For the beginning gardener, or the veteran with little time to produce a brand-new garden from scratch, a pre-planned garden design can be the way to go. These kinds of pre-planned gardening designs take the guess-work out of selecting plants that will work well together and create a beautiful, professional-looking garden. Pre-planned gardening designs come in a vast variety of plans, featuring everything from designs for shady or sunny locations, to designs made for butterflies and birds. It is also possible to select varieties that target one type of plant, for example, hostas, vines, day lilies or lilacs. Some greenhouses and online retailers even offer selections specific to fall or spring planting that vary by region and climate.
These pre-planned gardening designs can vary in price from the very simple and inexpensive, often as little as $25 – $30, to as much as $150 for rare or large designs. Ultimately, the cost is not much more for a pre-planned garden than one planned yourself; getting a professional to do it can easily double or triple that cost. One exceptionally lovely pre-planned design, the Spring Hill Three-season shade garden, is available at the Spring Hill website for only $70 and includes a very simple, easy-to-duplicate planting guide, and 17 hardy, easy-to-grow plants in a beautiful array of colors and textures. This garden will fill a 14 by 4 foot area the entire growing season.
When purchasing a pre-planned design it is important to ensure all the varieties included will grow well in the climate in which they’ll be planted. Many experienced greenhouses and online retailers will specify which zone is best for their plants, but make sure to check as there is nothing more heartbreaking than falling in love with a perfectly gorgeous design only to find, once it is in the ground, that the climate is all wrong.
If you are purchasing online, you will want to try to find out as much as you can about the company. Some customers find themselves unhappy with the plants selected, or finding they arrive damaged or sickly. Investigate the return policy and any complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Unlike purchasing from a bricks-and-mortar greenhouse, there is no control over the health of the plants sent to you.
It is also possible to find pre-planned gardening plans online, where you can print a list of plants, instructions and a garden layout right at home. You then take your list of plants to your local greenhouse where they can help you find the right varieties or suggest substitutions for plants that won’t suit your region or soil type. This, obviously, requires a little more work on the gardener’s part as you may find yourself visiting several different greenhouses in order to find the right plants. However, the upside is this will give the garden more of a customized feel and allow you to actually move among the plants and select which ones you want to take home with you.
Pre-planned gardening designs can be a terrific way to save time while still having a vibrant, lush garden to enjoy. It can also be a fun way to introduce a child to gardening or explore varieties of plants you might not otherwise have purchased on your own.