9 Secrets to Creating The Garden of Your Dreams Secret #4: Create a Garden That Makes You Happy

Tour your garden just the way it is now. If you had never seen your garden before, what would you think? Do you like it? Not like it? If not, take the time to figure out why. Sometimes it’s as simple as the fact that you don’t like some of the plants, ornaments, or structures that are there. Perhaps they were put in by a former homeowner whose vision of the garden was very different from your own. If you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, it may be that the way your 60-year old self calls out to use the garden is very different from what you wanted when you were 30.

No one has to live with a garden that doesn’t feel right.
My garden is not likely to ever appear in a magazine, even though as a scout for a national publisher, I’ve had the chance to study hundreds of fabulous gardens and have interviewed scores of landscape designers. Why? Because I live in the middle of a woodland forest, which means that the garden’s primary summer color is green. It’s very soothing and the varied textures keep it interesting. There are masses of color in the spring and some splashes of color in a few sunny spots throughout the summer, but this kind of garden just doesn’t photograph well.

A friend said to me one day, “I’m not into all that blue garden, white garden, and lavender garden stuff like what you do.”  Like us, she and her husband are enthusiastic nature lovers and spend a great deal of time working in their garden. They have an abundance of frogs, birds and, sometimes, bears. Nearly all of their four acres is gardened.

I’m not into all that pruning, manicuring, and pond maintenance that she and her husband do to keep their place ship-shape. Less than one third of our property is garden, because my design philosophy is that cultivated plants should blend seamlessly into the natural environment.

Our two gardens couldn’t be more different, but they do make their respective owners very happy.

For more on this topic, go to http://cultivatingtheinnergardener.blogspot.com .

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