Planning a garden is not my best quality. Don’t get me wrong, I love planning. Drawing and making plant lists are great fun, and I can spend hour after hour visualizing what I want to do. Whereas, sticking to the plan is another matter. I’ve seen lots of YouTube videos about how to plan a garden, but I never seem to manage planning properly before I start working.
Maybe my garden is too large, or maybe I should select one area at a time and plan it separately. Instead, I tend to start with an idea of what I want to achieve and progress from there. One reason for this may be that our plot is huge. Another reason is that there are structures and plants that I have to consider whether to keep or remove. Furthermore, I still have limited time to work in the garden since I commute between the farm in Sweden and my job in Norway.
Choosing a Garden Planning Program
On top of the above, I haven’t managed to choose a garden planning program. I’m not a professional, so I don’t want to pay too much for a tool that only will be used for this garden. Furthermore, it shouldn’t be too complicated to use. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too simple either. It has to have features that can inspire me.
The image on top was created with a program called Garden Planner. The trial period has expired and I need to decide whether or not I should buy a license. If anyone has knowledge about digital garden planning tools that are affordable (or maybe even free), I’ll be happy to receive information.
The size is a challenge
As said before, my plot is huge. It borders to the forest on two sides and fields on the remaining two sides. One challenge is therefore to decide where the garden should end and the nature or cultural landscape begin. Not to mention, how do I create a good transition between these spaces?
The garden plan image shows only part of the garden area or the area I want to develop as a garden, orchard and vegetable plot. The lower part of the image faces south and contains the pond with a stream, a seating area and flower beds that already have been formed or are under development. This area is already heavily planted, but some of the plants are intended for other locations later.
To the left of the house is the lawn with an area of solid bedrock. It used to be a rock garden, but is overtaken by weed and has to be reworked. Further to the left is an area where I plan to have a woodland garden. It is shaded by the forest in the afternoon and the soil, particularly in the lower region, tends to be very damp when it rains. Last year, Frank removed an old lilac hedge that stood there and planted a magnolia and a few rhododendrons, but apart from that the area is undeveloped.
At the back of the house is more solid bedrock. The garden plan image only shows an apple tree and three sugar top spruces that was here when we bought the property. The road leads up to our outhouses and the wood sheds, and continues into the forest. I’m not sure if I’ll do much to this area, at least it is not a priority. However, there is a plot outside the image that has been used for growing vegetables. That area is well sheltered and receives a lot of sun, and the soil is good too. We’ll probably develop it in some way later.
Another feature not visible in the image is the vegetable patch with the orangery and greenhouse as well as the area between the greenhouse and the entrance road. It is the area we see first when we arrive and I have planted a few trees and shrubs here and there, but it definitely has to be developed further.
With this in mind, whether we plan or not, we have a lot of work ahead of us.