Test out your garden designs after it snows!

I know a lot of folks get the grumbles when it snows, but nowadays I get a bit giddy.

Why? You're probably shuddering... well because it dawned on me in early December that your yard + fresh snow = giant etcha-sketch (hey, 80's babies). 

If you're a gardener, you've probably drawn a few designs, wondering which one is best... This one! No wait... that one! Aw crap, maybe this one?
Yep. I get it... all too well. So let's make the most of the snow while it's here and draw something in it like a crazy person.

Here's what to do:

  1. Pick an area you've got your eye on
  2. Walk out the design, 'sketch' out the boarders and pathways first. Think the bones of your space.
  3. Mound up excess snow on garden 'beds'. Move around as desired.
  4. Take pictures so you can print out your design and draw over the top of it with details (like tipi trellis, tomato cages, bird baths, etc.)
  5. Repeat when it snows again! (or shovel the back and start all over again)

Keep in mind that the sun will be in a different location for you in the summer than it is now. For a fancy internet trick, use Sun Calc to plug in your address and calculate where the sun will be during different times of the year. It's pretttttty sweet, and very helpful.

4 ways this helps with the design:

  1. You can see the full scale
    Meaning fewer surprises in the spring if the math you applied to your grid paper is off... like mine tends to be. Plus you can walk around your design as though it's real. Yep, you'll look nuts but you'll have a better understanding of how the design will flow, the space that will be available for maintenance and if the scale is appropriate for your skills & time commitment. Better to start small and scale up than start too big and feel overwhelmed. 

  2. You can try out several designs
    It's ok if you haven't picked the perfect design yet. In fact, get rid of that idea all together. There is no perfect design, just the right design for you and spoiler alert - it's going to change! Probably a little bit every season. 

  3. You will see the nuances of your property
    Observation is key in installing any new garden. The way water may flow through your property, or how the sun moves through your space will impact your design (even if you don't want it to). If you ignore these things you may have to battle them, but if you keep them front of mind, you'll work together in harmony beautifully (most of the time). 

  4. You will see animal and people tracks
    How animals and people use the space is also key. Winter is a great time to spot animal tracks you wouldn't normally see in the summer. Didn't know about the bunny's nest under your deck? Or the squirrels living in that hollowed out tree?  Spend some time in the snow and look around. What has created pathways, and where do they lead? Don't forget about dogs, kids, neighbors and mail-people, all create unique paths which will impact your garden after instal.


Most importantly, have fun! And share your designs with us if you find one you like.

xoxo | cc