Prime Time Living - Page 12 - How Does Your Garden Grow?

Prime Time Living
- Page 12
How Does Your Garden Grow?
No matter your yard size, anyone can have a blooming garden

By Margit B. Weisgal, Contributing Writer

If you have a handkerchief-size yard, a porch, a patio or even a windowsill, you can have a garden. Greenery comes in a vast array of forms – ornamental or practical, annual or perennial, shrub, tree, vine, or plant – and they all provide visual pleasure as you gaze on your foliage. Maybe you want to grow food for your table or herbs with which to season meals. Perhaps you love the aroma that comes from different flowers that bloom throughout the seasons. Some require tender, loving care, and others do fine by themselves.

Moving through the grounds and greenhouses of Green Fields Nursery & Landscaping at the corner of Falls Road and Northern Parkway in Baltimore, Sharyn Frederick, landscape designer, pointed out just a few of the options for creating personal spaces. “Start with how much space you have and what you want to do with it. A small front yard, eight- or 10-feetsquare, will have options that a porch or windowsill won’t. Then think about how much time you can devote to your plantings. Containers, for instance, don’t need much weeding, but they need a steadfast commitment to watering,” Frederick says.

A Plot of Land

Many row houses or townhomes have tiny front yards, but you can still create a lovely garden with some wise choices. “You don’t want to cram too much into your space because everything gets bigger – sometimes a lot bigger,” says Frederick.

“At first, it may look a little sparse, but with each growing season, your plants will expand. Always check the labels to see how big a tree, shrub or ground covers will become. “A two-story house will be overwhelmed with a shrub that is 15 feet high and 8 feet wide. Larger shrubs or perennial ornamental grasses take up more and more room each year and can overwhelm your space if planted too closely together.

It will also limit what you can add around it to set it off. All plants, when they are young, need space to grow, so you don’t want to over-plant or plant too close to the house’s foundation.”

Visit nurseries and browse through the stock. Look at the pictures of full-grown trees or shrubs and note the ones that appeal to you. Are you looking for certain colors? Do you want bulbs as well as a tree? What type of border, if any, appeals to you? Perhaps you’d like to keep too much sun off your porch or patio. Ask yourself how much time you’re willing to invest in upkeep. These initial forays will help you make selections that you’ll enjoy for years to come. You can also roam your neighborhood and see what choices others have made. Most nurseries also carry a selection of accessories to enhance your plot, like trellises for vines or ornamental stones that help retain moisture and add additional colors.

You also don’t have to do everything at one time. It’s nice to see a finished product right away, but since plants grow and expand, adding something new each year keeps you from going overboard. One local gardener told the story of buying six plants when three would have been more

Garden continued on page 21