Lastly, I make a low-tech paper plan to double-check that this is all going to work.
Draw a plan on paper
- Cut out rectangles of paper and colour them to match the flower colours of your chosen plants.
- Draw a rough garden layout on another paper with the same proportions as your actual garden shape.
- Place the paper rectangles for taller plants in the back and shorter ones in the front. I write the height of each plant on the coloured rectangles.
- Plan to have 1 plant per square foot. By planting densely, you reduce the space and light for weeds to grow.
- Distribute the colours like pizza toppings. Or, you can cluster brighter colours together as focal points, with white, blue, or grasses in between.
- I try to place plants that bloom at the same time together on the plan to make combinations.
- Cut the rectangles into irregular shapes to make them fit together into your space.
- Moving the paper pieces around is easier than digging up and moving plants in the ground.
- Pay attention to the background behind your garden. If your house is red brick, red flowers will blend in if they’re placed right in front of it. Instead place contrasting-coloured flowers, such as white, in front of a brick house, and then the red flowers in front of the white ones. Likewise, if the fall leaves of a shrub are red, you won’t notice them in front of red brick. Instead choose a shrub with yellow fall colour.
- Expect to make ‘field adjustments’ when you plant.