, and remember inch-by-inch accuracy isn’t super-important.
- Your home
- Sheds, barns, and outbuildings
- Pool or pond
- Swing sets
- Reserved areas for play, exercise or pet use
- Walkways or sidewalks
From there, you’ll want to draw your current planting areas — namely your flowerbeds and regular garden space. These areas may already have a plan, especially if you have perennial plants that will sprout up some time through the growing season. Tracking all these little gems can be difficult, so one way to remember is to consult photos of your property from past seasons.
Once you’ve got all these “permanent” objects on your map, you can now explore the potential uses for all your additional yard and garden spaces.
What will you do with your lawn and garden space this year? That’s up to you!
Your inspirations for your garden, porch, and yard can come from anywhere. Websites, magazines, and blogs are a great start. Also consider browsing through the photos of places you’ve traveled. You may also pluck ideas from your friends’ yards and gardens. No matter where the ideas come from, this is the time to pull those concepts together and come up with a plan to implement them in your own yard.
A little bit of browsing on a favorite website, for example, could lead you to that perfect piece for your back walkway or side yard.
“That great arbor would really work in the back walkway,” you say when you realize the options are endless for such a piece. It’s those possibilities that’s what makes browsing and researching so much fun. Is it best to decorate that arbor with lights? Or bring in a planter filled with climbing vines? Or can you mix the two ideas? Search around and uncover every possibility!
The web is definitely a great place to seek out inspirations for your yard. Try exploring these blogs and websites for countless thought-starters:
- HGTV.com — The web home of the popular cable channel that focuses on home decor, lawn care and outdoor fun.
- BHG.com — A huge website based on the Better Homes & Garden magazine. You will find plenty of inspiration here.
- Pinterest.com — This site is a digital hybrid between a scrapbook and a bulletin board. You post favorite ideas and visitors to the site can mirror your postings on their own bulletin board.
- AvantGardenDecor.com — Our sponsor, Avant Garden Decor, is a collection of must-have gardening items and want-to-have extras!
- FineGardening.com — Classic gardening tips, ideas and concepts to guide the modern gardener.
- RodalesOrganicLife.com — For everything organic, explore the site made famous by the much-missed Organic Gardening magazine.
- AWayToGarden.com — An amazing blog developed by gardener Margaret Roach. Full of ideas and loaded with charm.
Remember that the inspiration pieces you find are just that – inspiration! They can be modified to better fit your space and garden’s needs. You may want to scale them back to better fit your budget or time commitment, and that’s just fine.
Your Garden Planning Efforts
Don’t forget that your garden map is going to be vital to you in every stage of the planting season! This is your guide to what’s growing. Aside from your initial planning stage, you can use it to:
- Note your planting plans and key dates.
- Label each plant for identification purposes. (Include a code letter and write those same codes on the corresponding seed packets for additional reference information.)
- Use it to evaluate and track locations for soil quality, moisture levels, and sunlight exposure.
- Retain it for reference in your next planning cycle.
Like we said, your map is invaluable today, tomorrow and next year!
So have you created your own garden plan for the year? We would love to see it and invite you to posting a picture of your design on our Facebook page! Got any questions about what you can do with your space? Leave us a message in the comments below and we’ll be happy to share our ideas.
You can also get more inspiration for your yard and garden by subscribing to our E-Newsletter. As a subscriber, you also get exclusive sales announcements and website deals.