gardens by daisy moore

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Designing Gardens


Designing gardens has to be one of the most thought provoking and enjoyable enterprises. Search your memory for all the inspiration you have acquired from books and gardening seminars, and create a space. You are chiefly planning a plant community that will grow well together, not require too much assistance and look stunning all the time. The use pattern of the garden and viewing locations need to be factored into the plan.

In my own garden, I am struggling to keep up with all of the beds which are in various stages of development. There is always the urge and need to pioneer new frontiers and create new gardens. The established beds left in the wake tend to develop their own ideas on what will thrive and what won't. Driven by necessity, I have had to assert my authority over the garden this spring and do some digging and dividing. There are too many plants competing for space.

Many of my beds have become littered with Ox-eye Daisies, Rose Campion, Forget-me-knots, and Mallow. These did not start out as weeds and have in fact been dug up and given to friends. They have become invasive in my garden and are now classified as weeds along with the ‘traditional' weeds like Dandelions, Creeping Bellflower, Burdock and Bluegrass. These have moved in early by seeding themselves in the warm and moist soil on the ridges of the brick edging.

I dug up a major section of my central ‘Pear' bed containing miscellaneous semi-desirable plants. The display had become too random for my liking and needed to be freshened up. My daughter happily wheeled the plants away and goodness knows where and if they will re-emerge. In their place, I will be planting purple Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Grecian Foxglove (Digitalis lanata) and Blue Vervain (Verbena hostata). I planted a Sea Holly (Eryngium amethystinum) last fall, which has thankfully come through the winter, and these should combine to make a nice centre piece for the bed. I'd also like to try adding some small flowered clematis which like to trail over other plants and surprise you with their flowers.

I am very excited about the planning and planting of a ‘Physic Garden'. Like a potager this area will contain edible or medicinal plants, arranged in an ornamental fashion. I am tending towards using perennial herbs which will grow well together and allow space for the annuals such as Coriander, Dill, Basil and Nasturtium. Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis Odarata) was highly recommended as an attractive and useful herb. This will be a tall centre piece which I will surround with a few varieties of Sage (Salvia officinalis var.) and edge this with Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelus nobile). Another grouping will have Clary (Salvia sclarea) as a centre, surrounded by varieties of Thyme. Dill and Coriander will also be added to this grouping. I hope to propagate enough Boxwood to hedge these beds and give it a knot garden appeal. Patience and careful planning will be the key in establishing this garden.

My husband has thankfully taken over the reins of the vegetable garden. My tendencies have always been towards the ornamental qualities of the garden. This usually resulted in a plan for attractive rows and plant combinations, but not much in the way of productivity. My role will be to decorate around the vegetable garden and to hoe it once the vegetables are up. I plan on growing sweet peas up the southern facing fence along with a cutting garden. We will have a bench nearby so that visitors have a shady spot to sit whilst we secretly keep gardening.

There is lots of back breaking work ahead, all of which I am looking forward to. My young daughters are soon learning the joys of playing in the dirt and the extra bit of laundry is a small price to pay for being able to garden. The extent and success of our gardening efforts ultimately depends upon their co-operation.


© Daisy Moore, 2000.



Other spring garden tips:

(click on the tip you want to read)


Designing Gardens

Fertilizing the Garden
Ready for Spring
Starting Seeds Indoors
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Dormant Spraying
Planning the Vegetable Garden
Planting Early Vegetables
Early Season Care of Perennial Beds
Plants for an Early Spring Show
Cut Flowers for the Home Garden
Growing the Perfect Potato
Lawn Care in Early Spring.....GRUB DAMAGE!
Spring Lawn Care
The Garden in May
Gardening with Native Plants
Sources of Native Plants
Shade Gardening
Planting Gladiolus and Other Summer Flowering Bulbs
Weed Control
Thatch in Lawns
Weeds or Wildflowers
Improving Your Soil
Marvellous Mulch
Selecting and Planting Shrubs
Planting Trees and Shrubs
Window Box Gardening
Growing Tomatoes
Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden



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© Daisy Moore 2005