Playtime! Explore the Possibilities

Chapter 3

Home Improvement, not the TV show, but my life! After years of training and work experience as a landscape architect, I finally purchased my first home—a real fixer-upper with a horrible yard. I couldn't wait to get started on the garden, but as I tried to make my garden plan, oh my goodness! Every decision was torture. I had no problem providing ideas and sketches for other people's homes, but designing my personal space was excruciating—so many ideas and so little space. Does that sound familiar, like maybe someone you know?

Here is a process that will help. Now that you've laid the groundwork, it's time to have some fun. Your focus shifts from measurements to creativity and choices based

on your wants, desires, personal tastes, and your house's character and personality. The goal is to get clear on how you will use your front yard and discover your personal garden style. At the same time, you will learn to integrate your ideas to complement the unique personality of your home, as well as, the neighborhood. Don't worry...I know it sounds like homework, but it can be a fun and creative way to distill your garden vision, which will help you in future steps.

Personal Flair

How do you use your outdoor space now? More importantly, how would you like to use it in the future? Is the purpose of your front yard to provide a visual statement, a welcome mat, if you will, to your family and friends? That’s a fine approach, but many people are looking for places to relax outdoors or gather and visit. Is your yard a place for your children or your pets to play? A place for outdoor entertaining? Some homeowners grow food crops in their front yard, which is worth considering if it gets the most sun.

Ideally, your home is your castle, so think of your garden as your personal oasis. This is your space. A garden designed with your personal flair, or style, affords you the opportunity to relax, enjoy, and savor replenishing moments outside in your own little patch of nature. Look over the examples below and notice which images and words attract you and which do not. This will give you some clues and insights into your personal preferences.

Contact Us

Sarah Sutton
1700 Shattuck Avenue, #87
Berkeley, California 94709
Telephone: 510-685-0021



Visit Sarah's selected resources for ideas, inspiration and regional information on planting, planning and more...