March 29th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 13
The Crowsnest Pass Gardening Club
Design Malfunction
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Stock photo
A well-designed garden takes a lot of planning. This is a task I often devote myself to during the winter months.

A while back, I decided to enlarge the perennial beds at the front of my house. That winter, I spent hours reading, planning and drawing. I analyzed the space and considered wind direction and potential concerns of Chinook damage.

I researched the light and nutrient requirements, moisture needs, blooming times, potential height and spread, foliage type and flower colours of numerous potential plant choices.

I gave consideration to scale, form, balance and harmony. I deliberated over the placement of evergreens and plants with attractive seedpods to give winter interest. By spring I was content with my design and happily planted my new creation. It was a great plan and I was pleased with the results. At least, for a while.
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That being, until I found a new ‘treasure’ at a garden centre and just had to buy it. I then forgot the purpose of my design plan and stuck my newest acquisition in an apparent opening between other plants.

One of the most difficult parts of creating a landscaped garden is being deliberate about your plant choices. At one time, I thought I had the perfect solution and created an ‘experimental’ area, but that soon became chock full of lovely greenhouse finds and gifts from fellow gardeners.

I struggle with self-restraint when I come upon a new coltovar, hybrid or variety of a plant I love, regardless of how many I have already planted.

Every year I resolve to have a plan and stick to it and every spring I find myself searching for a space to plant yet another perennial I could not live without.
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What should have been a perfect example of good landscape design for the front area of my home has slowly morphed into a botanical zoo.

I will never be one to judge another gardener’s lovely hodgepodge of plants. I thoroughly understand the compulsion of a plant collector and the unquenchable nature of the addiction.

Lorraine Halton is a member of the Crowsnest Pass Gardening Club. For information about upcoming events she can be reached either by phone, (403-563-5152), or email, (
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March 29th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 13
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