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Plan now for garden layouts

Posted: February 26, 2012 - 12:14am
Photo by Jim Blaylock Mary Louise Hagler uses a laptop computer to help design her garden. Even a simple sketch of the garden space can be useful when deciding where to put plants.
Photo by Jim Blaylock Mary Louise Hagler uses a laptop computer to help design her garden. Even a simple sketch of the garden space can be useful when deciding where to put plants.

The unseasonably warm temperatures are beginning to inspire gardeners to look toward spring. Augusta Master Gardener Mary Louise Hagler says that now is the perfect time to begin sketching out your garden plans for the growing season.

“What should I plant this year?” asked Hagler. “It’s time to answer that question. The garden is napping, so it’s time to put some ideas down.”

Several years ago, Hagler prepared a rough sketch of her home garden. She included what already is planted in the garden and then added her ideas for spring.

“This advance garden planning helped me with shopping for seeds and transplants at the garden store,” she said.

Even the most seasoned gardeners make planting mistakes, but knowing the sunny and shady parts of the yard and what grows best under those conditions help make planning and shopping so much easier.

“I’m no artist, but just taking a bit of time to jot down a simple plan saved me tons of time,” said Hagler.

For those who want to plan the garden out in a more technologically savvy manner, Better Homes and Gardens offers a free garden planner on its Web site at www.planagarden.bhg.com. Gardeners can plan details such as patio containersand vegetable gardens.

Hagler has a decorator friend whose mantra she’s adopted when it comes to planning out her garden.

“Use what you have,” she said. “Make a plan of what you have growing now in your garden.”

Secondly, decorate what you see. Make sure the entrance and all of the “first impression” areas of the garden look great.

Finally, make a list.

“This is where your dreaming comes in,” said Hagler. “Catalogs, seed catalog Web sites, etc. In my sunflower patch, for example, I wanted variety, so I chose five different types of sunflowers.”

Planning now, while the garden is dormant, will help determine the ideal layout and serve as a guide when planting season arrives.

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