Pam Penick‘s appearance on Central Texas Gardener made me realize the importance of designing my landscape wisely, and not just jumping in with a bunch of plants.  My natural inclination is toward instant gratification, of course!  But I am trying to be smart and take a long-range view of the landscape planning.  We plan on being in this house for a very long time, so there is no rush.  I am going to start keeping notes on the things that come to mind that I absolutely must have! for the garden.  So far that list includes a pond and/or fountain, chickens (either in a tractor or in a fenced front yard so as not to be attacked by dogs), rainwater collection or at least some *&% gutters, shady gardens, sunny gardens, natives, vegetables, roses…. Oh, who knows!  LESS GRASS for sure.

So for now I have to make do with my tiny little stabs at the garden, but I am going to work on an overall plan to incorporate all of these different components into the landscape.  I am fickle with my taste, but I really enjoy Mexican or New Mexican gardens, and I think that is a good aesthetic for us.  Not supercrazyoverthetop theme gardens, but hints here and there to make for a southwestern look.  I find it really relaxing, and since BT has spent time in Mexico and is from NM, I think he shares that.  I got this book at the library for hardscape ideas; its title sounds like a very specific aesthetic, but the book shows a nice range of paths, gates, walls, etc that would work anywhere.


  1. Pam/Digging

    May 7, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the shout-out, SMR! While I would never want to discourage anyone from going ahead and digging (that’s my blog’s title, after all), I do think you’re wise to pause for a moment to think long-term about your garden design. Even a rough sketch on a napkin will help you envision your garden spaces and plan ahead for them. Then it’s easier to tackle one small piece at a time so as not to get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once.

    If you’re like me, your plan will evolve over time and is to be expected. But just the process of thinking out a plan has always helped me get started on the right track.

    Since you’re interested in New Mexican gardens, I recommend two books for design ideas: Secret Gardens of Santa Fe (nice eye candy) and Yard Full of Sun, a wonderful garden memoir about creating a garden on the outskirts of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. While the plants he uses won’t necessarily gel with Austin, the accompanying photos will give you some great ideas, plus the book is wonderfully written.

  2. SMR

    May 9, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Thank you for the book recommendations. Those both sound like they will be full of great ideas for structure and planning, and lots of fun to look at. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

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