bhg-style garden mag for suburban homes??

sobeadit(Sac area, CA)July 9, 2005

Hi all....the one thing I notice about these gardening mags, which have GREAT ideas for lovely gardens, is that they never focus on the typical newly built suburban home. That is, 8000-15000 or so sq ft lot, big rectangle with a new boring wooden fence all around it, buttressed by the typical beigeish stucco box of a house. It's always someone with this cool quirky house on a slope or a couple of acres. I have no trees at all, and just a big dirt rectangle (L shape, actually) to start with. Does anyone know of a publication or website that features garden ideas for me?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You have a blank canvas. You can create anything you like. It is often very difficult for the novice to visualize the possibilities, I know. Would it be possible for you to hire a designer? If not, start a notebook.....make observations about existing landscaping that you admire. Visit your library and check out some landscape design books. Try googling using such key words as 'beginning landscape design'.

The attached link is clever and helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden design basics

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 12:22PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

The only thing more daunting than a big open space is an incredibly overgrown jungle.... A blank canvas can be a *lot* less work [wry grin].

The link rhizo sent is great. [Thanks. Hadn't seen this before.] Especially the '101' thru '104' articles are good. Lays out basics for designing a landscape plan, in very readable form.

But in case you are still in the "what on earth do I want to do with this place?!?" phase of things.....

I don't know of any useful mag to suggest, but the notebook [maybe more of a scrapbook] is a good idea. Two parts here.

First, it's important to figure out how you and yours want to *use* the outdoor space..... [Quiet walks along paths between garden beds? Big barbecues? Swingsets?]

Second, in magazines, books, and on-line, look at lots and lots and lots of pictures. Note addresses of interesting garden bits that you notice around town. When you see pictures/vistas/details you like, collect them, **even if they cannot really fit your yard**. Then figure out *why* you like each one. Is it color? Contrast? Texture? Shape? Feel? Particular plants? And do you prefer the broad view in an open plan, or do you want interesting nooks and pockets of different things? Etc and etc.

Whatever you want to do to make the yard more enjoyable for this year, just do it. But be sure to plant moveable things, not "bones". No trees or hard-to-move shrubs, unless you are sure of their placement.

Best of luck, and enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 12:34AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I find garden designs in Sunset 'Garden Designs' by Philip Edinger and the Editors of Sunset Books very much geared toward typical suburban/urban yards, i.e. small flat plots. I checked it out from the library, liked it so much I ordered in online, but later on found it at Home Depot!

The subtitle is Beds & Borders, Theme Gardens, Problem Areas.

It has colored photos, plans and plant suggestions.
Take it slowly. Work gradually one spot at a time. You'll feel less overwhelmed. Don't forget shrubs and trees to give your garden structure and something to look at in winter.

Have fun. :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 9:58PM
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