Garden Design Update: Stuff Is Showing Up On My Driveway

Tuesday morning, the garden designer will return to oversee the majority of the installation of the new garden design in the front yard. I will go off to work and when I return, there it will be… new plantings, fresh mulch, a new beginning in the front yard.

When people hear that I’ve hired a garden designer, they seem a bit shocked. They stare speechlessly at me. Their mouths drop open. They are incredulous! They assume that a love of gardening and growing plants implies that one is also adept at designing a garden.

Then I explain that though I love to garden and grow plants, I don’t have a good eye for design. They get that. They know me, they see me in the world and nod their heads in agreement.

Hey, wait a minute! I know that the big plants go behind the little plants. Isn’t that all there is to garden design?

Hardly! I hired a garden designer because I am acutely aware of the way I think and what my tendencies are. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment at work and know what my preferences are.

And I’ve had all that therapy with Dr. Hortfreud.

I also know what I want in a garden design: Wanderability, Placeness, Well-Plotted, Gardimacy, and Hortiful.

And I recognize that I need help from others to have a garden design with all those characteristics.

My contribution? Well, when I saw the bags of mulch and compost dumped on the driveway, I immediately had the urge to stack those bags up all nice and neat. I didn’t, of course, because I didn’t have time, plus the garden designer would have shown up and thought, “How odd.”

Let’s keep that tendency our little secret, okay?  I don’t want the garden designer to think I am some kind of neat freak. One look inside my garage will show that I’m not terribly neat, especially in May, but I do like a bit of order, and hoes, did I mention those?

Anyway, forget the hoes for now. Does anything bring order to a garden like a good design? I think not.

Pictures to follow soon of before (how I design a garden) and after (how a garden designer designs a garden)


  1. wait? you're a neat freak if you stack up bags of fertilizer or soil on top of each other in a nice stack? ut oh. I gotta go back outside and undo some stuff.

  2. Thanks for sharing your private feelings about garden design. I feel like that myself often. I am always trying to use my plants to make a garden but while they are beautiful and I love them, the space is not a place yet. I find it very difficult to stick to a plan, this is one of the problems.
    I laughed and laughed while reading your 'thinking aloud' description of your design problem because it is so much what I go through, and I work in other people's gardens.
    It is only my own garden that intimidates me!
    Can't wait to see your before and after photos, Carol.

  3. How exciting for you to be able to come home and see a new front garden. Can't wait myself to see the before and after.

  4. Can't wait to see it! And even garden designers love to brainstorm with others about ideas. Everyone's unique perspective is what gives us such limitless opportunities to create what we want in a garden.

  5. This is very exciting...You know how we bloggers love before and afters. gail

  6. This is beyond exciting, Carol! I would want to stack the bags too, or spread them myself. You are so wise to have a designer come and help you. I believe that design is the last thing some of us think about when planting our gardens, in the beginning anyway. We are more concerned with getting the stuff to live and grow than how it looks as a whole. Blogging has certainly helped us to see the light about design. That and scads of good books on the subject. But nothing like a pair of trained eyes and the mind of a real designer on site to make it happen. We applaud you! :-)

  7. Can't wait to see it. The garden designer is something my wife and I have discussed, as well, for the exact same reasons you've outlined.

  8. Can't wait to see the pictures. Also, happy May to you. It is a most wonderful month.

  9. Hearing about the reactions of your friends and co-workers cracked me up. Your posts about the experience are fun to read and are keeping me in suspense. Does your designer know you're blogging about her and the process? And if so, does it make her nervous to have all those eyes on her work? Not that we've seen it yet.

  10. Ah, the excitement builds! We readers can hardly wait! I just know it is all going to be wonderful.

  11. Color me envious. Bags of mulch. Garden designer. And what looks like plenty of rain. Looking forward to more reports.

    PS. What was the result of your Myers-Briggs test? I know you told me before but I've forgotten. Do you think it bears on your garden choices?

  12. It looks like garden gnomes placed those bags in your drive. The excitement is building. Can't wait to see what they do.

  13. My first thought on seeing those bags of compost on your drive was those should have been neatly stacked. I say this as someone who has just designed and installed a new front bed for a client. It involved delivering 40 bags of hardwood mulch and around 20 baqs of compost.

    They were stacked neatly.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!