How long do you spend planning your garden?

So here’s a question: throughout the year, how much time do you spend planning and thinking about how your garden will look next year? Adding a plant here, cutting back a shrub there, perhaps completely overhauling a border. Comments welcome below! 🙂 

For the first time in about five years, I feel like I’ve hardly spent any time thinking about adjustments to our garden for next year. Normally I’m obsessing about each detail. While I have had moments of obsession over the odd plant to add next year, it’s nowhere near the months of planning I’d go through before.

Has our urban garden hit its adolescent stride or have I grown complacent?

I’m wondering if this is the consequence of the previous years of planning – and being content with most of the results – or have I become lazy? As I’ve escalated my garden design business, I’ve certainly been focussed on these fresh new looks this year, perhaps I’m distracted… But I don’t think so. I ‘think’ I’m largely contented.

I know in the back of my head our “jewel box garden” as one visitor described it has taken on a life of its own and is morphing into something new. Something I’ve imagined little glimmers of, though the picture isn’t complete yet and I almost don’t want it to be – I want it to have its own life, to grow into something else in years to come.

Anyway I’m prattling. Put my mind at rest or kick me into doing more – how long do you tend to spend planning your garden each year?! The comment box is at the bottom of the page.

 

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

7 thoughts on “How long do you spend planning your garden?

  1. I Suspect it’s a bit of both! The garden looks fab. There will be constant adjustments but I suspect this last year you’ve been so busy – allotment. Getting the garden NGS ready. Work. Play. That and other than a few regular plant adjustments. Removal and new ones your happy with how it looks. And so you should be. I think once you have the structure and maturity in the garden you either just tinker or have a complete overhaul. Yours is so fab that it doesn’t need an overhaul! Have a year. Sit back. Tinker and enjoy.

    1. Yes I think you’re probably right. There is a lot I am happy with now, so I don’t need to add the same amount of volume. And I have been thinking of plants to add next season throughout this year.

      I think what I am missing is an opportunity to sit down and draw out what it might look like. This year I felt it lost its direction a bit in terms of colour and I need to be more specific going into 2018 and removing the plants I like but just aren’t correct colour wise.

      How is your new garden shaping up? 😀 Did you sell Somerset?

  2. I’m pretty sure I spend ALL my time in the garden planning! But then I have a very new and young garden. But to me this is perhaps the best bit about gardening – the dreaming, the excitement of coming up with new thoughts, having a brainwave! Slipping into a garden reverie as I weed and allowing my subconscious to come up with things my logical brain doesn’t. It is very much a part of gardening to me – I would hate to be without it! Sarah x

    1. Yes, I am with you there Sarah, it really is the most fun part of gardening! I love seeing the results, but really it’s the planning and bringing it all together that makes it more entertaining. What’s your garden like? Will it have big changes next year?

  3. Well I have done some planning for next year. Bulbs and lots of them. I decided I needed more colour and a natural feel to the garden, so, starting with snowdrops, early narcissus, late narcissus, erythronium, tulip, and Anemone Blanca. Alliums. All this should start in Jan and Feb and roll through till end of June by which in april the herbaceous such as Brunera ,primroses etc should be well up. This should give me a very long season of interest, flowers and foliage not to mention helping insects and bees.
    On a more productive note, I am expanding my fruit garden with rasps and blackberries.
    Whilst sitting with a glass of pimms admiring what I planned, I will be able to eat my own berries

    1. Sounds wonderful Ann, I love that you’ve really joined up the months by even using early and late narcissus! I planted Anemone for the first time this year autumn, I’m looking forward to them settling in next year! Brunnera are some of my absolute favourite plants, they kinda like better versions of forget me not, and they flower for months for me.

      I’ve definitely spent less time adding to our garden this year, particularly the white spring plants… I should probably have done more. For next summer I definitely want to increase the colour further. It was going well but this year it just lost its way a little bit.

      Hopefully join you for a glass of pimms finally next year, I’ll definitely have more time to get out of London 😀 And it would be rude of me not to offer my services to try your berries and make sure they’re not poisonous before you eat them 😉 xx

  4. I’ve given up planning – once I start I don’t seem to actually do anything! And I go to too many plant sales and events/places where plants are on sale. These days, it’s usually a case of coming home with a plant or six and then finding a bit of bare earth to plant it/them in. If a plant underperforms I dig it up and leave the bit of earth bare until the next plant tags along on my way home. What’s this colour wheel thing everyone talks about? I’m a rebel. I like it riotous. I have sunglasses available for visitors.

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