This is the story of Stefanie Gilmour and her struggles to create a garden from the the basic lawn and a few shrubs she found when moving to a new property. Follow her efforts as her initial enthusiasm results in overcrowded beds that suffered as a result. Eventually she decides to take matters seriously and takes a Master Gardener Volunteer course and as a result past failure turns to success. I found Stefanie’s article on the Gardening Know How website.

When we first moved to the Lot, the landscaping left much to be desired. Other than several shrubs planted too close to the house and garage, we had a blank canvas (a.k.a. a lawn). While hop-scotching around the city from apartment to apartment, I hadn?t felt the urge to garden. However, as soon as we had our little patch of green to call our very own, it was game over. I had the itch to grow vegetation, and I had it bad.
In the Beginning
At first, visiting a garden center would often result in a carload of plants and a serious dip in my bank account balance. I was a whirling dervish in the nurseries. There was no attention given to ?growing zones,? ?mature size,? or ?light requirements.? The plant was beautiful and it was coming home with me. Into the cart it went.
It didn?t take long for my reckless behavior to catch up with me on the Lot. Plants began to struggle and die. Beds became overcrowded and diseased. You mean I have to water? Wait, I have to weed? Hold on, the plants don?t wait for a break in my schedule so I can sculpt them into a breathtaking garden?!

design-disasterA Design Disaster
Getting Educated
After some years of blissful bumbling about on the Lot, I made the decision to devote time to learning about gardening. There is a certain freedom to ?winging it,? but I was becoming frustrated by the results. I eventually took a Master Gardener Volunteer course through the local Extension Office. It was instant love as I dove down the rabbit hole of gardening WITH SCIENCE.
I mailed soil in to be tested, I began to memorize Latin names, I learned to prune, to plant, and to identify pests and disease. Existing plants were shuffled in the expanding beds. New plants were carefully selected and strategically placed. Rain barrels, a compost bin, and two raised vegetable beds were added. I received a vermicompost bin with red wigglers for my birthday and was elated!

See more at Gardening Know How