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How to get started?

Posted by lightlystarched (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 20, 08 at 16:29

I am a very novice gardener. I've lived in Central phx since the 70's so I am well acquainted to what grows around here - and that is the extent of my gardening "ability", lol.

I want my backyard to be more used, more inviting and tranquil. I currently have a grass "island" with a Ficus Nitidia and a Lisbon Lemon (that got severely damaged during this year's monsoon), and a gravel perimeter with 2 mesquites, a yellow oleander (not real oleander - thevetia?), and two lonely shrubs: a rosemary and a lavendar.

I am so inspired by the Japanese Friendship garden on 5th Avenue and Roosevelt. It has the feeling I'd like for my backyard.

How do I start to create something like this? Do I need to hire a landscape professional? I am currently in paralysis by!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to get started?

First, start a list of wants and needs. Consider how you want to use your space and let you imagination go wild. Plan big - you can always start small.

Then draw your yard on paper. Make special note of the sun angles in winter and summer. How does water move off your property? Leave open space for pathways so you can move through your yard. Decide on a main theme or focal point. You have your Japanese theme, but maybe you need a focal point like a fountain, small water feature or pond with Koi.

You may draw several variations on you want to use your space, but this is the design process. If you hire a landscape designer they will ask you these same questions. Collect pages from magazines that show the landscape you are visioning. Take photos of landscapes you like.

If you email me, I can send you a template for the wants and needs list and a few tips to get you started.

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