Your September Garden
The gardening season is winding down. Not that there isn’t a whole bunch of work still to do, but you won’t be seeing too many new flowers popping up for a while. Now, however, is the best time to start thinking about next year’s garden.
Why now? Well, for starters, your garden isn’t covered in several feet of snow. It had to be said, we can’t deny it forever.
Secondly, you just spent the summer in your garden. Everything is fresh in your mind and you have a good idea of the things you want to change. Don’t let those things slip away over the winter months: write them down. Make a plan.
Photos are a great way of remembering this year’s garden, even if it’s at the end of the season. They’ll trigger your memory and give you a really great place to start when you’re considering making changes. With digital cameras and cell phones now, you can take as many photos as you like. Don’t be afraid to go a little overboard here: too many is better than not enough in this case. You can always delete.
Make a sketch of your garden on graph paper. Measure what you can to get a fairly accurate representation of your garden. If you want to make substantial changes to the landscape, you’ll be better off with a detailed diagram. It may be more work up front but it will help you budget for changes in future.
When you’re adding new plants to a drawing, be sure to account for its size when it is full grown. Annuals can be used to fill in space while a large plant reaches maturity but you don’t want anything to be competing for the space while it’s trying to get there.
No matter the sizes of the changes you want to see, you will want to make a plan. Determine the cost and prepare a budget. Remember that it’s OK to push things off to next year. Not everything has to be completed now. That’s the beauty of a garden: it’s fluid and always changing. With a plan in hand, you can spend the winter sourcing materials, browsing magazines for ideas, and dreaming of the spring to come.