Review your existing landscape
Mid-winter is a good time to review your existing landscape. Pick a sunny day and walk around your yard looking for some of the following conditions:
· Shrubs that have overgrown their space, are bare in the middle or bottom, or generally are past their prime
· Places where a well sited tree could shade your deck in the afternoon or shade your house to lower air conditioning costs
· Is your patio or deck right out in the open? Would a screen of tall shrubs or evergreens create a more private space?
· How about a fence or screen to enclose compost bins, firewood piles, trash cans etc?
· Birds need evergreen trees and dense shrubs for food, shelter and nesting. Is there a corner that could be transformed into a garden for wildlife?
· How is the curb appeal of your front yard and entry gardens?
· Are there some spaces you would like to add summer color? Look for good locations for flower gardens, shrub roses, azaleas or containers with flowering plants and colored foliage.
Places to get ideas
There are many places to get ideas on home landscape project. Some of these include:
· Attend one of the home and garden shows. Landscape designers and contractors will have built indoor gardens with pools, patios, gazebos and blooming plants. These shows are a local escape from winter and are great places to get ideas or visit with landscape professionals
· The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is open year around and the many display gardens, demonstration gardens and model landscapes showcase the best plants for northern states. In addition, you will see examples of many different types of wood, stone, concrete and brick that can be used in your own yard.
· The Andersen Horticultural Library at the Arboretum has many gardening and landscape design periodicals, nursery catalogs and reference books that can help you get ideas and select the best plants
· Register for a home landscape design class or gardening class offered through your community education departments, local garden centers or at the Arboretum.