As we head into fall and wave goodbye to summer, it's the perfect time to assess your garden and reflect on what worked and what didn't. By recording your findings, you'll be able to refer to them as you make plans for the coming season. The notes and photos you take now will be invaluable as you plan garden projects for the upcoming year and will move you closer to creating the garden of your dreams.
Wondering where to begin to assess your garden successes and opportunities? Here are some good guidelines for getting started.
Step 1: Take visual stock of what plants thrived and which ones are looking a little distressed or failed to grow as well as you'd hoped they would (i.e. sparse blooms, fruit etc.). Write it down, or better yet take a photo and save it where you easily refer to it later.
Step 2: Did you have some plants that didn't do well because they were in the wrong spot? Note what planting location you used and why that worked or didn't work (i.e. was a full-sun plant located in a partially shady spot or vice versa?). Fall is a good time for planting or transplanting many plants, so you'll have a chance to move plants to a more optimal location.
Step 3: Record which planting combinations succeeded and which ones didn't. Do a little research on the plants to see if you can uncover why they weren't compatible together. It's good to remember that just because plants initially look great next to one another, they won't continue to thrive if they have different needs and resource requirements.
Step 4: Make a list of plants that grew well for you. Perhaps add more of that plant or you could use that plant as a springboard for ideas for other plants with similar needs. Likewise, you might want to make a list of plants that didn't do well for you that you'd like to cross off the growing list and steer away from next time you head to the nursery.
Step 5: Spend a little time writing down your inspirations and ideas for "what's next". What projects do you want to try next year? What vision do you have for your garden? What are your hopes and goals? For inspiration, browse planting combination ideas here on the eGardenGo site.
As you'll likely find, there were some aspects of your garden venture that did really well, and others that could do better next time. That's not only
okay, but to be expected! Garden-making truly is an iterative process, and no one gets it perfectly right the first time. But that's part of what makes
gardening such an enjoyable endeavor year after year; there will always be more to discover as you grow as a gardener.
The longer you garden, and experiment, the more you will learn, and the better you'll get at it. So don't lose heart if some of your garden plans didn't unfold exactly as you'd hoped - take your lessons learned into consideration as you plan for changes, next steps and improvements. They'll be a useful guide for you, and when reflected back on, can be a sign of your growth as a student of gardening (which at the end of the day, we all are).
Ideas and Inspiration to Get You Started!