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Old Feb 27, '10, 9:16 am
laursaurus laursaurus is offline
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Question Help websites for beginners

Hi! I just joined this group and have no clue how to design a landscape. What websites has anyone found that are a good resource for amateurs?


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Old Mar 1, '10, 4:52 pm
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

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Originally Posted by laursaurus View Post
Hi! I just joined this group and have no clue how to design a landscape. What websites has anyone found that are a good resource for amateurs?


TIA
Peace be with you!
Laura
Hi, Laura!

I've come across this website that has some ideas, and about a million links.

I've found some websites that have some great information for the Colorado front range area -- but that's where I live. Before I post those links, tell us where you live, if you want links regarding specifics about your area.

I am designing my HUGE backyard (huge for a Denver suburb anyway) right now. I'm taking into consideration the hardscape first, even though I can't build most of it this summer. But knowing where I plan to build things later is helping me keep track of the digging and planting -- things I can afford to do right now.

Gertie
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  #3  
Old Mar 7, '10, 11:14 am
laursaurus laursaurus is offline
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Red face Re: Help websites for beginners

Thanks a lot, Gertie!
I live in Southern California and my yard is fairly small.
For some reason I just don't grasp how to design.

The website you shared looks great! Lots of info
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Old Mar 7, '10, 12:00 pm
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

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Thanks a lot, Gertie!
I live in Southern California and my yard is fairly small.
For some reason I just don't grasp how to design.

The website you shared looks great! Lots of info
I grew up in southern California! Orange County, on the northern end, just across the street from another county (LA?). You have some fabulous choices for plants and flowers -- and many, many of them are perennial in most of the southern CA area. Read the labels on the plants you find visually appealing, especially noting the water usage (make sure it matches your yard) and the temperature ranges.

Consider whether the kind of color pallet you like. Do you want mostly green with little punches of color, or would you prefer large areas of color created by flowers or colorful foliage? Also consider the heights of the plants you will use and whether the "atmosphere" they will create. Tall plants that cover fences create a distinctly different feel than short plants that reveal architectural structure. I have discovered I gravitate towards plantings and structures that are remeniscent of an enchanted cottage (in my oh-so-1970's-suburban home and neighborhood )

Even though you have a small yard, you could have an area for a small deck or sitting area, a play area if you have children (and grass is not the only play surface out there), a grilling area if you like to cook outdoors. Consider your wishlist and know that careful planning can usually make it all possible (unless your wishlist includes an Olympic size swimming pool )

The main thing I suggest when landscaping any size area is get a good idea of what you want before you start. I spent some time sitting in a bookstore looking at tons of books. The pictures helped me realize that I like small spaces (sometimes called "rooms") in my yard. So I'm designing a Marian garden, a Stations of the Cross (or mysteries of the Rosary) walking path along part of the fence, a play area, a garden shed area, etc.

Anyway, I helped my mom "landscape" her small patio for her condo some years back. My aunt was dying of cancer, and she and my uncle were living with my parents during her last months. My mom and I wanted the patio to be a lovely garden for my aunt to see and "tend" (with the hose) during her final illness. So we got small bushes in large pots and tons of flowers, and I used many loose bricks to create different levels for the potted plants -- it was absolutely beautiful. My aunt watered it everyday, and sat out there when she could while saying her prayers or reading the day's mass readings.

After my aunt died, my mother got rid of all of the plants. For some reason, my mom has just always seen plants as "the enemy" -- places for bugs and snakes and mice. Funny thing is, I remember my paternal grandmother planting plastic flowers outside her back door, because they looked good and didn't need tending.

Apparently I'm from a family of nuts Perhaps, through the prayers of St. Isidore, I am making reparation for the agricultural "sins" of my foremothers I can't get enough of plants and mud and digging and raking...

Because my yard is so large, I'm creating my yard in small steps, as I have the time and money to do it. Unlike the homeowners on HGTV, I cannot afford a $70,000 landscape remodel. Get real!

Keep posting your questions and ideas. Although there are not many people posting right now, even if it's just the two of us sharing ideas, I think this conversation could be a blessing to many (both those who "lurk" and those who encounter our gardens).

Gertie
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Old Mar 7, '10, 12:18 pm
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

One more super important thing -- plan for the type of gardener YOU are. Do you enjoy tending to your garden, or do you want things to pretty much run themselves once planted. Nothing is maintenance free (short of my mom's and grandma's plans!) but some landscaping needs minimal tending, while others need nearly constant attention.

Gertie
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  #6  
Old Mar 13, '10, 11:00 am
convert_2000 convert_2000 is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

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Originally Posted by Gertabelle View Post
One more super important thing -- plan for the type of gardener YOU are. Do you enjoy tending to your garden, or do you want things to pretty much run themselves once planted. Nothing is maintenance free (short of my mom's and grandma's plans!) but some landscaping needs minimal tending, while others need nearly constant attention.

Gertie
Some have physical restrictions and may enjoy container gardening. Learn 2 Grow offers a free class on getting started in that. Has other great information there too.

I was reading this article this morning: Gardening from the couch: Succulent Containers Gardens Succulents don't take much care or resource.
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Old May 6, '10, 10:43 pm
CradleCath CradleCath is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

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Originally Posted by laursaurus View Post
Thanks a lot, Gertie!
I live in Southern California and my yard is fairly small.
For some reason I just don't grasp how to design.

The website you shared looks great! Lots of info
I'm no landscaping expert, but a few things that are important are different heights & since the eye reads from right to left (unless you're planting an oriental garden), it's good to plant the tallest plants/shrubs & flowers to the right & back of your garden space.

My own taste dictates a "break" in the color.....so I use different shades of green for that. Sedum & perrenial vinca vines flow over the rock borders of my beds & this year I'm thinking of interspersing some sedum mounds within the bright colored petunias, zinnias, marigolds & straw flowers. The greenery gives the eye a place to "rest".
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Old May 14, '10, 6:31 am
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Help websites for beginners

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Originally Posted by CradleCath View Post
I'm no landscaping expert, but a few things that are important are different heights & since the eye reads from right to left (unless you're planting an oriental garden), it's good to plant the tallest plants/shrubs & flowers to the right & back of your garden space.

My own taste dictates a "break" in the color.....so I use different shades of green for that. Sedum & perrenial vinca vines flow over the rock borders of my beds & this year I'm thinking of interspersing some sedum mounds within the bright colored petunias, zinnias, marigolds & straw flowers. The greenery gives the eye a place to "rest".
Thanks for the great advice. I'm so busy working on the hardscaping for my yard, that I often forget to carefully consider the planting design. I can't wait to get started this year! (I've had to wait for my hand to heal and regain some strength.)

Happy gardening!!!

Gertie the soon-to-be gardener
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ALL that He wants!
ALL for Jesus!
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