Weekend Gardener

Blog based on my best-selling ebook "The Weekend Gardener"- The Busy Persons' Guide To A Beautiful Backyard Garden by Victor K. Pryles

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Weekend Gardening Goals

Now that you've taken note of the current condition of your landscape, made the notes mentioned in our earlier blog post and found areas you dislike, could improve, and wouldn't want to change, you are ready to set some specific goals.

Think about you landscaping and gardening goals- how you'd like to use the gardens on your property.

* Do you want to use your garden primarily to provide pesticide free food for your family?
* Are you interested in cultivating flowers?
* Perhaps you wish to do both; flower gardens and vegetable gardens?
* Are you intending to garden for the value it adds to your real-estate?
* Or do you just like to collect plants?
* Do you want an entertainment area as part of your backyard; perhaps a larger patio area?
* Is it a swimming pool that you want to add and then landscape around?

If you're like most gadeners you'll have many different, individual goals in mind. Make another general list of these goals and the landscape problems you wish to correct. Some of these goals will be for personal gardening satisfaction, or perhaps just to fix eyesores you discover, or to improve your property's appearance.

Ask yourself what kind of features you'd like to have, like a formal herb garden, a wildflower region, a strawberry patch. This kind of list doesn't requires a 'yard tour', either.

This is your wish list, the dreams you have that you've always wanted to see realized. Perhaps it might look something like this:


Redo overgrown foundation planting
Clean up the weedy back hill
Get the deep dip in the backyard section near the water well
Take out the bushes around the wall in front of the house
Remove overgrown junipers along the driveway
Get rid of the thin lawn areas beneath certain trees
Beautify with plant containers near the front door
Create more privacy
Camouflage the tool shed using vines or shrubbery

Making Your Choices

Once you have your lists of goals and wishes you can begin to really plan. You may have to make some hard choices. Be Realistic. You might wish to have a flowing water garden with embedded tubes that push colored streams rolling over sparkling river stones through the immaculate Japanese flower beds you envision; but is that really possible?

Just don't let the 'rational' thinker in you destroy your hidden dreams, either. Make some happy compromises and let your imagination run free, too. If you dream particularly large, that's fine. You may want to leave these on a long term list of future considerations. Building that Victorian cottage garden like famous British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, may be possible a year or two down the road--- who knows?

Take your dreams, your goals list, all the notes you've made up until now and put them in order.

The order of your goals becomes important in helping you determine the size and effort in any particular gardening area. Remember, you only have a limited amount of time to develop your dreams, you are a Weekend Gardener, remmeber? You want to invest the most effort in maintaining those areas that hold the most interest to you---first.

In my next post I'll give you actual examples of this prioritizing. But you have plenty of dreaming to do, so go outside, sit in a hamock or lounge chair, bring your trusty garden journal and start your dream session this weekend!