Gardens serve many purposes and one of them can be to solve problems. If you have a neighbor with junk in their side yard, a miserable view, or an air conditioning unit in the wrong place a garden may be able to solve the problem. Walk around your property and look for places that are visually unattractive. Sometimes we get so used to something ugly we barely notice it but other people coming into the area for the first time notice it a lot. At least if you are aware of problems you can decide if they are worth solving. Make a list of the areas that you identify as having problems and keep it by you as you plan your garden.

Here’s a list of common problem areas to help you identify places that could be more attractive. Ask yourself, “are these areas of my property attractive?”

    House foundation
    Edge of front walk
    Basement door
    Raised porch or deck
    Patio, terrace
    Trash cans
    Air conditioning or heating units
    Edge of a driveway
    Garage or outbuilding
    Edge of a pool
    Raised beds
    Outdoor sitting areas
    Bird feeders and boxes
    Dog house and run
    Strip between sidewalk and street
    Lamp post
    Utility poles
    Property line
    Fence or wall
    Neighbor’s property

Garden Design pointerIf you checked off a lot of problem areas don’t be discouraged. Only very grand houses with lots of gardeners have no problem areas. You won’t solve all the problems at once but being aware of the problems is helpful for starting the process. Decide which problems are most troublesome and begin to consider possible solutions. Look at magazines, visit gardens, and talk to friends and nurserymen. Gradually you will find some ideas that are appealing and fit in with your other ideas and schemes.

By Karen