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Planning Considerations for Your Garden

Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Trowel
Ergonomic 'Wiser' Telescopic Trowel


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What do you want to achieve?

What are the functions of your space? Do you want to create an area for your children to play, with a swingset? Do you have household pets that require yardspace? Do you require an automated garden, because you travel frequently? Or are you looking for an area to entertain guests, with deck chairs and tables.

When planning for your backyard, you need to keep maintenance into consideration. A garden pond can be a great accent to your backyard, but it will require a degree of maintenance to keep the water clear and debris-free. Garden planters are a great way to achieve low maintenance gardening, also be open minded to the possibilities of outdoor garden decor.

Some people may enjoy a colorful flowerbed more than others (I.e. those with severe pollen allergies). Others might enjoy harvesting cherries, and might not mind the bees. Remember to consult with your entire family before embarking on a DIY garden project.

Temperature Considerations

Plant survival often depends on temperatures. You will need to find varities of flower that can thrive in your temperature conditions. You will need to check out your region's climate and frost dates. However, keep in mind that plants can be grown outside their natural climate if a greenhouse or special treatments are used. For example, refrigerating tulip bulbs can allow them to be grown in warmer climates.

Green Tip:

When planning your garden, include trees and shrubs. Placed correctly, they can reduce the heating and cooling costs for your home.

Within every garden, there will be areas with different temperature and climate exposures. For example, the part closest to the house may receive more reflected light if it faces west, or more shade if it faces nothing, compared to other areas. Thus, some plants may bloom earlier into the season, or be more succeptible to freezing. As a general rule, south-facing sides tend to be slightly warmer and thus, have a slightly longer growing season. This means that spring flowers in south-facing sides may bloom a week earlier than those in cooler regions. On the other hand, south-facing sides tend to experience a sharp drop in temperatures when transitioning from a sunny winter day to a cold winter night. Thus, cooler, north-facing sides tend to be better for plants that are prone to drying out in the winter.

Wind Considerations

Strong winds can uproot plants, snap off branches, and cause plants to dry out. Select plants that originate in windy climates (that are stronger, more flexible, and more wind-resistant) for these areas. Windbreaks, walls, buildings, and raised mounds or earth can help protect the garden plants.

Telescopic Hedge Shear
Telescopic Hedge Shear


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Sun and Shade

Plants rely on photosynethesis to generate food, which relies heavily on sunshine. Gardens with east-facing sides are illuminated with cool morning sun and shaded in the afternoon. This is where you want to place plants which can burn in hot sun. Gardenings which face west are shaded in the morning, but receive burning hot sun in the afternoons. Do not place young seedlings or shade-loving plants in the west-facing sides because they can easily become sunburnt and bleached, and their leaves can be dried out. The west side of a garden is the best location for sun-loving plants.

You can create artifical shade by planting trees in your garden. You can even use the reflective properties of lightly colored objects to control lighting conditions. For example, painting a wall white will reflect more light on the plants. White pebbles, sand, or gravel can reflect light up through the bottom of plants.

Full Sun

Partial Shade

Light Shade

Deep Shade