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A hobby

A while back I mentioned that I was working on a garden design, and Brenda wanted to know what that involved.

I have done a few designs, some consultations and a garden class here and there.

While I did get my Master Gardener’s certificate from our local Botanic garden, the majority of my knowledge in design, has come from self study and experience.

The lack of formal training can be a real problem sometimes, as I set rather high standards for myself and with this last design particularly, I just kept second guessing myself.

have a real horror of mediocrity in (professional) design, yet I don’t necessarily have the technical skill to know how to get what I want when it’s something to do with the hard scape (stone, retaining walls, structures etc).

For some reason, that became a real stumbling block with this design and it took a very long time to get it done.

I had design block!

The good news is. . . I’m done!

Even better news. . . My fee has given me spending money for my trip. Whoo hoo!

I thought you might like to see how I go through the process so. . .

Here it is.

It starts with a client meeting, were we talk about what they hope to get out of the garden, what their likes and dislikes are, how much time they want to spend taking care of it and so on. I leave them with a big stack of garden pictures and ask them to pick out the ones that they like and then post it note each one with the specific things they liked.

These will go up on my inspiration wall.

I start out with lots of books, my inspiration wall and then I spend time dreaming about what could be done.

I take pictures of the garden and Henry and I measure it out. Something that came as a big surprise to me, was the fact that you really do need some of the stuff you study in school! If only I had paid more attention in math class. Henry did though, so he gets to come along and make sure I’m doing things right. He’s so sweet!

I print off a picture of the garden (or garden sections) and print it out as large as I can.

With tracing paper I sketch out different ideas. As you may be able to see my sketching skills are, to say the least, sketchy.

Our Botanic garden is having a week long ‘Drawing in the garden’ seminar later this summer. Five full days in the gardens learning how to draw gardens. How cool is that?

I will be attending.

I go online to research various plants and then put them next to each other and see how they look.

At this point I have another meeting with my clients to go over my ideas and we refine the design.

The next phase has me trying things out on the plan itself.

Here is one version with different ideas in pencil.

One aspect of the finished design.

The main plan, finished.

A close up of some detail.

With this plan my client also receives information on all the plants being used, any specific work that needs to be done in a particular way and tips to help them grow a great garden.

It is very satisfying when I’m done.

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