Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Garden writers and landscape designers often bandy about words like focal point, water feature, retaining walls and hardscape as if everyone knows what we’re talking about.
And, that’s just not fair. For the beginner, these terms can sound off-putting and too technical. Maybe you just want something simple for your back or front yard. Perhaps, you’d like to grow some vegetables in containers, or even raised beds. For years, I thought raised beds were complicated too, and they’re not.
Let’s start with some basics.
Find a sunny spot especially if you want to grow vegetables. If you’re growing shade plants, you won’t need a lot of sunshine, but vegetables worship the sun.
Go outside and measure the space where you want to grow. That’s very important. Paths should be four foot wide to accommodate two people walking side-by-side, or to easily pull a garden cart. Paths can be made out of anything you want from decomposed granite to brick or even grass. I had grass paths for years before I installed gravel.
Come back inside and gather your supplies:
1. I like graph paper because an inch can translate to a foot in the garden. This helps you visual your outdoor measurements in a two-dimensional drawing.
2. If you don’t want to use graph pager, you could use a graph cutting mat and lightweight nearly, see-through paper instead. However, I don’t know how well the paper would hold up over time. You could scan it into your computer though.
3. Some type of drawing pencil, a ruler and an eraser. Although I used the Pink Pearl in grade school, I really like white click erasers that look like mechanical pencils because they erase so well.
4. If you want to draw a circular bed, you’ll need a compass.
5. Colored pencils or Gel Pens from Fiskars. Yes, you can draw everything in black and white, but I think color adds a bit of fun. Part of the secret of not getting overwhelmed from a project is to enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Turn work into play. You aren’t going to add the color until the end of the drawing anyway so you won’t need to erase it.
6. A photo of the space where the garden will go. It will help you remember what the space looks like now and any existing shrubs or trees to be incorporated into the design.
Start by drawing the perimeter of your garden using straight lines if you’re doing standard 4’ x 8’ raised beds. Then work from the middle outward so you have a center point. You can also draw curves if you want, but it makes things a bit more complicated for your first try. Straight lines build in formality, and curved lines give your eye somewhere to rest. If you want a formal, circular garden, use a compass to make the desired size of the exterior. As you draw, lightly draw in spaces so a change in thought won’t involve so much erasing.
It’s your design, and no one is looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing it correctly. As Julia Child once famously said, “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
The same holds true for gardening. We all make mistakes, and our first attempts at drawing aren’t our best. Physical skills like drawing, cooking and gardening take practice. No one is going to hold your feet to the fire for a design that doesn’t work perfectly. You shouldn’t either.
However, if you decide you don’t want to draw your own design, but simply want one you can adapt to your space, you’ll find several for different types of gardens in my book, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff. I wrote it with you in mind.
This year, let’s make a pledge to go easy on ourselves, but let’s also dream and plan for spring and summer. A garden design is a great way to do both. Gather your materials and imagine me as your coach. I’m right here beside you. Ready… set, go.