University of Illinois Extension
Your Gardening Timeline - Introduction to Perennial Garden Design - Stepping Stones to Perennial Garden Design - University of Illinois Extension

Your Gardening Timeline

What is your gardening timeline? For many, we need to plan in stages. If designing a large space that includes borders and island beds, consider how they blend and flow together. Set your priorities as to which portion will be in the first year, the third year, the fifth year, etc. Many gardeners have yearly plans that fall under what they want accomplished in 5-year increments. What do I want to have complete in 5 years..... in 10 years..... and so on - whatever works for you, your lifestyle and your income. Plan an overall layout and set priorities to avoid a haphazard look. Don't plunk a garden down just because grass doesn't grow there. Avoid the temptation of buying plants because they were on sale, bringing them home without a clue as to where you are going to plant them. Think long term. Stick to your timeline.

Do realize that perennials can take several years to mature. A new perennial bed will look bare for the first growing season.