BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

A Spring Do-Over

Even though these icy winter mornings might have us wishing for a do-over, it’s time to start thinking about spring projects. If you’ve been yearning to make some major changes, let’s talk do-overs. Are you considering a simple face-lift (playing plant chess by rearranging existing materials) or reconstructive surgery (a total gut and rebuild)?

Here are a few quick rules for do-overs:

1) Tackle your space with creativity. Only one option for that spot? Think again. Certain spaces may present limitations but it shouldn’t stop you from creating a fabulous look. The tip here is if you think big, you’ll get big. If you think narrow, it will always feel like a small space with no oomph. Getting stumped? Dig for inspiration in garden/home magazines and books.
2) Inventory everything currently in that space. Whether it is lawn, stone, furniture, accent pieces or plants, determine what you like and don’t like about the inventory.
3) Determine what might be missing. Shed the ‘don’t likes’ from the list and gather your ‘must-haves’ for shopping day.
4) If you have a total overhaul in mind, this may require professional help i.e., stone masons, landscape contractors, or a design consultant. Contact and interview them now. This is the time of year to do the meet and greet for your team.
5) If it’s just a plant facelift, mark the calendar for your shopping spree. That being said, you may want to reevaluate your plant materials and get really good at playing plant chess. Maximize the impact of everything you already have and love. One perennial planted 5 years ago may be big enough to divide and create a drift. Bingo! You have just changed the scale and impact of that plant. This also allows you to start thinking plant combinations. That’s when the real fun begins. And remember, no good plants should go to waste.
6) Still having a hard time getting your do-over in gear? Network and socialize with those that can plant a seed of creativity. Whether it’s on the social media front or networking at local trade shows, winter garden events or a garden club luncheon, there are loads of places to find inspiration.

Okay. So the winter blues still have you holding off on thinking spring? Here’s a deep Monday morning quote from the German classical scholar and philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche to get the juices going. “Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. -- Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.” Time for a do-over!

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)