What should we put in our garden?

The design team has been busy.  A garden’s success depends on choosing the Right Plant for the Right Place.  The team will select plants that will live in our hardiness zone (5b), will be either sun or shade plants, and work with our water and soil conditions.  Choosing the right plant for the right place is critical for success as a gardener.  This has to be taken into consideration for every single plant that goes into our garden.  Put that together with all the plants available in all the different colors and it’s a huge task to choose the right plants.  It’s easy to get distracted by color and height and looks and then figure out the plant won’t grow here.  There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that need to fit together.  If you have ever put a begonia in the hot sun or geraniums in the shade you know what this is about.  It’s so disappointing to have plants die from heat or not bloom in the shade after all the hard work in planting them.  Not to mention what it cost to make these mistakes.

Earlier there was a work day to measure the garden so a blueprint could be drawn up.  They made an outline of the garden and then filled in all the measurements.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the first design team meeting they took the blueprint with measurements and traced some blank outlines of the blueprint so they could all brainstorm and give ideas on how to divide the area.

There will be five sections to the main area of the left side of the main entrance to the building.  They’ve decided that they need one new shrub and perennials (plants that come back every year).  The garden faces east so will get lots of hot sun but there is a shady area created by the trees.  In conjunction with Greeley Conservation the garden will have low water Xeric plants and we will use mostly plant select plants.  This will allow all the plants to need the same amount of water.  Plant Selects are plants that are selected for our area and have been on trial to see how they grow in our hardiness zone (Greeley is 5b)**, and soil conditions.  Once our garden is established we can apply to be a trial garden for Plant Select and every year will get new plants and document how they grow in our conditions.

Everyone brought their perennial books and got busy discussing what plants will work best in each of the five areas, what color scheme they want, and how the designs for each area will flow into each other.

It has already been decided that from the side of the building along the south edge for sun and shade gardens they will use plans for Garden In A Box***  Garden in a box is a program through Resource Central to buy pre-planned gardens.  Everything comes in the box for you to design and plant a certain area space.  They have several different low water kits available in color schemes, shade gardens, butterfly gardens, pollinator gardens, etc.  These kits sell out really fast so if you are interested please visit these sites to get information and order a garden.   If you live in certain areas of Weld County you will receive a discount.  After ordering your garden you will be given a date and location to pick up your garden.

Next they discussed the focal point of the garden.  All other areas will flow into the area with the focal point.  They discussed the lines of the garden and where there would be foot paths (to work in the garden for weeding purposes, etc).  They discussed adding a small shrub to balance out the two other trees that were left in the garden.

Color schemes thrown around were red, orange, purple, blue and yellow.  There will be several rocks placed in the garden that will be green.    Sort of a sunset theme going on.  They will choose ground cover that will compliment the plants and will make selections so there will always be something blooming Spring, Summer and Fall.

There was lots of other exciting discussion about what plants and where to put them.  A good start to the design.  Wow, this was just for two areas.  Lots more planning to go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Right Plant, Right Place info (lots of information on how to pick plants for your area)


**   Zone Map to find your zone (Greeley is 5b, further north in Weld County it could be 5a or even 4b).  Look at the low temperature guide on the right hand side of the page and depending on how cold it gets where you live that would be your zone.  When you buy plants there is a tag to show you its hardiness zone.  If it’s above your zone chances aren’t it won’t survive the winter.  The lower the number the more cold it will withstand.


*** Garden in a Box info



Once the design is complete it will be presented to the Island Grove Board for approval.  We all can’t wait to see this start to take form.

Watch our garden grow!!


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
This entry was posted in Colorado Master Gardeners, Demo Garden, Garden design, Uncategorized, Weld County Extension and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s