Hopefully you now have some idea of what you expect from your new garden. Even if you are still fantasizing or panicking, answering the questions in the last lesson should have made your focus a bit narrower. Even so, when it comes time to put a garden plan on paper, many novice garden designers feel like they dont know where to begin. A good site evaluation will answer many of the remaining questions about the hows and whys of your new garden.
An important early step is to assess your future garden sites physical attributes: sun exposure, soil, nearby features... Take an honest survey of your site using the Site Evaluation sheet and use that knowledge to begin fine tuning your garden design. When designing a garden, it may be tempting to jump right in and start choosing plants you love. But time spent evaluating your garden site will make designing your garden that much easier. Not all plants will be happy in your garden and its best to know that before you start.
Take some time to carefully consider and complete the Garden Site Evaluation before you begin to think about plants or styles. There is no point fighting for a garden woodland if you have full sun exposure: Not many flowering plants will flourish in a garden site under a tree. If youre growing vegetables, youll want the best location for sun exposure and proximity to a water supply. And so on. If you know your sites pluses and limitations, you can start to flesh out the gardens possibilities. This is all the more important in a small space garden.
Space limitations can be very confining or very freeing. If youve always dreamed of a cutting garden to fill the rooms in your home with fresh bouquets, a small garden may not satisfy that dream. However, if you know you can only accommodate about 5 types of plants or you know you dont have room for space hogs like rapidly spreading monarda or long, vining pumpkins, half your work is done for you.