Schaub Team Blog

Planning Your Gardens

Posted by Jamie Jewell on Feb 24 , 2020 - 10:44 am

With spring just one month away (at least on the calendar), it’s not too early to begin planning your gardens. Even if the snow doesn’t clear for a bit longer, being prepared will save time, money and perhaps some frustration along the way. Advanced planning will help you to be prepared when the weather breaks and planting time arrives.

In general, planting a balance of trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables and incorporating some open space will help provide harmony and enjoyment for years to come.

Do your homework..and some dreaming! Here are just a few tips that we found from an article posted by Planet Natural Research Center called “Garden Planning and Design” that may help.

  1. How will your garden grow? Consider the location in terms of sunlight, shade, wind, drainage, access to water, foot or pet traffic patterns.
  2. Start with a map. Make note of what you have – existing trees, shrubs, deck, and patios. Don’t forget to note where the water sources are located and slopes and soil types that will affect drainage.
  3. Consider what you want. Gather ideas from gardening books, magazines and online resources such as Pinterest. Do you want the newly defined space to provide function as well?
  4. Choose plants that will complement and meld the existing spaces, your dreams, and your budget. Be sure to think about the size the plants will be at full maturity, and any special characteristics of the plan – flowering and fall foliage. Choosing plants that are native to our region, rated for your location and climate will provide the best results as they are already acclimated to our area. Also, consider plants that are resistant to deer and other animals that may be in your neighborhood.

The Planet Natural Research Center goes into greater detail and provides some great resources to assist.

Locally, you may consider the Leelanau Conservation District as a source for buying seedlings and shrubs every spring and fall. The bi-annual sale is a fundraiser to support programming and our local environment. Click here for more information on the seedlings offered and here for the product order form.

Leelanau Conservation District is also hosting a Spring Planting Workshop on Wednesday, March 18th from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Leelanau County Government center (lower level Community Room) where Kama Ross, district forester and other presenters will share information on soil amendments for maximum planting success, the Assisting Tree range Expansion Project (ATEP) and exploring what species should be planted this spring. To register (by March 17th) call 231.256.9783 or email

For more garden ideas, visit our Pinterest board Garden & Lawn Ideas.