An inspiration, or idea, garden need not be a city project or a Master Gardener project, but can simply be a wonderful way to improve your neighborhood and make new friends in the process.

Do you have an unsightly lot in your subdivision or a less-than-attractive entrance? What a nice way to improve your neighborhood and create a mutual bond between you and your neighbors.

It is important to make a plan-even as much as a five-year plan-before you begin. And don’t forget a financial plan as well.

Decide who will be the Grand Gardener (or whatever you want to call the leader) and then create team leaders for each area of interest so that all of the responsibility doesn’t fall upon only one person. For example, you could delegate a team leader for hardscape (benches, compost area, walkways, and garden shack), trees and shrubs, perennials and bulbs, annuals, rock garden, and vegetables.

Experience, type of space, and size of the garden will dictate how you assign your team leaders. These team leaders should be responsible for plant suggestions and budget recommendations and should schedule the work for each section.

To provide continuity, it is important to have sketches of the garden and to create a monthly calendar of work that can be improved upon year after year. Post this waterproof plan to save time on work days.

As some of the participants in the garden will be less experienced, delicate plants and rare plants should be identified with special markers so that they will not be inadvertently disturbed or damaged.

If the garden needs to be secured, it will be necessary to assign keys to various team members and to arrange for “open hours.” Be certain to provide hooks for each worker’s tools and/or jackets. If vegetables are planted, a plan for sharing should be implemented.

Remember that great gardens take time, patience, and work. The rewards, however, are endless.

Susan Boyer, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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